Seeing my father's dream die. A short-short story that will live in my heart forever.
With the President talking about alternative fuels, it brought back a memory about my father.
It was the early 1980ís and he drove a 1979 Dodge Aspen. It was an ugly little buckskin color, but it ran well.
My father had developed a system on his car that I thought was ingenious. He had a small tank under the hood, tied down with a bungee cord. He would fill it half full of water.
Connected to this, was a small hose that went from the tank, to the carburetor I believe. The car would run off of the gas vapors. The mileage that he got off of this system was about four times what his mileage was before he hooked it up.
He tinkered with this for many days, trying to perfect his system. His mileage went from ten miles per gallon to fifty to sixty miles per gallon. Everyday, he toyed and tinkered with the project, and then we would drive to surrounding towns to check the highway mileage.
The time had come and he was ready to patent his idea. I turned on the television that evening and couldnít believe what I saw.
I ran to his bedroom, where he spent a lot of his time lying down, and told him to turn on the television.
There was a man who had developed the same system and had already patented the idea.
My father was upset, and justifiably so. All of his dreams were shattered that day. Each time he tried to get ahead in life, he was one step behind the next person. He finally thought he was going to have his chance, but it wasnít meant to be.
After that, he ripped the system off of his car and never messed with it again. It wasnít long after that when he passed away.
I canít help but think about that day. How he must have felt... With my writing, I sometimes feel the same way, but someday, someday, it will be my turn. I will get my shot ...
and if I do, it will be dedicated to my father. He taught me that if youíre going to get anywhere in life, you must work for what you get. I will carry that to my grave with me.
Rest in peace, my dear Daddy. Someday I will make my mark and I know you will be there with me!