My father was a hard-working man. He always had something to do. One could say he was a man of many talents.
He loved seeing the benefits of hard work no matter what it was. He owned a bar, body shop, rental properties, and a farm — his life, our life, was busy. Those were not all owned at the same time. Some overlapped but there still wasn’t much time for play.
I particularly remember when he owned the body shop. This is where he built dune buggies from VW frames. I was around 8 years old and remember the “Maxi Taxi” as we called it. We had a little lake place that we spent the weekends boating, fishing, skiing, near campfires, and swimming. The local lake kids in our park loved to go for rides in the “Maxi Taxi” but dad had rules before doing so.
The day went like this:
Breakfast, play, swim, lunch, wash the dune buggy, ride to the local store for candy and treats, swim, dinner, campfire, bed.
Those were definitely the good old days. Dad always made the kids wash the dune buggy and get it all cleaned up before we could ride in it. So we would gather our buckets and rags and hoses and all of us would be in our bathing suits or trunks, getting soaked while doing so, washing the car, getting it nice and clean so we could go for that ride. Well, there was a hill to get out of our park. It was a pretty steep hill and the “Maxi Taxi” barely made it up the hill. So, us 10-plus kids would get out and get behind the buggy and push it to the top, moaning and groaning and grunting, but it finally made it up the hill and then we’d pile back in it and off to the store we went. When I say piled in, I mean piled in. The buggy had two bucket seats in the font and a bench-like seat in the rear. So, it basically sat five to six people. Those were the good ol’ days, and I have fond memories of my family and father.
Little did I know that only a short nine years later he would be gone forever. Life changed that day on September 11 which was also my mom’s birthday. Memories are all that remain but good ones they are! My dad was 57 when he died.
Happy Father’s Day dad. Thank you for the tough love, support, teaching, and fun times. Thank you for teaching me respect, honesty, loyalty, morals, ethics, character, and trust. In a short time, you taught me life skills that would be used to carry on throughout my life without you, and for that I am ever so grateful.
Your little PB!
(Dad’s name is Paul Burton and when I was born family and friends called me little PB)