Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus

Some stories about my father

When I was a kid, a game that my brothers and sisters and I loved to play with our dad is he would stand in the front yard, and kick a soccer ball over the house. We all would spread around the back yard, and wait for the distinctive sound, and look upward to see dot of the ball high over us, arcing over the house. It would land, bounce high again, and we all would race for it, to see who would get it first, and carry it to the front yard for him to kick again.

He would read to us. The books that stick the most in my memory are of him reading both of Alice novels, and the poetry of Shel Silverstein.

My dad had an old dusty blue 1940-something truck we all called "Old Blue". There was nothing "electronic" or "digital" anywhere about it. I remember many nights of holding a lamp and handing him tools as he worked on it. Especially the time he had to rebuild the clutch.

When my dad was a young man, he was a construction worker, specializing in building forms for concrete pours. He can still point at the parts of the US interstate highway system he helped build. One winter day, while hanging in a harness inspecting a bridge that was being built over Utah's Jordan River, something when wrong, and he was dropped into the river. When they hauled him out and warmed him back up, he says his first coherent thought was "Nice Warm Classroom". And so he went back to school, and worked hard and smart in those Nice Warm Classrooms, until he walked out with a PhD and then with a couple of years of teaching experience.

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