#9–My father would take us crappie fishing at night, which was as much about the snacks to me as the fishing. We’d ride out to the middle of the lake, wind whipping hair and jackets, and there was always something ecstatic about that rush of wind. When we’d stop and drop our lines, we could take out the wrapped packages of, and I’d usually sit on the bottom of the boat, eating, watching my pole and the stars and the blinking lights on the Bass Tracker. Catching a fish was nice, but I was happy either way.
#10–My father and I were in the Gulf of Mexico—maybe Gulf Shores?—when I was still small enough to comfortable ride on his shoulders. I could swim, but the waves knocked me around pretty thoroughly, so after I’d swallowed a substantial amount of salt water, he hefted me over his head and held onto my hands with his as he waded deeper. He pointed at a long pier to our left, which seemed to go on endlessly. “At the end of the pier—that’s where the sharks are,” he said. “You want me to walk you out to where the sharks will swim around us?”
“Yes,” I said.
He laughed. The water was up to his chest, and the bigger waves were smacking him in the face because he couldn’t jump as well with me on top of him. “I thought you’d say no. I can’t really walk out there—it might be a mile deep, who knows?”
“Aren’t you a mile tall?” I said, and I was shocked when he said no.