My Dad's Eulogy

By: Lee Rector

I've always been great with dogs. I mean GREAT with dogs!

Every dog that I have ever come in contact with has related to me. Instantly!

I know how to talk to dogs.

Well, there were two times I screwed up.

Both times I was bit.

Once by a Chihuahua. Once by a St. Bernard.

I've not been so lucky with people ... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Both times I was bit by dogs, I was drunk.

And the paradox is ... it was by the smallest ... and the largest.

I was 12 and my Dad and I were returning home from the greatest trip of my childhood.

No holes bared.

Just Dad and I having the greatest time I ever had with my Dad.

It was 1960 and after much preparation we headed out in a brand new Corvette for East Bearskin Lake in Minnesota.

I can still remember the crack of the seal on the Vodka bottle when he prepared for his favorite drink..

We were returning home ... on our drive back to Kansas City when he stopped and bought a six pack of Hamms Beer. There was a cooler at my feet and we slipped the six-pack into the cold awaiting icy water.

"Can I have one of them?" I asked. It's only 3.2.

Strange, reflecting today, that at the age of 12 I knew the difference between a 3.2% alcohol beer and a 5.0.

"Yeah," He said as we pulled away from the gas station.

We were still passing the roadside stands where smoked Walleye were vended.

The crack of the beer can opener was heard and I passed the first to my Dad.

Onward we blazed down the highway with the rush of summer air swirling around us, rumpling our hair.

"Crack," again. I opened another can.

I took a sip of mine. After all, my Dad was a marathon drinker, and I could drink too.

Soon, it was empty and I wanted another. I asked, and he agreed, and beer number two was funneled into my 85 pound body.

By the time I had completed beer number three; the gas tank was smelling empty. My Dad never let a tank go below 1/4.

We pulled into a gas station and stopped at the pump.

When I got out of the car, I realized that I was feeling weird.

I had to go to the bathroom.

After I pissed at the side door, I came into the main entrance of the filling station.

There, in a little basket was the cutest dog I had ever seen. A tiny little thing that from observation just begged me for petting.

I reached toward the dog and retracted instantly. The little prick bit me!

In the blur I remember hearing the owner's wife saying something, but I was not to be intimidated by a dog. I loved dogs.

I reached over again. And the little son-of-a-bitch snapped again.

The weirdness of my condition began to settle down upon me. I was drunk. Suddenly I realized it.

We got back into the car and drove away and I passed out.

Hours later we were about an hour's drive from home.

My Dad stopped at a roadside cafe.

We were in the parking lot and he asked me if I was OK.

"I think I drank too much, Dad," I said.

"I think you did, too," he replied. "Are you going to be OK?"

"Yeah, I'm going to be alright," I said.

"Well let's get something to eat."

He leaned closer to me.

"We're going to be home in about an hour," he confided.

"Don't ever tell your mom about this, OK?"

"I won't Dad."

A glow came upon me.

Finally my Dad and I had a secret. Something that we shared in confidence.

I smiled and said, "Let's get something to eat. I'm OK."

We went inside the restaurant and had breakfast at 9:00 p.m.

It was the closest moment I would ever have with Dr. Rector.

And I never told my Mom.

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Last Edited: 01/24/2002

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