Warning, or perhaps an incentive to read further. This is intensely personal. Stuff that I experienced on or about Father's Day. Stuff that is good anytime, but really good when one is seventy-six years of age and treasures special times. I sincerely hope that your life is full and that you have your own version of this experience.
So here goes....
5-9 p.m. Saturday night.
My wife, Diana, and I drove nearly 45 miles to a northern suburb, Georgetown (I like that name), to a "unique venue" out in the boonies named Williams Grove to hear our son play guitar with the Ed Klima band, now named "Resonator Road" since our son on lead guitar and a violinist have been added to singer/raconteur Klima and the stand-up bassist who are loooong time members of the senior troubadour's Americana group. The venue is a for-rent area of several acres, all leafy outdoors, with a nice stage. Weather was, thank Heavens, nearly perfect. The group entertained for four hours to a pretty nice crowd, and there was not a dull moment.
Williams Grove ... Saturday Night. Jimmy's on the left. Ed, the leader, is second from the right at the main microphone.
10-10:30 p.m. Saturday night and then 5-6 a.m. Sunday morning
Following the entertainment and a long drive home the previous night, I segued into my second pleasurable activity, a unique ham radio activity that involves Morse code on a frequency just barely above the AM radio band. Note, for you young readers, once there was a thing called AM radio, and it was not the sole province of religious broadcasters, foreign language music, right-wing angry talk radio, or sports. At present, the AM band, which amazingly most car radios still are equipped to receive, goes from 540 KiloHertz (KHz) up to 1690 KHz. The ham radio frequency starts at 1800 KHz, and goes nearly to 2000 KHz, so you see that any short wave activity on this band is similar to the conditions on the top end of the AM dial. Surprisingly, amateur radio operators using personal antennas and no more than 1,500 Watts, much less power than some AM stations, which also have professional antennas, can communicate to Europe or Japan using careful listening and good receivers. Now, back to where I probably left you, I got into this activity both late Saturday night (10-10:30 p.m.) and early (5-6 a.m.) Sunday morning, and "racked up" around 30 contacts in an hour and a half total, including one with a station in France! Very cool ... like being in a special club. Won't you be my friend, my special club members? (I'm channeling Mr. Rogers now). Okay, the early morning radioing took me to about 6 a.m, and I was awake with the help of a stiff cuppa java.
6:30-8:45 a.m. Sunday morning.
At six a.m, with first light getting stronger, I decided to change into my running stuff, and drive down to Lady Bird Lake in Austin to run the short loop, about 3.1 miles. Leaving home at 6:30, I arrived at the parking area a bit before seven, and was "off," if you can describe being off as shuffling along in a semi-coma until my old body loosened up. It helped the ol' bod since it was nearly 80 degrees with humidity to match. Gads! Somehow the run got a bit easier and I did the loop using a new, cool app that shows the route and the time. It (the run, not the app), was not fast, but it was decent; at least I started on two legs and ended up the same. Here are three shots from that run, and some of the reasons why Austin is attractively weird and nice.
From upper left: The tail, leafy and beautiful; Austin Skyline at sunrise; a lone harmonica player at 7 a.m.
Back to the car by 8 a.m. and home by 8:45 after grabbing a cappuccino for Diana on the way home, I staggered in to watch CBS Sunday Morning and both Face the Nation and Meet the Press, then fixed a simple breakfast for both us and relished reading the Father's Day cards that had arrived the days before. A shower and power nap ensued (a long one ... nap that is ... over two hours, but well deserved IMHO!). Not a bad Father's Day. I hope yours was as nice as well.
Cheers. Enjoy life, it's the only one we have.
Please feel free to post a comment here on the blog, or email me directly at <email@example.com> with any remarks.
I would much appreciate your recommendation of this blog and my books to friends, book clubs, and (if appropriate) radio clubs. In addition, I'd be pleased to appear at book clubs and/or radio clubs within a two-hour drive of Austin to discuss either book.
Author: Reunion, and Contact Sport.