Today, in honor of Father’s Day, I want to share a story about my Dad. I could sit here all day and write wonderful things about the person I proudly call “the greatest man I know,” but it would embarrass him, so I will simply tell you about one special memory I have of an early experience we shared together.
Dad is a perpetual snacker, and no trip to town was quite complete without a little something to eat. I remember that one of his favorite places in Velva was the drugstore because they had a soda fountain. I know those types of places were popular to teenagers in the 1950’s, so I’m sure Dad felt right at home inside Velva Drug even in the late 1960’s.
When we walked inside, the bell on the door rang, announcing our presence, and everyone turned to see who was entering. We were greeted by the owner Hillis, and by the sweet aroma that always seemed to be present inside Velva Drug. There was a long soda counter inside with a row of thick metal stools bolted to the floor underneath it. Each stool had a large, round, shiny seat sitting atop it, which was free to spin as you moved. There was also a thin piece of green vinyl padding on each which made the stools somewhat resemble a row of mushrooms.
Dad sat down, but I had to climb aboard the stool in a manner similar to mounting a horse. Dad fidgeted a little bit to each side on his stool, but I remained stationary because my feet couldn’t yet reach the floor. Dad ordered each of us a Coke and a pack of peanuts from the guy behind the counter and they exchanged pleasantries while he got our order ready.
The glasses of “Coca-Cola” were placed in front of us a few seconds later, along with the peanuts and a pair of straws. Dad drank a few swallows of the carbonated liquid, and then proceeded to pour in the peanuts, using his straw to swirl them around the Coke. He then helped me do the same with my treat.
We drank down our Cokes, which now had a salty flavor, then munched on the peanuts which now were sweetened by the sugar. It was a lot of treat for a five year old, but I wanted Dad to be proud of me, so I finished the entire glass. I rolled off the stool like a stuffed tick while Dad paid the bill, then waddled along behind him as he made his way to the car.
This is the first I can remember of many trips to Velva with my Dad. Sharing a snack of Coke and peanuts was great, but spending some time with “the greatest man I know” is what makes it a memory I will cherish forever! Happy Father’s Day!