It was a really BIG slide and I was a little scared to climb all the way up that giant ladder. But, I took the challenge anyway and slowly climbed up - step-by-step - maintaining a tight grip on the guardrail and keeping my eye on my father.
When I reached the apex of the slide I carefully began to move from the ladder side to the slide side. But, that's all I remember of that scene because when I woke up I was in my father's arms. He was running down the street to get me home.
It was the late-1950's. My father was a big man, one of the best athletes around. He was a cop, a policeman. Everybody respected him. The whole neighbor looked up to him. He was a handsome, intelligent, and personable man, good at everything he did and he had an intelligent and pretty wife.
I imagine that after I fell from the top of the slide, my father checked me. He found that I was unconscious. He scooped me up and started taking me home to my mother who was a nurse. He was frightened. I had fallen about 10 to 15 feet from the top of the slide. When I woke up - about half the way home, I was not surprised to be in my father's arms as he completed the five blocks back to our house.
I will always cherish that memory. Because of that day and the trips to the barbershop where all the men seemed to straighten up when my father walked in, I'll always remember that in childhood, my father was my hero. He was there for me.