"Memorial Day Family Fun"

Memorial Day barbecues are a tradition in our household. My wife always has the family over for a little backyard fun. She loves to barbecue and always prepares some great eats and treats! This year was no different, she made barbecued ribs, hot dogs for the kids, baked beans, corn on the cob and for dessert we had watermelon. Everything was delicious!

The kids and grand kids got here around 3 and I went to pick up my dad right after they arrived. It’s nice now that he lives so close to us. He’s the lone veteran of the group having served in the Army in both WWII and the Korean War so this was really his celebration.

Of course getting him out of his house proved a bit difficult. He was busy watching a John Wayne Movie Marathon on the western channel and said he wanted to stay. He said he’d been up until 3AM watching a JW movie that he’d never seen before. Ever since we got him DirecTV a couple of months ago he’s been in television heaven. I tell you my dad loves his westerns, with war movies coming a close second. When I was growing up we never missed an episode of Combat or The Lawman. Come to think of it, I don’t think we ever missed Maverick, Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel and a host of others. My dad even had a small collection of Sargent Rock and western comic books.

It took a bit of convincing, but he eventually gave in and came back to the house with me. I’m pretty sure it was the promise of Ray’s delicious barbecued ribs that closed the deal. Later when I told the kids about his reluctance to miss John Wayne, my daughter suggested that a TIVO or DVR for Father’s Day might be just what he needs so he doesn’t miss anything when he’s out. She may be right. She also guaranteed him that a day with the family would be better than a John Wayne Movie Marathon and believe me it was!

My eldest son provided the refreshments. He made two giant containers of his special mango margarita’s. They were excellent! Cold refreshing, and potent! They really helped set the tone for the barbecue. A good time was definitely had by all! My dad especially enjoyed himself. He really had a blast! I haven’t seen him laughing and enjoying himself like that in a very long time

It was awesome! He had originally told me he only wanted to stay for a couple of hours, but he was having so much fun, he didn’t go home until after 8! My eldest son even did a Memorial Day tribute to his grandpa and brought out some props for picture time!

"Sgt. Rock" "Father and son"

pop with 5 of his great grandchildren


My dad was the center of attention and he really hammed it up for the camera, donning a plastic army helmet with a Sgt insignia on it (he was a Master Sargent in the service) and holding a replica firearm. It was heartwarming to see him surrounded by 3 of his 5 grandchildren and 5 of his seven great grandchildren. He was loving it! I only wish my sister and her two kids and two grandchildren could have been there as well. Maybe next time.



This year has been particularly trying for my dad. In February he lost his younger sister and his youngest son. He also was uprooted from his home of 17 years and moved to a new city closer to us. Through it all he’s hung in there and held up well. Today, at least for a few hours, he got to forget his sorrow, and share some quality time with family. We shared stories, a lot of laughs and a lot of love. I’m certainly glad he choose us over the John Wayne Movie Marathon, I’m pretty sure he’s glad he did too.

Just a thought…


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