Pondering Dad Things…

It’s my turn… Read on! – the editor

It has been 7 years since my Dad passed away. The man has never left me. He hangs with me at various times and makes me laugh a lot.

So yesterday I was driving around in my “Jerry Special” (the 2014 Kia Soul we picked up used with merely 24K miles on it) when on Mad Dog (Sirius XM) I heard a quote from Jim Boeheim — the long time coach of Syracuse men’s basketball (and team my Dad, as an alumni, followed closely).

“Some expert says, ‘Well, she hasn’t won a championship.’ If I ever see that guy, I’ll just punch him, unless he’s really big. I won’t do it if he’s really big. But, these people, how do they even get jobs saying stuff like that?”

That’s such a “Dad” thing to say. I’m sure my Dad would have enjoyed watching Iowa Hawkeye’s hoops star Caitlin Clark. She broke Pistol Pete’s record — someone I admired and sought to emulate when I was growing up.

Which brings me to this…

I was the middle child in a family of 4 boys and 2 girls. I had a lot of energy and found basketball was my calling (at least through freshman year of high school). My Dad, seeing something in me, and perhaps not wanting to hold me back from being a female Pistol Pete, put up a hoop in our driveway with lights (!!). I could play to my heart’s content and sometimes even got my brother, Mr Pete to play along with me.

Yeah… My Dad was cool and really supportive women’s sports (and creating opportunities).

Which also reminds me… as a kid, my Dad took me to Madison Square Garden for a women’s basketball game. Researching it now, it appears that that was the first time women played at the Garden. I remember the teams (Immaculata and Queen’s College), not the score. I remember the atmosphere (and the hot pretzel for me. Dad had his customary hot dog). And I remember the impression it made on me… the possibilities to play on a stage like that if I kept practicing with the discipline and diligence of my hero: Pistol Pete.

Fast Forward to High School…

Little did I know that I had a “big stage” sports future, but it didn’t involve dribbling a basketball. Someone with my energy… well… let’s just say a gymnasium couldn’t hold me. I need the outdoors… miles and miles of outdoor streets and trails and for parts of the year, tracks (some inside fabulous stadiums like Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philly).

Got the visual? Okay, now circle back to my Dad.

He was like the hockey mom of running. Took me to practices and meets and even to Van Courtland Park on his football Sunday, so I could work out on (and memorize) the course we’d be racing on in subsequent weeks.

Yup! My Dad was cool.

The Shoes…

Somehow, I guess between placing highly at those Penn Relays and winning my first State Championship in Cross Country, the Adidas rep took notice.

[In case you were wondering, it was late-70s. That stuff doesn’t happen.]

Not too far away, Adidas had their East Coast headquarters, and the rep wanted us to swing by. I remember our appointment was on a snowy day, but my Dad “saddled up” the van and drove me there where HE was given shoes, running wear, rain suits, t-shirts, etc. I guess the rules then were… he could re-gift those to me. And for the remaining time in high school, I wore the 3-stripes proudly.

Oh, and just to tie it all back to the start. My hero, Pistol Pete wore Adidas.

The Letter to the Editor…

One more Dad memory I’d like to raise as THIS circles back to the Caitlin Clark / Jim Boeheim mention above. Check it out…

Yes, it IS true that for winter track, our championships were held on a parking lot with cones while the boys got to run in the posh environments of Princeton University’s Jadwin Gym and also the nice wooden banked track at a private school.

Dad took notice and wrote to the editor… and got published.

Always Supportive. That was my Dad…

Mr Boeheim, just want to let you know that Dad approves. I imagine, even as a little guy, my Dad would be right by your side punching out anyone belittling the accomplishments of talented players like Ms. Clark.

And Dad, it’s been 7 years, but every day (see below).

Yup! Thanks for everything, Dad!

Bonus Clips / Links…

Original Quote Boeheim here.

H/T Mr Pete!

Thanks for reading! — Annie


Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).


Speak Your Mind