Breaking (in) Bad

Grew up across from a very large high school-middle school complex.  Lots and lots of windows and doors.

During this time, in the fall and winter, I would play basketball on the side of our barn.  I could deal with shooting baskets in the wind and the cold, but the raw weather would split my fingertips-so on the weekends I would attempt to break into either the high school or the middle school and go to the gym.  Out of the hundreds of potential entrances, I figured, something would certainly be open.

And out of the dozens of times I tried to ‘break in’, I  ALMOST was never successful.  Every door and window was locked.

Many years later, I am sitting across from my dad in the kitchen.

He looks at me.

He smiles.

“Remember when you used to try and break into the school to play basketball?”


“Guess whose job it was to keep you out?”, he smirked.  “I was hired part time to make sure everything was locked at the school. And I knew I had the challenge of dealing with you.”


Kept quiet.

Years later. 1995.  Dad’s wake. Dad on view.

“Dad, you can take the smirk off”, I thought.

“You won 99 percent of the time.”

“But I got in once.”

Never had the heart to tell him.


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