For those who don’t know my dad, that’s a real shame. For those of you who do, you probably know that he’s notorious for a few things, like wearing jeans when he wants to get comfy, never paying a single ATM fee and always carrying a napkin in his pocket. He was named Paperboy of The Year in 1971 at the ripe age of 12 and he was one of Twitter’s earliest adapters, snagging the username @coolj59 while the rest of world continued to navigate the then mysterious, Facebook (“you guys heard about this Twitter thing yet?” he said. “It’s gonna be huge”, he said). His likes and interests are simple; french fries, college football, everything bagels, reading the newspaper, road-trips and bike rides and he’s the one that you can thank for the creation of this blog; it was his motto that started it all, “gotta eat!”.
My dad recently celebrated a birthday; Double-Nickles Plus a Penny. To celebrate, he woke up on July 27th and rode 56 miles on his bike, up and down the Cape Cod coast while the rest of us waited patiently for his return, working up a sweat of our own, sitting under the hot sun and fueling up with coffee and blueberry muffins; a very different kind of morning routine.
For those unfamiliar, The Lagasse Crew is not a particularly active bunch. Aside from the occasional walk around the block, run around the track or surf session in the waves, there’s not a whole lot of exercise-induced sweating that goes on at the beach house. This of course, is true for everyone except dad, so when the Birthday Boy suggested we throw all 5 bikes in the back of the truck, drive to Provincetown and cruise the Province Lands Bike Trail on two wheels for the afternoon, we weren’t quick to jump in the saddle.
This was, in a way, a rival of the infamous, “Dads Summer Adventure”, a trip we used to take each summer to places like Ausable Chasm (“Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks!”), to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in VT. We were always advised to pack a bag, (“never know where we might end up!” he’d say) and most times reluctant to get out of bed an go. Mom would pack the snacks, my brothers and I would squish into the back seat of the car, and dad would do what he loves most, drive. Sometimes we got to pick the destination (Beauty and The Beast on Broadway in NYC for me) and sometimes we drove all the way there only to turn right around without getting out of the car due to bad behavior (sorry, Pete). Luckily, this year’s adventure went entirely according to plan.
A few rare things happened on that day. For starters, all five of us were together; mom, dad, both brothers and me. Laughing 5 times as hard, smiling 5 times as big, zipping up and down the hills of Provincetown to the end of Cape Cod, the place my brothers and I grew up, where my mom always says we never fought, never argued, always got a long. I don’t think dad could have asked for a better present (which is good cause he didn’t get much; a man of very little ‘wants’).
Second rare occurrence; we all got a little work out in! So if you ever find yourself between the elbow and forearm of Cape Cod on a not-so-great Beach Day and are looking for some classic family fun, lace up your sneaks (and throw on your khaki shorts, as my dad would do), and go for a ride! Here’s a few scenes from the journey: Lots of selfies, lots of laughs, a few too many hills for my liking and post-ride oysters (because…gotta eat!), all to celebrate one very awesome dad, who’s often reminding me, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” (Original quote by @CoolJ59).
Happy Birthday, Daddy-O!