ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Gift of Story

Updated on January 30, 2015
julescorriere profile image

Jules Corriere is a playwright and theater director. She has written over 40 plays, one of which was performed at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

A Lasting Gift That Will Never Break Or Run Out of Batteries

My father is gone now, so I celebrate Father's Day differently. But I am so grateful I can celebrate, and remember him, and that is because I still have his stories. So when that day rolls around in June, I get with my children, and I tell them his stories.

Now, before he passed away, I was able to capture so many of his memories, from the war in Vietnam, to his practical jokes he played on my mom and his college buddies. I was also there to witness a lot of his antics, myself, and capture them. He was pleased to no end to hear them retold. My favorite line he said after hearing me retell them, was "Yep, that's just how it happened, except for a couple of lies!". (He appreciated my philosophy of "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story").

Being a playwright, I was able to tell some of his stories on stage, and to me, those were the best gifts I ever gave my dad. He was being remembered by his community and family and friends, and he even got to see a lot of these performances before he left this world.

Imagine capturing a story from your own Father, and then telling him his story to him, or presenting it in a pretty scrapbook or giving it to him, nicely written up and framed. It beats a tie any day. It lets him know, "Dad, I have been listening to you, even when you thought I wasn't".

A Story For My Dad

The Fourth Of July Incident

It's legendary now, really. The fourth of July on Wilmont Lane. Not just the bar-b-que and the dozen grandchildren running around the yard, having water fights and playing wiffle ball with their parents, who, a dozen years ago were running around having water fights and playing wiffle ball with each other. It's a time for lawn chairs to be dusted off, bug spray slathered generously, and the event of the summer: Dad's fireworks extravaganza. Never mind that he's breaking 14 state and 3 federal laws concerning fireworks in this part of Virginia.

The family knows. The neighbors know. And friends from times past remember, and drop by to catch the show. He begins in the back yard, near the dirt pile, where the kids are playing. He lights off the colored smoke bombs for the kids. Not really bombs, but they make a really cool smoke screen. The kids love them. Dad prefers smoke bombs these days, too, since the pinwheel incident.

For you law abiding citizens, Pinwheels do what they sound like: they spin and whirl around and around when you light the fuse on the ground. Dad thought it would be interesting if he nailed a bunch of pinwheels up and down a 2x4 and stood it up straight. Then he'd light the pinwheels. In the dark, you wouldn't see the board, you'd just see a vertical row of spinning fireworks. Interesting concept.

And they wonder where we got our fetish for blowing things up?

Dad attaches the spinners to the board, and it's pre-set before everyone gathers for the display. As the pink of the sky turns to black, our house is descended upon by spectacle-hungry visitors. Everyone jockeys for the best position in the lawn, and the master appears. He pretends to look for a lighter, as if to fool mom from knowing he sneaks a smoke now and then.

The first screamer is lit. Then, one after the other, bottle rockets, fountains, shooters, poppers, boomers in every available color. His choices are superb, each burst complementing and overtaking the previous. Then he lights the pinwheels. They begin to whirr, top to bottom. His vision realized, we all applaud wildly. But something has gone awry. The middle pinwheel breaks free, and in a mad dash, as if with a mind of its own, begins chasing the very man who nailed it to the 2x4.

We all sit stunned as we watch the old man run faster than we've seen him go since my brothers foolishly taunted him saying "oh yeah, you can't spank me if you can't catch me" and got surprised when he did.

It was a mad race to outrun the crafty pinwheel. Dad was running in one direction, then another, but the pinwheel somehow whirred in every direction he went.

Dad, sweating, panting, hoping that the thing would finally die off, continued dodging the maniacal firebomb. Then, with a whiff of ozone, the pinwheel puffled out and dropped to the ground. My father was safe. Those of us who laughed were not.

The rest of the evening's fireworks continued in silence- we were afraid that even one word would cause an unstoppable chain reaction of laughter to erupt. The epiphanal moment of the triple fountain flare and bottle rocket medley far outshone any previous fireworks display that the old man had done, but on this night, nothing would be remembered more than the vengeful pinwheel. Even now, we are forbidden to mention it in his presence.

Have You Collected Family Stories?

What do you think of giving a story as a gift?

See results

Guestbook - Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joe Fiduccia profile image

      Joe Fiduccia 

      3 years ago from Monroe County, PA

      These are the milestone moments in time we will remember for life. Thank you for sharing one of yours with us here.

    • MargaritasWorld profile image

      Margarita Boettcher 

      6 years ago from Morrison, Colorado

      So nice. Glad I found this page.

    • Commandrix profile image


      6 years ago from Benson, IL

      Haha, loved that story & would love to hear more. :) I can just imagine it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've got a pretty good visual on the rogue pinwheel and it's target. Well done and ~blessed~

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

      You have inherited the story telling gene in all of its glory. I laughed out loud about the pinwheel incident; felt as if I was right there too :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)