Just remembering the time he told us about the "dog" that broke your windshield on your first solo driving expedition. He ended up laughing so hard he couldn't get to the end of the story.
I loved seeing Bob and Gloria and Lauren in London a few years back. Dave and I were only there for a couple of days and it was such a treat to get a little family reunion in. Before that, Bob and I drove to a tricycle maker in Rhode Island. I wasn't sure what to except when he said he was in the market for a tricycle. It turned out to be awesome, we sped around the neighborhood on these low three wheel bikes (me somewhat slower) and in the ended up ordering one. It was really nice to reconnect with such a fabulous uncle.Oh, and as a child I thought Bob had written "Uncle John's Band" about my dad. :-)
A few years ago, Bob was in San Diego for work. As a recent college graduate, trying to figure out what I was doing, where I was going etc... it was great to have a chance to see family. I met up with Bob in front of his hotel, and we headed up Fifth Ave. After a couple drinks at a bar, I forget the name, we chose to have dinner at Lou & Mickey's, a nice steakhouse in the heart of the Gaslamp district downtown. I believe we each ordered a Rib-eye steak and sides of scalloped potatoes. Besides the food being good, what I remember most is just enjoying Bob's company, having a few laughs, and listening to him tell stories about work and life. He is a great storyteller. Driving home that night, I felt more relaxed, having spent time with a wonderful uncle in a city that I now call home. I now work in downtown San Diego, and every night that I go in to work, I pass that same hotel, and smile thinking of that night we had dinner together.
Bob told me this story when I was in Atlanta last August. It seems there were some branches on his roof that needed to be removed (or some minor roof chore along that line), so Bob got out a ladder. His neighbor Harold who lives across the street came over, and the conversation went something like this:Harold: Bob, you're sick, you shouldn't be climbing up on the roof. Let me do it.Bob: Harold, you're 80 years old, you can't climb on the roof. Besides, Ernestine is sitting on your porch watching us, and she'll kill me if I let you do it. Harold: Well, Gloria is watching out the window and she'll kill me if I let you do it. You might fall of the roof and hurt yourself.Bob: If I fall off the roof and kill myself, what difference does it make?Guess who went up on the roof?Hint: he wasn't 80 years old.
3 of them: 1. I participated (along Bob and Gloria) in a ~40 km bike ride from Barcelona to Sitges in 2010. Somewhere past the 20km mark we started having some rough uphills. On one of these I pushed to hard and almost passed out. Bob saw I was about to die there, slowed down next to me, started with "Alberto Contador is pushing hard up the hill... Contador is giving his best.. come on Contador" (Contador is the Spanish biker/winner of Tour de France..) and stayed with me until the top of the hill. Gave me one of the 2 cereal bars he had when we got up there, waited up and made sure I was OK. hearing someone shouting "Contadooor, Contadoor is pushing.." next to you when you were breathing your last breath was, hilarious and life saver at the same time :-) 2. It's not that I was involved in it, but listening the African village story (the one where one of the natives who accompanied them was shot to death) from him... priceless. 3. Bob taught me that there exists something called "the Daily Show" on this planet. Eternal gratitude...
One of my favorite stories about my dad is (not surprisingly) also about me. Being a part of a multiracial family is always interesting but interracial couples were a lot more rare in the late 1970s than they are today. My parents were trepidatious about traveling through the south then. We were on a trip in either Mississippi or Louisiana and my dad was taking me to the bathroom at a gas station when he was approached by the gas station attendant. He stood and stared at my dad and then stared at me and then stared at my dad again. Finally, he asked - "is that your son?" "Yes," my dad replied. After a few moments of silence the gas station attendant says, "oh well...yeah he does kinda look like you."
There are so many amazing stories that I could share with you about my dad. In 32 almost 33 years, I have done so many amazing things with him that it's hard to pick just one. I will say that one that sticks out right now is when I was playing softball with the CDC softball team. My dad was known for his softball skills from "back in the day" and had quite the reputation. I hit a homerun in one of the games and my dad was truly amazed. He hadn't hit a home run in quite some years. I just remember that he was more excited about the hit than I was. And knowing him, I sure he told EVERYBODY that would listen about this. But that kind of sums up how my dad felt about his children (and his wife), he was always so proud of us. Even in the last doctor's visit, when my dad was getting probably the worst news of his life...I remember the only thing he said after receiving this news, "have you met my daughter and my son?"
@Nancy - so I'm guessing I will never live down the dog story. And let the record show..an adult told me to use that story!