A promise kept

Hey Dad, they’re playing your song.  “What song?”, my dad shot back quizzically.  “This one.  Here, turn it up.” Off our rockers, actin’ crazy And with the right medications we won’t be lazy Doin’ the Old Folks Boogie, down on the farm Wheelchairs, they were locked arm-in-arm. Paired off pacemakers with matching alarms Give us one more chance to spin one more yarn.  And you know that you’re over-the-hill When your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill. Old Folks Boogie, and boogie we will ‘cause to us, the thought’s as good as the thrill. “Ha! That’s a good one”, my dad says.  “But I promised myself that I would jump off that bridge and I have every intention of keeping it.” We were traveling south on I-65 from Culver, Indiana to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.  In the car was my dad, two of my brothers and me, part of a caravan carrying 11 of us to our destination, and we were listening to the radio while we passed the time.  It was the occasion of my dads’ 90th birthday and we were headed to Lawrenceburg because there, from an abandoned train trestle, my dad intended to jump 240 feet toward the Kentucky river with his ankles tied to a bungee cord. “He wants to do what?” was the reply of most people when they were told. But those of us who know him weren’t surprised at all.  On his 80th birthday he jumped out of an airplane.  Always an athlete, he played tennis well into his 80’s.  Typical of stories he’s told over the years is one in which he climbed to the top of the state Capitol in Springfield, Illinois when he was a state Senator there.  He and a colleague crawled out a service window in the dome and made their way up to the very top where the Illinois flag was anchored to the peak.  I… | Read More »