Page 91 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneHe Leads Me Over Deep WatersIt was during the Winter of 1940, when I was about 7 years old, that my father took me on a trip to the Kankakee River to the place where we would fish during the Summertime. The river was completely frozen over from bank to bank which was a distance of approximately 100 yards. My father gazed at the scene for a brief moment and then said, “Let’s walk across.” I looked at him with what he must have perceived as complete apprehension. He then said, “Don’t worry, all that you have to do is follow me.” As he stepped out, he began to show me the weak spots as well as the strong. “Just step where I step and everything will be fine,” he said. As I looked at the weak spots, I could see the water swirling below and I could feel the pulse of its current beneath my feet. The river ran anywhere from 15 to 30 feet deep. When we reached the opposite shore, we paused for awhile and then he said, “Let’s head back.”As I look back upon my life with my father, I now realize what a daring man he was. He exhibited such strength and assurance about him that I never questioned his ability to assess and control any situation. He had a power within him and I would follow him through Hell and back. That is how much faith I had in him. On the other hand, after I would return home and tell my mother about his exploits with me, she would often say, “What has that damn fool done now?” Fathers lead and challenge the unknown while mothers protect.91

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