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Happy Father’s Day! June 17, 2007

Posted by jojoe in Personal.

In 8th grade I played basketball for the T.H. Rogers Rams.  We won one game the entire year, but we had a lot of fun as a team.  Anyway, we were playing a tournament at Revere Middle School and Dad was sitting in the stands.  Dad was always in the stands.  If he missed a game that year, it was only one or two.  He was always there to cheer us on.

The game was pretty early in the evening and the crowd was pretty sparse.   There was really very little noise coming from the stands.  In the midst of the silence, at no particular point in the game, the ref missed a call, and Dad stood up and yelled, “How about a foul there Homer!”  Everyone on the floor stopped what they were doing and looked at my Dad.  I think they were trying to process what a Homer was (a ref who was favoring the home team – this was pre-Homer Simpson).  This made a huge impression on my teammates.  From that point on, in the school hallways or on the bus to a game, someone might randomly say, “How about a foul there Homer!”  To this day, if I said those magic words to George or Ken, they would be transported to that game at Revere some 25 years ago.

Just to be clear, this isn’t one of those “parents embarassing their teenagers” stories.  I remember that strange, abrupt cry from the stands fondly.  It is part of the fabric that was a very fun basketball season.  And it is special that Dad is interwoven into those memories as he is.  He was always there for me.  He was a good Dad.