Thursday, June 9, 2011

Memories Of My Father

My spindly legs dangle absentmindedly off the bottom bunk of the bunk bed. It was Michigan or Wisconsin or somewhere close to Chicago. I gently lean back on my wrists almost touching my father who is lying comfortabley next to me. He pulls on my arm and I fall backwards and land in position next to him.

We chat easily. I am six years old and this is my first trip alone with him. I watched earlier in the day as he stood at the podium. What seemed like thousands of Men and boys had gathered each in groups of twenty around the room. All wearing leather vests with patches and little halo's of feathers.

It was called Indian Guides...a chance for fathers and sons to spend time with other fathers and sons. To this day I can't remember exactly what we did at those meetings. Once my friend Chris and I had a contest to see who could drink the most punch. At the end my father had to pick me up and run to the bathroom so I didn't vomit on the floor.

Every year the Indian Guides would pack up and go to a special regional meeting. Usually somewhere in the Midwest. And this was my first year. My dad had somehow been elected the "Regional Chief". So while the other kids stood by their fathers I watched mine speak at the lectern. He finished the business of the afternoon and we adjourned to our cabins for rest.

Lying in bed next to my father I feel sweet fatigue wash over me. We talk about the meeting. At one point there was a shouting contest between the different "tribes". I think ours is the loudest but my father, the judge, has not yet made up his mind.

I drift off.

And to this day I have few other memories of that weekend. Few other memories of my father for that matter.

I would return to the cabin a year later for the next meeting. This time I was accompanied by my uncle.

In the interim...ofcourse....

my father had died.

1 comment:

rlbates said...

You write so beautifully, Jordan.