Chapter 4 (Never give up...Don't ever give up)A Chapter by Allen Smuckler
“Never Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up”
"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me." “Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.”
- Jim Valvano
Standing on the hill overlooking 205 Chestnut St, I spotted someone I recognized, in the distance. I was six, maybe seven years old and don't remember having a slew of friends. This shadowy, silhouetted figure stood about 50 feet from me on a downward slope. He was more than an acquaintance but not a friend per se. In his hand was this round object which appeared to be and I assumed was a pink rubber ball. The type of ball we used to throw against the outside stoops to practice our catching ability. The great thing about this activity was you could play by yourself and have just as much fun as if playing with others. I often played by myself. Well, today, it appeared this mysterious playmate wanted to have a catch. As he reared back and flung the sphere into the air, I decided (for a laugh) to catch it with my head instead of my hands. That was not one of my clearer, thinking moments. The round, pink ball began to gradually “morphasize” into this oval, gray speckled rock which proceeded to whack me over my left eye, leaving a gash the size of the Grand Canyon. I could feel the blood drip into my eye before I felt the pain and proceeded to let out the loudest shrill since mankind began. Panicking, and feeling certain I was about to collapse and die, I frantically, ran down the hill to locate the healer, my mother. She placed a towel on the wound and brought me to the emergency room where I heroically received my first three stitches. The culprit was never found or heard from again. I guess it scared the bejesus out of him too. Only in the Port.
Shortly after I healed from my injury, my father decided it was time for me to learn to ride a bike. Not a trike, mind you, but a bike.... No training wheels for me.
"Bernie, are you sure he's ready for that?" my mother apprehensively queried from the front doorway.
"He'll be fine" my father retorted. All boys need to be able to ride a two-wheeler. He's old enough to learn."
I remember him running beside me, holding the seat with his left hand and the handlebars with his right. Every once in a while he would let go...first the left hand from the seat, then slowly release his right from the handle bars. As the bike, and of course, its rider began to teeter and wobble, he would grab on and continue running next to the bike while holding on securely.
We did this several times with more time elapsing between holding and letting go, and vice versa. Until...Eureka.... past one parked car, then a second and a third…until I was totally in control. I was so excited over my success and as I looked back toward my father to see his glee, I could hear him:
“Atta boy” Dad shouted from a distance as he waved his approval.
At the same moment, I’m sure, I realized, for the first time that I had just learned how to ride this stupid thing forward and was not quite ready for reverse. Bang! Clang! Smash! Right smack dab into the bumper of that 1954 Chevy; bike and head colliding in unison. I think it was the fifth parked car but may have been the sixth. Remember the screech when head met rock several weeks earlier. Double that and increase the blood three-fold.
As my father picked me up, his bloody pulp of a son, my mother came out screaming, ranting and raving. Not over me necessarily, but at my poor father who only wanted to make his only son, and heir to the family name, and fortune, happy. Mom was frantic and angry as hell with my father. However, I knew deep down inside, my Dad and I were both proud of my accomplishment. We both felt it but neither of us said a word until we got to the hospital, for the second time in two months. I was getting the third and final stitch (it really wasn't that bad of a gash, just a lot of blood) in the back of my head when I saw my Dad look around furtively for my mother. He spotted her far enough away near the opened curtain to my cubicle. He looked back toward me lying on the bed, smiled and whispered so Mom couldn't hear.
"Way to go, son" as he squeezed my shoulder gently.
I never felt prouder or closer to my father than at that particular moment.
© 2012 Allen Smuckler
Added on December 24, 2011
Last Updated on January 4, 2012
My Life (A Child's View)
AboutI'm a poet, a singer, a peaceful gunslinger.. looking to share my poetry..and a little bit of me...if I dare I 've been writing since I was 18.... am slightly older now, and still trying to fin.. more..
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