My Dad

December 17, 2008
By Delwen Samuelson, Bethel, AK

My dad had five brothers and one sister and he was right in the middle. He didn’t get anything new, only the things that his older brothers had grown out of and was passed down the line of brothers to him. The baby his family rarely got the chance of getting old used clothes from his older brothers because by then the clothes were worn out. His sister of course got new clothes when the time came also.

He lived in a town that was isolated from big cities so there was little regulation on what happened in this little town. Because of the little regulation in the town kids in the town stayed out all night and did what they wanted.

My dad and his family were well known to the town but that did not stop him and his brothers from being mischievous. I remember my dad telling me that he and his brothers would steal their mom’s car at night. They would put it in neutral then he and his brothers would push it out of the driveway and go riding.

One time my dad told me that he and his older brother were riding down the road and my dad didn’t know how to use the brakes and so as they were going down the road there was this sharp turn to the left. Before they reached the turn

“Slow down! We’re going to crash!” creamed my uncle.

“I don’t know how!” My dad shouted back

He took a sharp turn to the left and the car went on its two wheels on the right side. Screaming as they were tilted to the right my dad had the common sense of leaning to the left to even out the force of the car. When they were back on four wheels they kept driving on to where they were going laughing and whooping as they go.

Another time when they stole their parent’s truck they went out to the sandpit one night, one of his brothers was driving the truck while only my dad and two of his older brothers were in the back of the truck outside. And they were talking about jumping out of the truck into the sand and my dad being the youngest was forced to go first.
So my dad jumped and landed in the sand and rolled a bit then got up. When my dad got up he heard his brothers say:
“Look! He’s ok. Let’s jump.” So they jumped out of the truck and met up with my dad.

Although my dad and his brothers were mischievous they didn’t let anyone beat someone that wasn’t a fair fight. They intervened with the fights that were unfair. While my dad was going home from school he saw that his younger brother was getting picked on by and older kid that was my dad’s age. As he saw that my dad dropped his books on the ground and ran over to the fight and socked the bully right in the stomach.

“Don’t you be messing with my younger brother or anyone that is smaller than you, unless you want to be mess with me first,” my dad said to the bully lying one the ground clenching his stomach.

When my dad set his mind on something he always gets it done. When my father joined wrestling for the first time he set his mind not to give up on the match. So one time his match was against a previous state champ and my dad set his mind to try and beat him. When my dad wrestled him he put the state champ close to his back getting near fall points. Then the state champ got out of it and pinned my dad. After the match my dad shook the coach’s hand.

“No one has every put that guy on his back; you are the first one to do it. You should feel proud,” said the state champ’s coach.

As my dad told me of how he almost pinned the state champ it sent shivers down my back.

My dad’s senior year, my dad and his dad were out net fishing, while they were drifting down the river in august; his dad saw a person fall out of their boat. Quick to save him his dad told my dad to let the net loose and drive to boat to where the man fell into the river. As they were nearing the man my dad’s dad jumped into the river to save the man, after they had taken the guy out of the river they brought the guy to the hospital.

The next weekend my dad’s father had gotten pneumonia and had been drinking, so when they brought my dad’s father to the hospital the doctors just said he was just drunk and didn’t take him in. The next day my dad’s father had died.

One of the things my dad’s father had taught my dad was to help everyone when they need it most no matter who they are. My dad stuck those rules as he got older and helped everyone who needed his help accepting little or no money.

When I was born and reached an age where I would understand things, my dad taught me the things he had learned from his father. And it was to help everyone with no intention of getting anything out of it, but help them just to help them especially those who need it the most. The other thing was to stand up for yourself and others who need it.

My father had told me the stories of his life when he was a mischief teenager, and I remember saying that I wish I was born in his time. My dad replied back saying that they did those things because they didn’t know any better and that’s why they were so mischief all the time.

My father has passed on and now he is with his father, mother and oldest brother. I think it is safe to say that he had a good life and that he is happy being reunited with my mom and his family.




Tears rolled down my cheeks telling the story of my dad’s life at his funeral. I step away from the microphone and face the crowd of family members, friends and all the people that my dad had helped in his life. I go to my wife and kids on the benches and listen to the priest say the closing prayer for my father.

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