Where to Keep Your Key

Rated G

My Dad (stepfather) is the coolest guy on the planet. You will not meet a more helpful, self assured person. He taught me a lot and I love him dearly. I try to tell him that but I don’t know if he really understands the depth of what I feel for him.

One day, when I was a pre teen, we were driving through town. I don’t remember why. I do not remember where we had been or where we were going. It was just starting to get dark when we passed an old, large truck that was pulled off on the side of the road with a young couple outside of it looking rather desperate.

Seemingly without thinking my Dad pulled over just ahead of them. The young couple had run out of gas. Dad figured that was easy to take care of. He had them lock up their truck and then had the young couple get in the car with us. We drove a few blocks to a gas station where Dad got out his gas can, he always had one in the car, got a couple of gallons of gas and drove them back to their truck.

We all got out. Dad opened the trunk, picked up the gas can, and closed the trunk, and we waited while the young couple poured in the fuel. The couple was with the State Fair, though I don’t think it is right to call them Carnies. As a thank you, they went into the back of their covered truck and pulled out a huge stuffed dog which they gave to Dad. Dad thanked them, they shook hands and off the young couple went.

So Dad and I walked back to our car, empty gas can and stuffed dog in hand. When we got to the car, Dad reached in his pocket for the keys. He paused. “Well, what do you know?” I looked at him puzzled. He said, “I locked the keys in the trunk.”

As a young kid I was about to panic. Here we did this nice thing and got kicked in the butt for it. But Dad was as calm as a kitten suckling its mom. He handed me the stuffed dog and then pulled a coin out of his pocket. He knelt down behind the car and used the coin to begin removing one of the screws that held the license plate in place. Lo and behold, held there by the bolt, behind the plate was a spare key . . .

We’ve all been there. We’ve locked the keys here or there. We’ve driven off without our license. Because of the things he has taught me, I rarely have those problems and generally seem to have a solution. For one, my wallet is my key fob. If I have my keys, then I have my license and vice versa. And if I should get locked out, there is some secret avenue I have created that allows me to get into my vehicles or home.

I have learned a ton from that man. I know where to keep my keys.

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