I’ll start with a list of some great memories
Perhaps the earliest I can recall is a trip to Market Lake when I couldn’t have been more than four. I can remember being scared to death of a goose I must have frightened off her nest.
In second grade, during a class on cowboys or the old west, I boasted to my teacher that my dad could play real cowboy songs on the guitar. When Mrs. Vargason invited him to class a week or so later to perform, I knew I had the greatest dad in the world.
For several years, my great goal in life was to be an artist, and I remember dad taking time to sit down and draw with me. His picture would inevitably be of a jet!
I have great memories of spending evenings with him building the perfect Pinewood Derby car–and learning about good sportsmanship when he offered our “secret” graphite lubricant to my friends.
Dad has a great, unusual talent in being able to facilitate youthful adventure. An olympic torch made from a cattail and kerosene stands out as a prime example.
Years later in high school, when another “adventure” ended disasterously with my brother’s arm in flames, his patience and calmness in dealing with the aftermath was a lesson in forebearance I’m still learning from.
Though these activities and countless others, he’s taught me so much:
- How to use wood tools
- How to shoot a gun
- How to prune a tree
- How to pour concrete
- How to change the oil
- How to solve a multi-variable algebra equation
- How to play the guitar
- How to use the Priesthood
- How to treat your wife
He’s taught me how to love the outdoors, to love my country, to love the church I belong to.
In the desk drawer of my office is a single page from my old Bible. One column has a good-sized smudge on it, a combination of grease, dirt, and other gunk that gets on your hands when working on cars. It summarizes so much about what I admire in Dad.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and Dad and the boys were repairing another of the Ricks family fleet of cars, when a relative telephoned with an urgent question of the soul. Grabbing the nearest set of scriptures–which happened to be mine–Dad expertly resolved her concern, and calmed a troubled heart. The fact that this relative would choose to call Dad, and that he was willing, able, and spiritually in tune to address those needs–when only seconds before he was engaged in his everyday life–is just another reason of why I admire him so much.
Dad, I love you.