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Dad and I shared great times

Published 6:54pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

With this past Sunday being Fathers Day, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my late dad and the many great times we shared.

My father was very smart and well read, even though he had to drop out of school in the eighth grade in his native New Jersey. He had to drop out, in order to get a job and help support my grandmother and two aunts after my grandfather, for whom I am named, was killed in an accident at the age of 49.

He was born Feb. 15, 1898, a very important date in world history. That was the day the U.S. battleship Maine blew up and led the United States into the Spanish American War.

The Maine, built between 1888 and 1895, was sent to Havana, Cuba, in January 1898, to protect American interests during the long standing revolt of the Cubans against the Spanish government.
The Maine sank when her forward gunpowder magazine exploded. Nearly three quarters of the battleship’s crew died as a result of the explosion.

While the cause of the Maine’s tragedy is still unsettled, American popular opinion blamed Spain, and war followed within a few months.

Getting back to dad, he was the one who instilled in me my love of country and sports. Many of my most fond memories as a child were of attending major league baseball games with him.

He provided the inspiration that allowed me to go after and reach my goal of being a sports writer in a great place like Bainbridge.
When I was growing up, dad owned and operated a drive-in restaurant in Cairo called Crine’s Drive In. My job was to make milk shakes and my brother Tom’s job was to cook hamburgers. We also had 30 flavors of dip ice cream that we served in cones and cups.

Dad passed away in 1974, but from time to time, people still come up to me and tell me how much they thought of him and how much they enjoyed his hamburgers, chili dogs and milk shakes.
The only down side of my high school years was I didn’t get a chance to visit with my friends for very long after Friday night high school football games.

Instead, I had to rush back to the drive-in to help with the after-game rush. Tom played football for Cairo High School, so by the time he cleaned up and got there after the game, the rush was over.

I’m sure many of my readers have similar loving memories of their dads.

Those of you who still have your dads with you are truly blessed. You can have fun reminiscing about the many good times you have had together.

During my college years, many of my friends enjoyed coming home with me on weekends. After closing up the drive-in on Saturday night, my college friends and I would eat all the ice cream we could hold.

In conclusion, I want to congratulate the many young men who celebrated their first father’s day on Sunday. What a great day I’m sure it was for them.

Joe Crine is the sports editor of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at joe.crine@thepostsearchlight.com.

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