Dave Paxton

I’m watching NFL football on Sunday and Russell Wilson throws a towering pass to his receiver who has beaten a Cowboys rookie safety. The guy catches it in stride, puts the ball in one hand and starts high stepping into the end zone about 10 yards out. That’s when the rookie never stops playing, catches the hotshot receiver and pops the ball out of his hands before he enters the end zone, creating a touchback.

I’m neither a Cowboys or Seahawks fan, but it was delicious seeing the cockiness of the Seattle receiver come crushing down upon him.

See, kids still watch NFL football and there was much for a dad to teach his kid watching this. Which is exactly why I love players like the late Walter Peyton, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown and the like who would score and hand the ball to an official.

I’ve pretty much been involved in another David Baldacci novel and new character series, U.S. Army investigator John Puller, so my screen time has been limited. But the political commercials are despicable. And it’s pretty much equal opportunity despicability. But without question, the most despicable is the anti-Trump commercial featuring the little boy suffering from leukemia, pictured with his sister rubbing his back as he pukes in the toilet and then telling us Donald Trump will take away their insurance because their son has a pre-existing condition and Trump is bound to take that away from the Affordable Care Act.

The notion that Trump and Republicans will take away the pre-existing condition clause in any revised national health care reform is a lie (of late he has produced an executive order strengthening pre-existing condition elements of current law). But using a sick little boy is tantamount to using Tiny Tim to promote Dr. Scholes foot care products. Coarse, crass and disgusting.

But there are a lot of dandy images political hacks and handlers are attempting to drill into the minds of Americans. There is the photo of Third District House Candidate Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks sitting in a convertible and makes her look a lot like the worst of Hillary Clinton, actually. With U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield you’ve got the endlessly grieving widow verses the corporate shrew. And of course you have Joe Biden looking like a doddering fool and Donald Trump appearing with his hair on fire.

Trump rallies, parades, flotillas and the like continue to dominate the landscape in southern Iowa and there was a major event Saturday with a Trump parade around Lake Rathbun that I was either congratulated for participating in or cursed for it. See, I have recently done a near ground up restoration of my 1951 Chevy pick-up, complete with a vibrant new red paint job. But there is a guy in Lovilia who did (mostly by himself) a restoration of his 1951 Chevy pick-up that is one of those nuts and bolts proper restorations. Mine’s a driver. His is a show truck. And it was his truck, not mine that took part in Saturday’s parade.

It’s not that I don’t like people thinking all stunningly beautiful 1950-era red Chevy pick-ups are my creations, but I can’t take credit for something I didn’t do, nor can I accept blame from Trump haters. Saturday, I actually ducked some fall house cleaning at my church and the Trump parade around Lake Rathbun for a volleyball tournament at Pella Christian.

I will admit to a new television addiction. DIY Network and the reality shows Maine Cabinmasters, Barnwood Builders and most recently Building Alaska. The addiction stems from the fact that my wife and I are building a retirement cabin in our timber above our pond and we sit and watch waiting for ideas we might use. Of course we’re not using 200-year-old logs, our “cabin” is not being rebuilt on a Maine lake and we’re not nutty enough to live in the Alaskan wilderness.

But the reality shows are super interesting to watch, particularly since all three are pretty much populated by rural craftsmen with flyover values and blue collar work ethic, but with really incredible creativity and an almost artistic approach to wood craft.

Frankly, all three shows are way better than watching fanless football, reruns of Blue Bloods or political commercials.

I’m not about to be critical of dads who take a week off work, family leave or vacation time when their wives have babies. Bonding with a new baby or supporting a young wife is laudable. It’s just not how I rolled with the one natural birth of my three children.

My middle daughter was born around 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, newspaper publication day. My wife went into labor after midnight, we dropped our three-year old off at some friends on the way to the hospital, I stayed up all night through a long and difficult labor, the baby was born and I made it back to put the newspaper to bed a little before noon.

My mother-in-law came down from Waverly the next day and stayed with us for a little over a week and I saved those days of vacation (that somehow never showed up after I retired). I don’t remember thinking what I was doing was either right or wrong. My wife, newborn and three-year-old were safe in the arms of my mother-in-law and bonding with my daughter started in earnest the minute she could catch softball.

Which is why seeing Albia head football Coach Justin Huber on the field Friday night coaching the Blue Demons against Chariton after his wife gave birth to their second son, Jett, Friday morning warmed my heart. I don’t want to hear any feminist gasps. My dad drove home from the Marshalltown hospital on three different occasions to finish livestock chores when my brother was born in 1952, myself in 1954 and my sister in 1959.

From the roar of the crowd when the birth was announced at the game, I’m thinking the majority of people shared my admiration for Coach Huber being on the field with his team.

I don’t want to give the impression that I was a non-involved dad with my kids when they were little. I was there brushing my daughter’s hair while my wife was nursing the baby, when the three-year-old left me, walked over to her mom and asked, “Is that pop?”

I had my middle daughter, now three, in the garage with me working on my then new 1951 Chevy pickup truck with its first fresh red paint job when she asked me, “Daddy can I have this when you die?”

I didn’t need to spend that first day at the hospital with her or her mother. From what I understand, they both mostly slept.

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