5T. Iowa-Michigan 1985 – Watched it at the old house. Iowa was down 10-9. We drove to down to kick a fg. My dad is between the radio with Jim Zabel going nuts, and the tv and brent musberger. The kick was up, and good! Iowa went nuts. After the game my brother and I were outside playing catch in the dark.
5T. 1987 Class A State Championship football game. 20-17. Scoreboard! That whole playoff run sticks in my head. The 1st game in Garwin. Second game in Boone, Semifinal back in Garwin in the rain storm and mud. The 1st half down 14-0, then the comeback to force ot. Then after giving up a FG to go down 17-14, we got the ball. On the first play Robbie went off left tackle and dove over the pylon for the game winner from 20 yards out. Just like the last play of the first game that year. GMG – STATE CHAMPS!
4. Summers in Clear Lake. It was something that my mom and aunt did when they were little and it got passed on to us. We'd go up for a week. Sometimes it'd be with my cousins, sometimes I'd take a friend. My brother and sister and cousins, when we'd get together it was always a blast. And then also my grandparents would show up. We'd swim, throw the football around, play mini golf, and big boy golf when we got older. Fish. It was the best. Loved those days.
3. 6th Grade, the day Mr Samek pulled me aside one day during class. At this time in the 3rd quarter I was struggling with grades in about all classes. I had glasses, and braces. Felt really great about my self! I let what people thought of me affect me a lot. Didn't really have many friends. We went over and looked at my grade. Was in the D range. About the same for most classes but Math and Social Studies. Those were about C. Well Mr Samek talked to me and said once thing to me. "You're Better than this, you know that, I know that" From that day on, I didn't care what people thought of me, wasn't going to let it bother me. I found a friend in Andy. Hung out with him a lot, learned how to study. And had fun. 4th Quarter I had all A's in all classes. Got named Student of the 4th quarter, and from there on out I was an A or B student. In HS I won the computer science award my senior year, was on the QuizBowl and Knowledge Masters team. Thank you Samek.
2. March 17, 1992….Feb 28, 1995. Until those days, I never had a person close to me pass away. My grandfathers died those day. I remember the night before my first gpa died. My other grandma came to stay with me while my parents rushed to the hospital. The next morning I woke up my mom told me. I didn’t cry a lot. I expected it. At the funeral I didn’t cry either. I kind of knew he was at peace. Since his stroke he was in a nursing home and couldn’t do the things he loved. Go to HS basketball games and sit in “HIS” corner spot. Played checkers with us. He never smiled much in pictures, but there is one picture of me and him that he is smiling that I have. I remember at his last bday party, something happened and I could just tell in his face, he was uncomfortable.
Feb 28th, my dad’s birthday. Just got done eating supper, and my grandma called my mom. Said we are losing him. By the time we got the 3 blocks to her house, he was gone. I remember just standing in my grandma’s kitchen giving my mom what seemed like a 5 minute hug. I didn’t cry a lot that night, again it was expected. That night when the rest of my family showed up. We were all in his bedroom with him laying there. I remember my younger cousin crying. My aunt crying. Then talking to our minister. At the funeral I cried my eyes out, when the minister said “he’s not gone, he’s just there with a sign on the door that says ‘Gone Fishing’”.
1. Any Saturday with my dad, getting up going to the Amana’s for breakfast, getting to Kinnick an hour before the game. Watching warm-ups, the band, the game. After the game listening to Soundoff on the way home. Checking for scores to see how we did on our weekly picks. Getting home and grilling supper and watching the late night game. I don’t know if they had as much impact on him as they did me but those were about the closest moments my dad and I have had. Our relationship is strained, not what I want the relationship with my son to be. I wish it were different, but we are 2 different people and different personalities. I got a little bit of that back with the trip to New York City in 2008. I don’t know if we’ll have another moment like that. But one can hope.