I took a blog break over last weekend given that the trip Sophie and I took down to Orange County (a girlfriend of mine refers to this as "behind the Orange Curtain") was well documented by my dad on his blog. How many 72-year-old guys have a blog? This one does, but that's not the only reason he is not your average 72-year-old guy. Allow me to explain.
Having survived Disneyland on Friday (we got to introduce a friend of Sophie's to the Magic Kingdom for the first time!), we headed off to the beach on Saturday. The weather was great, the surf was up, and the kids were having a great time building sandcastles and messing around with my dad's bogie board in the wash. My dad gave the kids a few pointers and finally took the board out for a little action of his own. An excellent swimmer and experienced bogie boarder, he was venturing out a little farther to where the waves were breaking when a nice sized wave knocked him down. I was standing about ten feet away from him, closer in so I didn't get it as hard, when he came up from the wash with his face covered in blood. He knew he had hit his head and so instinctively put his hand to his head, although he didn't realize blood was pouring out of a large gash. I screamed at him to keep his hand on his head and press hard, and we started in. The kids ran ahead and summoned help from the lifeguard station. Within moments my dad was swarmed by earnest young men in red shorts, who before too long were joined by city paramedics (also very earnest and quite handsome).
They asked over and over "What is your name?" [George] "Where are you?" [Crystal Cove Beach] "What time is it?" [About 3:00]. Right on all accounts, except it was 3:30. The bleeding, they explained, was the least of their concerns. A few stitches would fix that, but they were concerned about the possibility of a neck or head injury. And they kept saying "Well, considering his age . . . " To which I replied to one earnest young man "This is not your average 72-year-old guy." Because he's not. He has a blog. He learned to ski at 70 and spent last winter blasting the bowls and black diamonds with the rest of us. He hikes at a good clip in altitude that leaves people half his age breathless. He goes to the gym most days for two classes (step, spin, Pilates, yoga, salsa). And he is my dad, who is not old. At least not to me. Not ever.
Nonetheless, while I was retrieving the car, the paramedics persuaded him to accept a ride to the hospital in their ambulance. Fourteen stitches, a sore neck, and a black eye later, he's fine. And we expect him back on the waves next summer.
For an excellent picture of the stitches and a clip from the local newspaper, look here. And say Hi, but don't bother suggesting he behave himself.