It's Father's Day weekend. Somewhere in heaven, there's a tee time with Carl Prior's name on it.
My dad, like many in his generation, was a golfer. It was a hobby he shared with my mother and me, making it a wonderful family outing.
But golf was more than just a game to my dad. It was a metaphor for the way he lived his life. Dad loved nature, his family and the rewards of a job well done. In the fall, when stands of fiery maples kissed the Kelly green fairways, he'd stand behind me in the tee box and coach. Dad never tired of helping me with my swing, although it sometimes tested my patience. One day, in particular, I got even. When he wasn't looking, I replaced his ball with one that went pfft -- into a cloud of dust -- when he hit it. I still remember how dad's eyes danced as he laughed at that gag. His Irish humor was contagious.
This Sunday, I'll be thinking of dad. I'll get out old photos and celebrate memories of my 50-plus years with my wonderful father. I'm sure, before long, I'll feel his presence. He may be on the golf course, but he's never too busy to spend time with his little girl.
Going deeper: Hills author Will Courtenay, known as the Men's Doc (www.TheMensDoc.com) shares some statistics for Father's Day. He says 77 percent of men rate being a good dad as very important, compared to only 49 percent who said the same about having a successful career.
"American culture has shifted from defining fathers primarily as breadwinners and discipliners to recognizing them as caregivers and nurturers." As we celebrate Father's Day, Courtenay says dads should take pride in knowing they have a huge impact on the lives of their children.
Crime story: The saga of the stolen U-Haul has finally come to an end. The trailer showed up in East Oakland last week after thieves helped themselves to its contents. How did it disappear in the first place? "We feel we were being cased the day we packed it," says the Montclair woman whose husband saw a suspicious white van in the neighborhood. Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. the next day, the thieves were able to jimmy the ignition and spirit the U-Haul away. The good news is the couple recovered most of their family heirlooms with help from beat cop Jay Trode and the ladies at A&B impound.
"These crooks obviously have no morals, care or concern," says the wife. But she wants people to know the experience has made her family stronger. If you haven't already, join a neighborhood watch and report suspicious activity to the police. And don't park moving trucks outside overnight.
Twilight treks: Here's a hike to hoot about. The Mount Diablo Interpretive Association is hosting three sunset hikes with night birds June 22, 29 and July 13. The 3-mile wildlife walks in White Canyon will highlight owls and Poorwills. Reservations required at firstname.lastname@example.org.