I entered a contest on Gather re: Resurrecting the Champ. And I chose my father as my Champ:
My Father! I loved going to the movies and I loved to read as much as my Father did. Inspired by my Father, I have been writing off and on since way back when it only cost a dime to go to the Saturday Matinee, or any other time I could scrape up the price of a ticket. And in most cases when the ending was not to my liking, I felt compelled to go home and rewrite it.
When we were young, my four brothers and I would listen to my Father reading stories to us every night after we were ready for bed. These wonderful memories took place mostly during the winter months. The summer months were devoted to the one or more of the beaches that were an all day excursion with our parents on the week-ends. During the week my brothers and I would walk to the local beaches and get in trouble on our own.
When bed-time was drawing near, my Father would start a fire in the fireplace and when we were ready he'd have us sit on the floor all around him while he sat on a big stuffed chair. Once settled he would take a book off the library shelf (yes, we had a room that had book shelves inbedded in all the walls and they were always stacked with books). We never knew which book he would take down, so it was always a mystery until he started reading.
I remember him sitting on his stuffed chair, watching our faces as he began to read the first chapter in Jules Verne's novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He would read to a point that left us hanging and wanting more. But he always stopped when the hour was up. By that time, the warmth from the crackling fire had done its magic; drowsiness had taken its toll and we were desperately trying to stay awake so he would read more. But the time was up and no amount of pleading would change his mind. Reluctantly, we'd leave the room with all the books in it and go to bed with visions of the story in our heads wondering what was going to happen next. The following night the ritual would continue as we waited for the next installment in our venture under the sea in Captain Nemo's fantastic submarine, The Nautilus.
And as the years passed swiftly by the many books off that library shelf took my brothers and I to many places we would never have visited without Dad's stories. I decided to try my own hand at writing and quickly discovered I enjoyed writing stories…putting words down on paper gave me a sense of accomplishment…but I never did anything with it. When I wrote my first novel it was just for the pleasure of it. It wasn't long after that writing became an obsession with me and I have been writing for publication ever since.
End of story
I can still see my father sitting in his chair waiting for us with a smile on his face to begin reading. We didn't have much growing up, but we had a Dad who loved to take us to exotic places through the pages of a book.