2008.01.16 Home-based Cedar Point

Written by David Green.

It was a busy weekend, so here’s a tale from 10 years ago.


By DAVID GREEN

“Pick me up, Dad!”

I’ve heard that request dozens of times over the last dozen years, but I don’t hear it so much anymore. At 15, Ben doesn’t ask to leave the ground anymore, at least not in my arms. Ridiculous. He’s as big as I am. Of course I still do lift him up every now and then, but it’s more of a rough-house maneuver as I try to heft his weight.

Rosanna, catching up to Ben at age 11, doesn’t make the request anymore either, but she gets an occasional lift anyway. Maddy, 9, still wants to go up. Her style isn’t so much to ask with her voice, but rather to stand there in front of me with her arms out. The message is obvious.

I remember when both the girls would get me at the same time when I came home from work. One on each hip or one on the front and one on the back. It was probably the beginning of the end, when my pick-up abilities were slowly debilitated.

Ben was the luckiest of the three kids as far as pick-me-ups are concerned. He had his father at his youngest, when it was nothing to hoist a kid onto the shoulders and walk around for extended periods. Ben would start in front, climb around to the back, then work his way up to the neck. All of this with only minor damage done to the carrier down below.

Maddy wants that ride too, but her dad usually ends up with a sore neck. The back ride is fine for a while, but the shoulder ride—now that’s a rare treat.

Ah, the shoulders. It’s the king of rides. I should submit to hypnotism to really bring back the sensation, but there’s still some memory there. I can remember part of the thrill even after four decades.

I‘m standing in front of my father with my back toward him. He bends over, puts his hands under my arms and—whoosh!—I’m lifted into the air, up over his head and placed onto the shoulders.

Whoa! It’s so high. I‘m almost up to the ceiling. I grab to hold on, and my hands slap on to the nearest holding place—right across his eyes. I try another hold but now I’m choking him.

OK, we’re settled and it’s time to move. This must be like riding an elephant or a camel. Perched high, dipping back and forth with every step. First one wall, then another, rushes in close with every footfall. Everything moves so fast when you’re perched at the top. Then—Bang! Ouch! You’ve got to dip for the doorways.

Now he’s twirling around a little and the room is rushing by. There’s no control. What looks normal on foot is completely different from five feet up in the air. The cabinets whoosh by quicker. The window is a flash of light with every spin. It’s frightening and it’s wonderful.

But all of this is just a warm-up. Only the preliminaries for what’s to come.

He’s walking across the room, everything is fine, I start to relax, but now he’s stumbling! He’s going to fall and I’m going to crash to the floor. I scream and tighten my grip and I’m choking him again.

He recovers in time and everything’s all right. He probably stepped on a toy. But there he goes again, tripping and threatening to fall. We’re sure to crash, but I soon see it’s all part of his act. Over and over he stumbles and dips toward the floor.

And so it went, a journey around the house to match any carnival ride, all while perched on my father’s shoulders.

I’ve got to go find Maddy. She’s growing tall but she’s skinny. I can still handle it. That kid is going for a ride.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016