Childhood memories | Growing up

When a Father Is There

In my boyhood, Dad was more of a hands-on kind of guy

Published in
4 min readMay 14, 2024


Father carrying his son while they walk on a beach
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

“He’s not hearing us coming, because he was Army,” my father whispered as we quietly made our way through the field toward the river. Dad had arranged to meet a friend of his and their son to do some fishing together. That father and little boy were standing on the river bank with their backs to us, looking out at the water.

I don’t recall anything else about that adventure. I was 6 or 7 years old and that scene is the only memory I have, and I was thinking how cool my dad was because he was a Marine.

My childhood memories comprise little snapshots like this. Dad there and me there, too, with him (doing calisthenics in the basement, following a pamphlet put out by the Greenbay Packers, who would win Super Bowl I in a couple seasons). Dad there and me there, too, on a weekend float trip down the Chemung River in western New York state; sleeping on the bank, cooking beans over a campfire, pooping in the woods — what more could a boy want?

When the summer weather got stormy, he and I would go out on the covered porch and he’d point out the different cloud formations. Dad had been a helicopter pilot when he was in the Marines. He supported the early space program…



Derek Reinhard
Blue Insights

Writes quirky life, productivity, and relationship stuff (uses the Oxford comma). Author of 3 books on GTD and a couple coloring books.