Sunday, June 16, 2013

a diary of dad

For Father's Day, I thought I'd pull out a quick moment from an old diary, like I did for Mom on Mother's Day. Well, I fell down the diary hole and came out with a few more than one. One of the interesting things to me about this little series is how much my voice changes from April of 1983 (I was 13, about to turn 14) to March of 1985 (when I had learned about things like using big words and metaphors). Also, get ready for some poor spelling. I think I get that from my dad.

From April 7, 1983

The 2nd draft papers are due tomorrow. Dad typed my whole paper out for me on his computer! I wrote it & he copied it. I have the best dad in the world!

From January 13, 1984 [the pool room is the room in our house with a pool table in it]

Comming into the pool room, I heard sounds of music and dingings. Dad had the Jukebox on, playing pinball and so we ended the day with a long round of pinball (He got over 1 million on one game) to the jukebox. Whoever said that Friday the 13th was bad luck? Well, days like these really show me one of the meanings of life.

From October 7, 1984

Dad and I went to a football game today, (Rams against Atlanta) It was a great game. It was really close all through the whole game. Today, was when I was first introduced to "the wave". It was really neat. At the end of the game, the score was Rams-28, Atlanta-27 and there was about 7 seconds to go. Atlanta had the ball and had perfect position for a field goal. The croud shouted the seconds outloud but it was no use. They won. We all watched the debate of the President Reagan and Walter Mondale. From what I know, Mondale seems far better than Reagan but, most of the time, I don't know what they're saying. 

From December 9, 1984

Dad and I went to the best Rams' game today. Of course the Rams won (They played the Houston Oilers) but, that's not what made it so exciting. One player, Eric Dickerson, broke a record today, made by O.J. Simpson some 15 years back having something to do with how far he runs in a season. We were yelling 'Er-ic, Er-ic," until our throats were raw. I cheered and screamed so much. It was also the last season game except they won and get to go on playing. We drove home in the convertible with the top down. It was the greatest game!

From March 3, 1985

We awoke early this morning. Coco, Noni, and My Dad were going to take a balloon ride and we were going to watch. The balloon rides were given my a woman named Dawn who is a stunt-woman. She did stunts for the Steve Martin movie, The Jerk.

Dawn and her partner brought the balloon in a truck. They pulled it out and layed it on the ground. When she took down names of the ones who were going to fly, she said, "we have room for one more." Mom strode over to me and asked, "Do you really want to go up?" because, I had wanted to. "Yes," I said, and, finaly, she allowed me to.

Dawn and her partner began, then, to fill the balloon with air. It filled very quickly, puffing out, enlargening. It was soon fully filled and lying on its side, and then they warmed the air. Dawn pressed a button on a metal device at the top of the basket, and flames shot out of the device, up into the balloon. Slowly, the balloon began to rise, until it was floating above the basket, huge and colorful.

I stood and looked at it. It was huge, squares of rainbow colors running diagonally all over it. The basket looked rather small—very small, and Dawn stood inside it, occasionally turning on the gas to heat the air. We ran over to it, and grasped a strong hold onto the basket, to hold it down.

One by one, we boarded—Coco, Dad (holding his video camera in one hand), myself, Noni. Kathy filmed us from outside, and Dad from inside the basket. I grasped one corner and readied myself. I couldn't believe I was really going.

Thunder blasted above me, as the fire tumbled into the balloon, once again heating the air, and the others backed away from the balloon. Edina, Frankie, and Sal were shrieking things. Mom was yelling for me to "hold tight", as were others So, I hugged tightly to the strip of basket that descended to the balloon. But, I didn't feel at all scared. Excited, I did feel.

We lifted. I felt the gravity drain away. We ascended into the sky, the peoples, cars, houses below us getting smaller. Frankie was running after the balloon as we floated further up.

We began to move across the sky. The fog that had been spread across Canyon Lake was not here, in Peris. The mountains were smeared with snow on their pointed peaks, jutting upward like dunce caps. Canyon Lake, surrounded by hills, was filled with feathery white fog—a bowl filled with whipped cream. The cities below looked like toys—the cities of the train sets Dad and I were going to build, once, long ago.