Wednesday, November 7, 1982. It started out like any other day but by the time I laid my head on the pillow that evening, I was not aware of how much my life would change.graber photo copy

As happened every morning at about 6 a.m., Mom would come in and wake me up to get ready for school. Dad was already gone to work and Mom was getting ready to leave. I was 13 years old but by Saturday, I would’ve gained another year and would be 14.

Saturday would be my birthday. Being born on Nov. 10 was a very important day in our household. At that time it was the opening day of quail season. Something my dad only missed once in his life up until this time. And that was because of me.

So when I got home that afternoon from school, it was still just a regular day. Mom was just getting home and getting supper started. Dad would be home soon and I was headed out to ride my bike.

As always I heard the call that supper was ready. I raced into the house and got my place at the table. I always set straight across the table from Dad. Mom sat to my right and dad’s left. The ABC evening news was on.

We set down to a fine supper of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and beets. We washed that all down with a tall glass of iced sweet tea that Mom brewed herself.

As we were enjoying our meal, Dad happened to ask what I wanted for my birthday. Without even really thinking, I blurted out, “I want to go deer hunting.” Without missing a bite, he said okay.

And as always, secretly inside, without ever letting it show, he didn’t have a clue how he was going to pull it off. And as always, he did.

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