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The Cody Blog: 60, Going on 42

Monday, March 14, 2005

60, Going on 42

It’s better to rust than it is to fade away – Neil Young

My father turned sixty on Sunday. Sixty – wow. Ever notice how we sorta just get stuck in a particular age at some point in our lives? My father – he’s actually 42. I don’t care what the official number is.

When I was probably four or five (and my older brother seven or eight), my father told us that if we could ever beat him in a game of one on one in hoops before we graduated high school, he’d give us $100 on the spot (we counted all things in best-2-out-of-3 in my house – so as to keep the fluke aspect in check). Well, my brother was never much of a hoopster, but when I was thirteen my pops and I were in a heavy duty game of one-on-one when I got hot. He was up 9 to 4, but I ran off 7 points in a row to win. He wasted me in the next game and was up a quick 9 to 3 in the rubber match.

Alas, I got hot again, baby and rallied to tie the game. He score and I scored and we kept trading baskets to the point until I finally took the lead 23 to 22 – my first lead of the game. Oh, boy, my dad was sweating!

He tried to D me up like Moses Malone – which given the fact that I was like 5’3” and 75 pounds vs. his 6’1” and 180 pounds is not too much of a stretch. Alas, I made a move to the right and then crossed over to the left and, as I fell off the side of the court into the rocks and grass in our backyard, I launched the ball with my best fadeaway jumper.

I didn’t even need to look up. The feelings in my arms and hands told me that I’d nailed it. And I heard the swish through the net and the groan from my father. I’d gotten him.

He paid up too, and that $100 went straight into a new pair of the first red and black Air Jordans that I wore on the 8th grade basketball team (they’d asked me to skip my final year of Little League to play on the middle school team). I loved those shoes! And I love my father!

There are many more reasons to the 42 year old age that I consider my father is now and probably will consider him to be forever – working at the farm, riding horses (over my protests), putting up US flags around the city for the Lion’s Club at 6am on holidays, watching Hill Street Blues, playing nerf catch in the living room (oh, you shoulda heard my mom holler), getting the business for losing my jacket, and another jacket, and another jacket and my wallet and…you get the point, winning the Super Bowl and the Little League Basketball championships with my father coaching, playing on the same teams in tournaments in Mescalero, watching him win and win and win Softball championships (did you actually finally retire from that game at some point, Pop – when was that…when it went slow pitch?), driving on his lap in the car and in the van, opening fences for on ranches and chasing the behind the truck to see “how fast can I run, Dad?” on the way to large animal house calls….

I guess you’d take the sum of most of my experiences when I lived at home until I was eighteen, and you end up with an average age of my father of about 42. So, Dad, maybe your driver’s license says that you’re 60. But you’ll always be 42 to me.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

3 Comments:

Anonymous docjoc said...

Mo,
I played basketball last night too. Four on four. Five games to 11, 5 wins. One girl (college player), one so so player, one good player and a 60 year old. When Cody was here and we played together at a Juco tryout or in weekend tourneys in our area, I always felt we couln't lose and most times we didn't.
I played raquetball today and won two and lost two. I don't plan on quiting until I can't walk. Worked today from 7:30am until 6:00pm. Won't retire in the next 5-10 years. Heck, I just figured out was I was doing a few years ago.
Cody and I had many good times during my last 32 years and a few disappointments. I wouldn't trade them for anything. DAD.

3/14/2005 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous JP Laqueur said...

Dude:

Nice tribute to your Dad. It's always nice to see people unafraid to express these kinds of emotions.

I wish mine Dad was still around so I could do something similar in appreciation of him. I wish he could have seen his grandson. I wish he could have shared in my joy and success as an entrepreneur.

You are lucky that you still have yours. Enjoy every moment brother...

JPL

3/15/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous e willard said...

How many points will your Dad and I have to spot you and my dad this year?

Happy Birthday Uncle! Maddox is starting to show some signs of that "southpaw magic" genetics!

Can you say 2025 AL Cy Young winner?!

3/21/2005 02:52:00 PM  

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