This page is the result of a suggestion made by a friend. I'll be adding stories as I think of them... Thanks Nancy.
The Tree Climber
We once had a cat who had a litter of six. For some reason, one of them bonded to me like I was his mother. Any time he'd see me he'd quickly forget whatever he was doing and run directly to me.
One day he climbed a very tall pine tree and couldn't get down. Cats are great at climbing UP trees but it's a different story coming down...they become fraidy cats.
The kids tried to coax him down for an hour or so and finally called me at work. I swear, as soon as I walked up to the tree and called him he came down immediately.
I'd like to think his attachment to me overcame his fear of heights.
Grieving For Satan
Our dog Satan had been hit by a car and died. My oldest son Johnny was about 10 at the time and was crushed by this, even more than the rest of us. He was absolutely heartbroken and I'm not exaggerating.
I had a talk with him alone and gave him what has since become known as my "time heals all wounds speech" because it worked for him so I used it a couple of more times in later years.
I told him that I knew how bad he felt, that we all did. I explained to him that as bad as he felt at the moment; eventually, over time, it would get so that he would be able to think and talk about Satan and not feel the hurt that he was feeling back when it happened, and that he would even feel good about the memories he had of him.
The whole talk took about 10 minutes and he went outside to join his brothers and sisters.
Less than an hour later he came running into the house and shouted "Dad, you were right!" I had no idea what he was talking about and when I asked him exactly what it was that I was right about he said, "You know. . . what you told me about Satan."
This story got me to wondering; does the Guinness World Record Book have a "shortest grieve time" category?
The Knockwurst Caper
In 1970 my two oldest, Johnny and Diane, were 5 and 6 respectively. We had just come back from grocery shopping and had bought some knockwurst for the very first time.
One of them asked what they were and I don't know why, but out of my mouth came, "Pregnant hot dogs, and from the looks of them I'd say they're very close to having their babies. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they were here by tomorrow."
When the kids went to bed I went back to the store and bought some tiny "Smokey Joe" sausages. I put them in with the knockwurst, wrapped it all up and waited.
Real early the next morning my wife and I were still in bed when all of a sudden both Diane and Johnny came thundering up the hallway and burst into the room shouting, "The hot dog babies are here!. . . The hot dog babies are here!"
I was fairly certain that would be the first thing on their minds when they woke up and they didn't disappoint me.
In 1977 we were living in Jaffrey, a small town in southern New Hampshire. One evening, during summer vacation, the town held a fun night at one of the schools. The night included a "Gong Show" talent contest with first prize being a jar filled with pennies, 1977 of them to be exact.
All contestants, which included both grownups and children, performed on the auditorium stage. Some sang, some danced and some played musical instruments.
My two daughters; Diane, who has a wonderful singing voice, and Dena, who doesn't, were 13 and 6 respectively. They decided to enter the contest, and since both of them were fans of Donny & Marie Osmond who were very popular at the time, Diane decided on �Dandelion� and Dena went with �A My Name is Alice�.
Diane went on immediately before her sister and Dena was waiting in the wings on the right side of the stage. She could be seen by anyone sitting from around the center section to the far left. That included my wife and me and our three other kids.
As Diane was singing, the crowd on the left side started laughing and at first we didn't know why because we thought she was singing beautifully. She still does.
A quick glance over to the right where Dena was waiting told the story. She had a finger buried halfway up one of her nostrils, picking away like there was no tomorrow.
Diane made it through her song like a pro and then it was Dena's turn. When she walked out onto the stage she received a round of applause (strangely enough, most of it came from the left side). She made it part of the way into her song and then sang the same line twice, realized her mistake, hesitated for a few seconds and said, . . . . �Oops!�.
The audience burst into laughter and gave her another round of applause. The rest is history and I'm proud to say that neither one of my girls got "gonged" that night.
Oh! . . . . Guess who won the pennies?
You got it. . . . . Dena!
I have a feeling I'll be in a bit of trouble when Dena sees this on the WWW but I'm pretty sure I'll be forgiven. . . . . eventually.
Update: I just found out from Dena that she thought for years that she had been on the real "Gong Show" and had even told a few people that she was.