Corn and Fishing

It was a warmish day back when we lived in the house in Norco, when my father took me fishing. I was four and a half years old and my sister was two. I had blonde, curly-ish hair with bangs that went straight across. My dad was an Ironworker and a welder, and he worked hard and often when work was good. We had matching shirts back then that had peanuts on them. I remember wearing them together one time when he took me to one of his job sites, and I looked up into the sky at one of his buddies who was sitting atop a steel skeleton of a small building, the sun shining brightly around him and right into my eyes. My dad had a belly and a mustache, and I believed that he was the strongest man in the world.

That day we stopped at the gas station, and my dad gave me a ten dollar bill to take inside to the register. “Tell the man to put ten on two”, he said. We walked inside and I told the man with trepidation, “Put ten on two”. He smiled at me and told me I could pick out a popsicle. I picked the red one and then asked my dad if I could have one of the tiny Reese’s cups up on the counter. He said no, but the man at the register said I could take one, and he smiled and winked at me. I thought that it must be because he liked my t-shirt with Ariel from The Little Mermaid on it.

At the lake we backed dad’s red and white truck into the water, and he pushed the boat off of the trailer until it floated cheerily on the green surface. When we were out on the water, I dropped my Barbie and my tiny oar into the water repeatedly, admiring my dad for being so brave and skilled at fishing them out.

On the way home we listened to the Beach Boys and I thought very hard about how sad it would be if someone ate up all of my corn. Dad oscillated between singing vague utterances quietly and belting out snippets of lyrics which he had memorized. We sat in the hot truck in our driveway when we got home, and finished the song before heading inside for dinner.