Back in the early seventies, my parents, my younger brother and I took off
in Dad’s sleek new Ford LTD with the big 351 engine. It was a long trip.
The only vivid memory:
an awkward moment on a long stretch of highway in the Arizona desert.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason Dad pulled the car over and stopped.
He said, “Boys, get out of the car. We are going to go the bathroom.”
It was 100 degrees out. I saw no bathroom. This was too weird.
Dad could have let us know that mom needed some immediate privacy for some reason.
Instead he yelled, “Get out of the car now, you jerks!”
Kenny was asleep; he slept for most of the trip. I nudged him awake and told him we were getting out fast ’cause dad was pissed. We got out and saw Dad headed for a big cactus about thirty feet off the road. This was the first time I saw my father take a leak.
Always eager to please my father, I went to the other side of the cactus, angled my body so Dad couldn’t see my wiener and attempted to pee, unsuccessfully. Kenny just sort of stood there dumbfounded. After a few minutes, Dad said we could get back into the car.
We drove in silence for thirty minutes and then Kenny said he had to pee. This infuriated my dad all over again. We learned on this trip that Dad liked to make good time, and he learned that being around family is no vacation.