Every kid deserves a dad like I had.
There is nothing like having a garage sale to clean out your storage areas and bring back memories.
I went back to Oklahoma last weekend to help my mom and brother with a garage sale like few others that have ever been held.
My dad was a bit of a collector. He didn’t collect a lot of things most people would want but he did collect a lot of stuff. Thanks to his janitorial business, he needed vacuum cleaners and had to be able to keep them running. Because of that, there were about 20 Kirby vacuum cleaners in the sale. A few ran but most were still there just for parts. I enjoyed watching the faces when people would see the forest of vacuum cleaners when they walked into the yard.
Then they saw the huge boxes of ink pens and pencils. Dad kept as many as he found interesting. Pens in every size, shape and color of the rainbow were available for shoppers to choose.
And don’t get me started on the mason jar collection he purchased a few decades ago and stored neatly in the attic – a collection that my brother had the pleasure of pulling out of the attic and trying to sell.
The only thing I know about mason jars is that they are made of glass, but I enjoyed reading the notes on masking tape affixed to each one explaining why it was special.
But thanks to being a little late to the party and some ill-timed rain showers, my helpfulness was limited this weekend.
So I spent a good deal of time entertaining my boys.
As I stood in the back yard pitching to Dawit and working with him on his swing, I couldn’t help but flash back to my dad pitching to me and my friends in that same spot. I remembered being Dawit’s age – trying as hard as I could to hit that ball.
One of my favorite memories from those times was my dad teaching my friend Stanton to bat. It was years after he learned to hit and became a good Little League player that we realized Stanton was left handed, but had learned to bat right handed simply because we didn’t have a left handed batter’s box in the yard and my dad didn’t know he was a southpaw.
To this day, Stanton still plays golf right handed because that is how he learned to swing.
As I thought about that and saw everything in the yard I had a real wake-up call.
When he died, my dad had a lot of things that he enjoyed that didn’t mean much to anyone other than garage sale shoppers looking to spend a quarter.
But the memories of him pitching to me and my friends, going to my games and being there to support me will always have value.
There are about 360 shopping days left until next Father’s Day. But I think a wise man would realize that Father’s Day comes around seven times every week.
Every kid deserves a dad like I had. It is up to all of us fathers to give them one.
Spend a little extra time with your kids and do your best to enjoy it more than they do.
I bet you can’t.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org