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Rated: E · Non-fiction · Biographical · #2298440
The day I took my dad to school for show and tell.
I have bright blue eyes like my dad. When he laughed, his eyes twinkled. When I was eight years old in the fourth grade, he came to school with me to show my class his homemade telescope and talk about being an amateur astronomer. The telescope’s tube was very long. It would not fit in either his or my mom’s cars. He agreed to carry his telescope to school which was around half a mile. We walked and talked on the way. He told me my first dirty joke:

“Two boys fell in the mud”.

In my classroom, he was a huge hit. I beamed with pride as he gave a talk about the moon, planets, and constellations. They kept their eyes fixed on him. Throughout the year their position in the sky changed, he said. He pointed out how to identify specific constellations. His favorite was Cassiopeia which formed a “W” with five very bright stars. In the end, his eyes were twinkling as he told the class how to find the big dipper in the New Jersey winter’s night sky.

It was a huge deal for my dad to come to school first thing in the morning. He worked evenings from 3:00pm-midnight in Manhattan, New York City. He would take a bus that picked him up two blocks away from our house to the Port Authority bus station across the George Washington Bridge. From there he took the subway to the Empire State Building where he worked as a radio personality. My mom would drive the thirteen miles to the commuter parking lot, on the New Jersey side of the bridge, at midnight to pick him up. Buses did not run that late. He gave up some sleep to come to school with me. When he finished his presentation he left to walk home. For the rest of the day, I was the center of attention. All day kids came up to me telling me how super it was that my dad knew so much about the stars. I couldn’t wait to tell my mom. When I got home, a little after 3 pm, I told Mom how popular I was because Dad did such a good job. He had already left for work.

I remember it was Friday. I had to wait until he got up late on Saturday morning to tell him what the kids said. I told him, “I feel like a million bucks”. He used that phrase often. I learned a couple of things that Friday morning. Walking is great exercise. It can be done while carrying a telescope for half a mile. Volunteering to share your passion is rewarding. You can leave a lifetime impression on kids when you share your expertise. It is important to support your kids in school.

I don’t remember if I even thanked him for coming. We shared our story many times. It is touching as I picture my dad awkwardly carrying his big telescope. I continue to express how I feel like a million bucks about one thing or another.

My ten-year-old grandson went to the drive-in theatre last Friday night. When he came home he said that being at the drive-in made him feel like a million bucks. I nodded my head and looked at him with a twinkle in my blue eyes.
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