Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Hey, dad, you’re the greatest

June 11, 2003

I was reminded during this past week that it's way overdue for me to write about one of those other special people in my life. That would be my dad, Gene Myrick.

Of course, it's timely with Father's Day Sunday and all, but honest to goodness that's reall y not the reason. There are several.

Last week I got an e-mail from my brother Tim who was gushing about the column I had written about my boys, Brett and Anth, recently. Those compliments continue to come in like never before.

It made me think of somet hing my dad has always told me -- that I'm such a better father than he was. "Ha," is what I've always said to that. He's always said he's amazed by how much I've always done with my boys, etc., etc.

While I thank him for that -- and it does feel awfully good -- I also point out to him that these are different times than when he was raising me. An example of that is back then there was summer baseball. That was it. He coached one of the teams I was on.

With Brett and Anthony, there was of course summer bas eball, but there was track, football, basketball, you name it. Yes, I've always taken a great deal of interest in my boys, but he did, too. That's why he raised a surgeon, a nuclear engineer, a publisher and a marketing marvel. Sometimes he just can't see that.

No, my dad is as good a person as walks on this earth. It wasn't just raising four kids, either. The support he has provided over the years and the grandfather he has been have only solidified that.

But it was one of those "small world" items tha t happened over the weekend that really hit me like a 2-by-4 that it was high time I wrote something about him.

It was on a trip to Beaver Lake, which is near Rogers, Ark., where this one came along. I had heard about the neighbors down there, but had ne ver met them. On Saturday I got to meet Joe and Karen Kelley and, yes, all the stories were true. What a pair. We went boating Saturday afternoon and I set limb lines with Joe that night. Hadn't done that for years.

The next day they pulled up to the dock and their daughter, Cheryl Hays, was with them. She had just moved back to Arkansas. We were chatting about this and that and she mentioned kids in Liberal, Kan. Well, I was a kid in Liberal, so naturally I asked her about it.

She explained that she'd lived in Liberal for the past 12 years. She was asked if she knew any Myricks. She said, "Sure, Gene Myrick." Well, we about fell over, of course. I said "That's my dad." She about fell over.

She want on to say what a wonderful man he was and how he had helped her in so many ways, most notably when her house had burned down. They had been in Kiwanis together and she just went on and on.

Yes, the "small world" item was overwhelming enough. To meet someone purely by chance that not only knew my dad, but h ow wonderful a person he is even more than that. I wasn't surprised to hear those things. I was just surprised how it happened.

Happy Father's Day, dad. You're the greatest.

  • **
  • Although the Beaver Lake trip was great, it wasn't all perfect. At about 1:30 a.m. Sunday I woke up with a toothache to die for. Actually, I was hoping maybe I would die. I slugged down aspirin after waking up every two hours. Then, when sunrise did finally come, the view in the mirror wasn't pretty.

It was definitely an absce ss and I had a cheek the size of Texas. Luckily Fred, who works in the pharmacy, had some horse-pill sized ibuprofens that took care of the pain. I was just ugly.

The only reason I bring that one up is for all the folks that may have seen me Monday or T uesday. Yes, it wasn't a pretty sight. Yes, I've heard about as many squirrel-going-home-with-food and tobacco chewing jokes than I care to shake a stick at.

After several days with antibiotics and pain pills, the abscess is making enough progress for the nex t bunch of fun. I have an appointment with the oral surgeon Friday.

Oh, boy, I can't wait. But, I figure the relief will make this a Father's Day to remember. I certainly know I'll never forget the weekend before, which just so happened to be my dad's birthday. Hmmm. Too many coincidences on this one..

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