Monthly Archives: June 2015

DSC00007 (2)

Cool Dad


Scan0005 (2)

My father’s name was James Vernon Huddleston. He was a non-athletic, bookish sort who worked in an office for the State of Michigan. As a small child, I wasn’t all that impressed with my father. He was a nice man. A funny man. However, he wasn’t very flashy nor did he have the sort of job a kid could brag about to her friends. The coolest thing he had was a vehicle with an emblem of the State of Michigan on the door. One night each week my father would dress up in a U.S. Naval uniform and drive off to “the navy station”. I remember telling kids in the neighborhood that he was a cop one night a week. A sort of super hero all dressed up in his official looking uniform in his official looking vehicle.

When I was around seven or eight I was racing another child on the sidewalk in front of our houses on bikes. Being the third of three daughters mine was a hand-me-down bike…the sort of bike where the chain was constantly falling off and such. During the race the brakes on my bike locked and I went soaring headfirst over the handlebars to land flat on my back on the sidewalk. I was stunned. I remember raising my head from the sidewalk and watching my father leap from the cement porch…clearing all three steps in a single bound. It was like a slow motion movie reel. I don’t know whether I said this out loud or not, but I know it went through my mind.

“Cool, Dad.”

In that instant my father had shaken off Clark Kent and flown to his child’s side as Superman. Unfortunately, I lost my father one month after I turned twenty. I miss him and all of the stories he never told me; about his years in the Navy during World War II…about what really went on at “the navy station”…about the dreams he had for himself and for his family. I regret all the questions I never asked. He was a nice man. A funny man. Kind of nerdy. James Vernon Huddleston was a cool dad.


jurassic parkI am woman…hear me roar…unless there’s a spider on the floor.

In that event I flee in search of a hero or a flamethrower. Recently I was working late on one of my authoring endeavors in the computer room. It was around eleven when I shut down the computer, swung around in the chair, and inhaled like an extra in a horror movie. Stomping across the floor and headed right for me was a spider the size of one of the creatures in Jurassic Park. I ran to the side of my own personal hero, my sleeping husband, Fred. 

Jostling a foot I croaked, “I’m sorry to wake you. But…seriously…there is a humongous spider in the computer room. I’m surprised the trembling earth didn’t wake you.” Fred is well aware of my out-of-control terror whenever I encounter an air-breathing arthropod. He did not hesitate. He leapt from the bed and went into the bathroom for spider slaying equipment. I huddled in the bedroom doorway quaking with fear.

 Fred came out armed with a can of hairspray and one little dinky shred of tissue. I shook my head, “That’s not going to cut it. You could slap a saddle on this thing.”

Undeterred he asked, “Where is it?”

I crossed the house heading for the still-lighted computer room. I managed to point through the doorway. The beast was as I had left it; hulking and leering from the middle of the room; its shadow twice as large as the creature itself. Fred blasted it with hairspray. It bucked and staggered. I shrieked. A couple of stabs at the floor with the tissue, and the hairy beast had been slain.

 If I ever have to battle one of these eight legged foes alone, that unlucky spider is going to go into the spider hereafter sprayed as solid as Lot’s wife ever was; unscented, of course.