Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bad-Ass Country Dad?

I wasn't allowed to shoot my Stevens 20-gauge until I was eight years old.
So, I'm no wilting flower. I grew up in Missouri where everyone I knew had shotguns and rifles. In fact, our definition of gun control was "hittin' what you're aimin' at" and my dad bought me my first shotgun, a Stevens 20-gauge, when I was two years old. (Don't worry. I wasn't allowed to shoot it until I was eight.) I was a competitive high school athlete who'd been offered letters of intent to play football and baseball at a number of Midwest colleges and I even got a hand-written letter from the fabled Yale University football coach, Carm Cozza. Even now, I
Old School: New York Giants
workout five days a week and, at 6' and 224 1/2, as of this morning, I'm built like a New York Giants defensive back. Of course, I'm about as quick as a Galapagos tortoise, so my dream of a career as a professional athlete is just a speck in the rear view mirror.


So, I'm a healthy guy. So, what?


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A few weeks ago, my daughter said she was going out. I asked, "Where are you going, dear?"

She answered, "Dad, I'm 17-years old. I can take care of myself."

I responded, "I know you're a responsible young lady, but I care about you. It's extremely unlikely that anything will happen. If there is any problem, though, I want to know where to find you."

I continued, "I'm a grown man, but when I go to a place I've never been before or if I meet someone I've never met before, like the first time I go on a date with a woman or a business meeting, do you know what I do?"

"No. What?"

"I call or text (my oldest friend) Billy, and tell him the name of the person I'm meeting, the address, and anywhere else I plan to go."

"Really?" my daughter asked.

"Yes, Sweetie. Every time," I started. "I do it just in case some really crazy thing happens like an accident or a misunderstanding or something else, I want someone who I trust to know where I am and help me out. Billy knows where I am because I know he has my back. Because I love you, your sister, and your brother, I have your back. I need to make sure everything is covered. Get it?"

My daughter said, "I'll be at Emma's house. The address is . . . "