Morning Phone Call Reveals Unexpected Revelation From His 91-Year-Old Father

Morning Phone Call Reveals Unexpected Revelation From His 91-Year-Old Father

The call came at 8:45.

As it does each morning.

Not my phone.

My friend, Gene’s.

It was his dad.

His 91-year-old dad.

“We don’t actually say the words out loud,” Gene said, “But it’s his daily, ‘Yes, I’m alive’ call.”

Some days the calls are short.

Some days longer.

Monday was a chatty call.

Dad felt like talking.

So, Gene shared his story from the night before.

How he had splurged.

Dug into his family wallet to take his wife and teenaged son to the Chicago Cubs playoff game.

It’ll be a story they’ll have and share forever.

Wrigley Field.

The Cubs defending their first World Championship title in 108 years.

Quite a memory.

Which prompted Gene’s dad to share one of his.

Again, Dad is 91.

Gene’s over 50.

Surely, son has heard every story.

Just as you’ve heard each one of your parent’s stories, Dear Reader.

Not so fast.

“All of the sudden,” Gene shared, “Dad mentions the time before he met my mom that he saw Jackie Robinson play.”

Yeah, Jackie Robinson.

That Jackie Robinson.

Gene started doing the marriage math.

His parents met around 1949.

He asked his dad exactly what year did he see Jackie Robinson play?

“Well, let’s see,” his dad thought for a minute. “I got out of the Service in the summer of 1947. So that would have been the fall of 1947.”

Gene had to double check what he thought he was hearing.

Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947.

Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

“Dad, you saw Jackie Robinson, the first African-American ever to play in the major leagues, during the first season he ever played in the major leagues, at Wrigley Field, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, against the Cubs – and you were there for it. Is that right?” he asked.

“Yes, that’s right,” his Dad said. “I remember it was a very big deal.”

Yeah, you might say that.

Big enough that you’d think Dad might’ve mentioned this story before.

Only he hadn’t.

A new story.


A half century of knowing his father.

A half century of hearing the same stories over and over again.

“You bite your tongue and listen politely, as if it’s the first time you’ve ever heard the story,” Gene said. “But every now and then, he blows you away with something like this.”

It has Gene looking even more forward to tomorrow morning’s call.

And beyond.


So many questions.

What other amazing unknown stories does Dad have?

And yours, Dear Reader?

It’s possible it takes a lifetime to learn what you hear from the time you’re a little kid.

“Listen to your parents,” Gene advises. “If you’re lucky enough to still have them, there’s no telling what you might learn.”

Pick up the phone.


Treasures, and yes, new awesome stories await.

((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)))

And if you enjoy this column, you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



Morning Phone Call Reveals Unexpected Revelation From His 91-Year-Old Father

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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