I only knew my daddy for seventeen years. And of those years I only remember a dozen. Not a long time to get to know somebody.
What I most remember of him is his laughter. Daddy was a knee slapper. He When he laughed it was loud and hard. He put all himself into his laughter.
After he was gone I learned more things. Things that took place before I was born. Some of what I learned surprised me.
I knew Daddy had wanted to fly airplanes. For a short time he actually had a pilot's license. That was before I was born. By the time his second child was born he had lost it. To keep a license one must fly so many hours at month or something. That costs money. After he got married Daddy never had much of that.
All of that I knew. How Daddy had taken his mother, his step-father, and Ranlen up to fly. Ranlen was about two. He was sitting on grandma's lap, having a great time. And then grandma told him to look out the window. Up to that moment Ranlen had thought they were on the ground. Once he realized he was in the sky he threw up. All over grandma.
The piece of information I found most amazing I only learned last year. Daddy had wanted to go gold mining in Alaska. Mother didn't even try to stop him. "Go ahead. Go." That was her response. He was packed and ready to go. Then, the night before he was to leave, he changed his mind.
Now I know where I inherited my fear of trying something new comes from.