A letter to my first grandson
Happy birthday to you, Dave Dial, on the occasion of your upcoming 36th birthday anniversary.
There is something to be said for memories
Written by Duane Bradford. Last updated Wednesday October 12th, 2011
By DUANE BRADFORD
Even in this twilight stage, my sluggish grey cells apparently have no difficulty generating cherished times during the last three and a half decades since you came into our lives.
• Of the pleasant times when I could rock you to sleep. You seemed to be enjoying it in a true state of bliss. I rocked myself asleep, too.
• Of hearing your exclamations upon first seeing a distant Statue of Liberty from our passing car on the way to a visit in Boston.
• Of the time when you thrilled at driving my beige (Jefferson County mud color) Volkswagen pickup truck around the pasture. You were pretty good, and your eyes were open as wide as golf balls.
• Of, in younger years, when we jogged together on our country road one November evening as a giant lemon Harvest Moon peeked up over the tops of trees ahead of us.
• Of your welcomed skills at picking grapes from our vineyard.
• Of you and your godfather, Jim Purks, posing together for me in our vineyard more than a quarter-century ago.
• Of, as your loyal sports fan gallery of two, Grandma and I watching your eight-year-old leg punch a football 49 yards to win in that Punt, Pass & Kick contest category.
• Of the glorious times you and I had on our Florida spring training baseball junket in our motor home. How great to meet you at the train station. For me, that baseball orgy was a dream of fantasy, in some measure made memorable by the wonderful spaghetti dinner we had at the Arnones one evening and the fact that we were on our own time schedule for whatever we wanted to do.
• Of your excited stories about yakking with St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Tony Pena in the Cardinals clubhouse and suiting up as a Cardinals Bat Boy - arranged by Luis Alicea.
• Of watching your startled reaction when, while we were playing catch, I threw a slow knuckleball to you. I did this once to your Uncle Neal, and the ball ended squarely on his forehead. Years later, watching with delight as you turned high school batters into acrobats trying, with little success, to contact your knuckle curve ball pitch.
• Of the great help you gave to me in installing the loft railing in our house. It’s still there. Neat, huh?
• Of coffee houses. Grandma and I counted five (Can that be right?) where we followed you to enjoy your professional barista skills and vibrant conversation about the day’s events.
• Of your obvious photographic skill evidenced by, among other images, your pictures made of the Eiffel Tower and a quiet street at start of day in New Orleans.
• Of your very clever Paris poem from the park bench. You should write every day.
• Of watching you shoot videos of a big lightning storm as we drove on our way back from Key West (where your Little League baseball team eventually held heads low). We still have those videos.
• Of listening to your first piano recital when your feet might not have reached the piano pedals. Later, watching the movement of your fingers and listening to the keyboard music you had created. Don’t stop. You owe it to your daughter-to-be.
• Of hearing you, a true raconteur, tell of your adventures on a trans-continental train trip or of missing flights or animatedly reciting long stretches of movies to we who had not seen the movie - or maybe we had, but had missed a far less colorful script.
So on October 23, 2011, when you celebrate your 36th birthday anniversary, thank you for the gift to us of these and many more such memories.