Ken Beaton: Create memories with your father
Unless you’re a dad you probably forgot today is Father’s Day. Now you’re in a panic, you haven’t bought a card or a gift for your dad! How about giving your father the best gift ever? Your time. Think about it. When you give the gift of your time, you don’t have to be concerned, is it the right size or color, did I spend too little or too much? Trust me, I answer to Dad, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa. Spend time with your dad. Don’t you dare be in a hurry to leave.
The end of May last year I was visiting my daughter, Kathy, my son-in-law, Matt, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Massachusetts. After greeting me when I arrive at their home, Kathy told me, “Don’t make any plans for Sunday, May 28, 2017. You’re getting your Father’s Day gift early. I have two Right Field Box seat tickets to the Sox vs. the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park!”
Kathy and Matt are friends with a couple who have two season tickets to the Sox home games. When their friends can’t attend, they sell the tickets. Kathy bought their tickets to the Sunday game.
My first thought was, how long has it been since I’ve attended a game at Fenway? It’s been 38 years since I’d seen the Sox play in Boston.
We left at 11 a.m. Sunday. Kathy drove to the T station in Revere, “Wonderland,” and parked the car. From 1958-1961, I commuted to school in Boston riding the T. All those memories came back to me, where to stand so that when the subway car stops, the door opens in front of me. How to stand so I didn’t lose my balance when the subway car stopped! I surprised myself remembering all the station names.
We arrived home at 7 p.m. having spent eight hours sharing the complete professional ball park experience, a couple of beers, a hot dog, singing “Sweet Caroline,” the seventh inning stretch and cheering for the Sox! (The Sox lost). Eight hours with my first-born, PRICELESS!
I’ve been fortunate to have other special moments. In 1990 I drove my two youngest, Pam and Paul, to Oakland, Calif. We had box seats in the Coliseum’s right field with about 75 other Sox fans. Before the game, we watched Roger Clemens throw his warm-up pitches. I was intimidated as I listened to the baseball hit the catcher’s mitt. I thought a buffalo rifle was being discharged! Clemens pitched a 3 to 2 win for the Sox.
After the game, it was no big deal that my car battery was DEAD! In a minute one of several pickup trucks employed by the Coliseum gave me a jump start. When your team wins, a five-hour ride home is a happy time. The next day, we had a funeral for the dead battery as I bought a new battery.
In December 1991, the four of us flew to Boston to spend Christmas with my wife’s parents and visit with relatives. I bought three tickets and took Pam and Paul to a Bruins home game at the original Boston Garden. That was the night Paul became an ardent Bruins fan. One of the Boston’s goals was absolutely unbelievable! Bourque (the French spelling), a defenseman for the Bruins, took a vicious slapshot from the Bruins’ blue line to score the winning goal for the Bruins. The Boston Garden went WILD!
Traditions are big in sports. Fenway Park is the oldest and the smallest baseball park. The Boston Garden, before it was replaced by Fleet Center, had five Boston Bruins Stanley Cup flags and 16 Boston Celtic NBA Championship flags hanging in the rafters.
Speaking for myself, traveling down memory lane was great. Ask your dad questions about himself to learn what he went through in his lifetime. Remember, take every advantage you have to spend time with your dad. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Someday all you’ll have are memories.
Ken Beaton of Carson City contributes periodically to the Nevada Appeal.