Jordan Green recounts a Saturday bonding with his father
I'm a firm believer that there is a plan for everything in this world. It's not always our plan, and we don't always see it coming. But it always falls into place, and ultimately, it's good for us.
For the past couple of months, I have been making plans to attend a tractor show in Shawnee. I went to it last year and had a fun time, so I figured I'd go back and try it again this year.
But as the date of the show got closer and closer, things just didn't pan out.
Problems booking the hotel room. Bad work schedule. Vehicle issues. Things just kept piling up. Finally, I realized that this show just wasn't meant for me.
I told my dad that I wouldn't be going. When I did, he smiled. For a second, I was mad: How could he be happy that I can't go to the tractor show? He knows how much I enjoy it.
But I soon learned that he was happy because that meant we could spend the day together.
Saturday morning, my dad and I set out for Wyandotte, Oklahoma. It's a small town, but on that day, the people there were making a lot of noise. Wyandotte is the home of the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show, which is probably the largest machine gun show in this part of the country.
When my dad and I arrived, we set out to have some fun. The first activity was – believe it or not – shooting out of a helicopter. Yes, this is something you can do! A group of professional helicopter pilots strapped us into the seat of a helicopter and took us over a farm field filled with broken-down cars. We were able to shoot down at the cars and the mannequins inside, which was exhilarating, to say the least.
After we got done with the helicopter, we made our way down the line of booths from which we could rent machine guns. The vendors – totaling almost 100 – were stationed on top of a hill. From the hill, we shot down into a valley that was filled with various kinds of targets, some of which would explode when hit.
That day, my dad and I fired almost 30 different types of weapons: machine guns, grenade launchers, anti-tank guns, shotguns, and rifles. It was the most fun I have had in years – I swear this on my honor as an Eagle Scout.
But really, the bullets weren't what made the day so great. It was spending time with Dad that made it so meaningful.
Both my dad and I are pretty busy these days. He works long hours to keep the clinic going, and I work from sunup to sundown between our farms and the newspaper. It's hard to find time to just have some fun together. So, when we find it, we use it. That's what we did Saturday.
As we drove to and from Wyandotte, we took a musical tour of the 1980s. By that, I mean that we listened to all of that era's greatest songs. We started out with Pink Floyd and wound up somewhere close to Ronnie Milsap. Varied tastes, to say the least.
While we were at the show, we had fun talking, laughing, and joking with our friends. And, of course, we had fun bonding over our love for the sound of massive explosions. It's just what we needed.
I could live Saturday over a thousand times and still want to do it again. Even though the machine guns were cool, the fact that my dad and I got to shoot them together was even cooler.
Though Father's Day has come and gone, there is no time like today to go out and have fun with Pa. So, the next time you can, take the father figure in your life out to do something fun. It's an experience that both of you will cherish forever.
And while you're out, make sure to tell him this: “I love you, Dad!”
On Saturday, I was glad my plans changed. A day with dad is a day unlike any other.
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