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the basketball suit and other stories

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S: the basketball suit and other stories

FC: the basketball suit and other stories ~~~ an introduction to John Lansford

3: to Lynn, some tales about your groom he is a special character, take good care of him with love - Jay, Valerie, Todd & Kiersten On your Wedding Day February 19, 2011

4: As a boy I would spend endless hours playing basketball on the hoop behind the house. I was usually out there after school until dinnertime, unless the nights had become too dark and cold to play. Often I would play with Todd, but on this one afternoon I was practicing all alone. Just as the sun started to dip behind the trees, I heard the car rambling up the driveway. It parked and out jumped Dad in full suit and tie. Grinning and without hesitation, he asked for the ball and I tossed it over. Tie flapping behind him, he dribbled around my defense and went in for a perfect layup. We shot baskets for a good while, me in my school uniform and he in his suit, his tasseled leather-soled shoes fwapping on the cement. -Jay

5: Every evening I could count on getting warmed up on our basketball goal, just in time for Dad to come home. Without warming up, most of the time still wearing some portion of a suit, he would beat me night after night. No matter how fancy my dribbling or long distance 3’s, I could never stop the running hook shot off the right side backboard. I may have beaten him once, though he never let me win. There is no better lesson for a young man. -Todd

6: My dad, the insurance salesman, once traded in his compact maroon Honda for a big white pickup truck. His sales took him around the area and one day as a young grade schooler, I went along for the ride. The day took us to a rural bank where I overheard conversation about COBRA. Assuming that they were talking about insurance protection from G.I. Joe's enemy C.O.B.R.A., I was very excited and interested! The excitement would not end in that bank. On the ride back from the meeting, Dad decided to take the back roads. This took us from the rural highway to the side streets and eventually to a winding, unpaved road. I didn't know how this dirt road would get us home, or that I was about to experience my very first roller coaster ride.

7: The road was just as bumpy as it was winding. Up and down, potholes, and unforeseen dangers around every bend. It was a thrill ride, no doubt about it. I was sliding around on the bench seat of the old truck, giggling with excitement. Then we hit an especially large bump, which launched us high into the air - cue the Dukes of Hazzard, "Yee Haw!" From my low point-of-view in the oversized cab, all I could see was blue sky and was certain that we had just driven off of a cliff! A rough landing and pleads to slow down quickly followed. We ended up taking the highway back home, but I'll never forget that exciting adventure with my dad. -Jay

8: The moment I knew John and I would get along was during one of the first visits to Jeff City. Sitting in a diner after church, I ordered (and devoured) biscuits and gravy. The enjoyment he got from my greasy spoon appetite made me feel more welcome than anything else. -Kiersten

9: My dad owned the Double C, a convenience store on County Road CC. Before I started kindergarten, I had my first job there. It was an old school place: dim with a small deli counter off to one corner. My job mostly involved me running around with a feather duster I pretended was a Lightsaber. Dad showed me how to kick out the sides of cardboard boxes to flatten them out and how to stock the drink coolers, but I usually just stood behind the shelves in the walk-in cooler watching the customers and relishing that none of them knew I was there. At the end of the night, I got a one dollar bill and a piece of candy, but I'd have happily done it just for the fun of hanging out with my dad. -Jay

11: A weekend in complete silence, meager meals, and grueling labor was the reward for being voted among the best and most respected of Boy Scouts. This was the weekend retreat for the Order of the Arrow and this year both me and my dad were voted into their prestigious ranks. We gathered in a muddy field, surrounded by overflowing latrines and were instructed on the work we were to do that day. After some discussion, the leaders realized that none of them knew how to drive the tractor needed for the task at hand. They took a poll of us, asking who could operate one. A single hand went up, my dad's. They asked him details about his experience, but the vow of silence made it difficult for him to respond. Given a one minute exemption, he told them that he knew how to drive and so he was sure he could figure it out. He did. -Jay

12: The first job I can remember is cutting grass. There is no better business plan than cutting grass with your dad. Nothing like free labor and equipment to help build profits for video games. -Todd

13: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first met John. All I knew was the man my husband spoke of with such admiration. I expected we’d have little in common and I’d find myself doing a lot of respectful nodding and smiling. To my surprise, the man I met was feisty, full of life with the spirit of a 20 year old; a man who stayed up into the wee hours of the night loudly debating politics amid rounds of Greyhounds and expletives. Of course, he is really just a big instigator, but I kind of like him anyway. -Valerie

14: This one goes way back, an evening of firsts! I must have been 4 years old or so and a late night for me was anything past 7pm. This was way past then, perhaps as late as 9pm! Dad and I were lying on our bellies on the living room carpet watching TV, the only ones still awake in the house. Some show was on, I think it was in black and white, but it was entirely new to me since I'd never been up so late. While watching the show, we had | a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk. In all my 4 years, it had never occurred to me to dunk the cookies into the milk or to twist the Oreos apart, but my dad showed me you could do just that! Then, in the middle of polishing off the cookies, he paused to ask if I knew how to whistle. I think there may have been a commercial with a child whistling or maybe it was the opening to the Andy

15: Griffith Show, but either way my answer was, "nope". With chocolate cookie crumbs blasting forth, I tried to copy what he was showing me. In a surprisingly short span of time, a small chirp of a sound emitted from my lips. What a night! To commemorate this historic evening, my dad disappeared into his room, returning with something in his hand. When he extended it toward me, | I saw that it was a simple pocket knife. He told me he used to use it everyday. It was a dull, brown electrician's knife and he said if I promised to be careful I could have it. I treasured that knife. It not only carried a feeling of adulthood, but was a symbol of trust between me and my dad. -Jay

16: The fondest memory I have, one I always think back to, is our ski trips. I will never forget learning to ski- a warm-up run to the lift, at the top we started down. By the time I made it to the bottom I knew how to ski. From that moment on I was hooked. As fun as it was to race Dad down the mountain, nothing beat sitting on the lift, enjoying the beautiful view, just us. -Todd

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  • By: Valerie N.
  • Joined: almost 6 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 0
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: the basketball suit and other stories
  • an introduction to John Lansford
  • Tags: None
  • Started: almost 6 years ago
  • Updated: almost 6 years ago

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