M. SCOTT MORRIS: Dad puts his kids to work

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Dad has a place on a river in Alabama, and he keeps a boat and a personal watercraft in his boathouse.
I use the clumsy phrase “personal watercraft” because “Jet Ski” belongs to Kawasaki, “WaveRunner” goes with Yamaha, and, as far as I can tell, Sea-Doo owns the rights to “Sea-Doo.”
I don’t know which one Dad has. If I called him to ask, he’d say, “I don’t know, son.”
And if I asked him to walk down to the boathouse to find out for me, he’d say, “You’re kidding.”
Or he’d say, “Yeah, sure,” in such a way as to indicate that he didn’t really mean “Yeah, sure.”
So we’re going with personal watercraft, which is regrettable but accurate.
When Dad bought the place, a guy came out and rigged up a metal dock in the boathouse for the personal watercraft. An electric motor and pulley cables lift the contraption out of the water for safekeeping.
My family and part of my sister’s family converged at Dad’s place last summer, and we had our fill of fun while running waves on the water with his jet-like ski device.
At the end of the day, I was tasked with putting the personal watercraft on its metal dock, but something went wrong. A metal cable on the pulley system snapped loose.
My first thought was for Adam Greene, my brother-in-law. Whereas I build paragraphs for a living, he builds just about everything else. What’s more, he actually enjoys doing it.
But Adam didn’t make the trip.
I figured Dad would call the guy who installed the dock and have him fix it the following Monday.
Dad had other plans.
“We’re going to do it,” he said.
“Who?” I said.
“You and your sister,” he said. “I’ll supervise.”
Dad went to the hardware store for metal clamps of varying sizes. When he returned, my sister, Melissa, edged along the far side of the boathouse, and I jumped into chest-deep water to manhandle a ladder into position.
It was a hot day. My hands were sweaty and wet. Clamps slipped out of my hands a couple of times. A few four-letter words slipped out with them, but that’s Melissa’s way. What can you do?
I don’t think Adam has seen our repair, which isn’t the prettiest of jobs. He’d probably deduct massive style points, but I suspect he’d give us credit for getting the work done.
Not that I need Adam’s approval.
With various members of our families in tow, Melissa and I went to Dad’s place for Memorial Day weekend. Of course, we went down to the boathouse to check on our repair after nearly a year.
“I was wondering about it,” Melissa said.
“It’s holding up,” Dad said. “We did all right.”
“Still looks scraggly,” I said. “Maybe we should wrap it with duct tape.”
“Yeah, sure,” Dad said.
M. SCOTT MORRIS is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.