My shoes clogged on the tarred railroad ties doing triple-time to Dad’s long gait. His big hand wrapped around my little palm; his other held two poles. I was six-years-old and absolutely in love with him. We had just left Vivian Park General Store where we bought Twinkies and Orange Crush for me, bait, and a six-pack for him. He carried our fishing poles and I carried the worms. A big ole ball of sunshine followed us down the tracks to our new fishing hole. We readied our haul and I hung on to his hand tighter as we waded out to the middle of the Provo River. He made me feel brave as he tossed me up onto the big boulder and told me to get baiting and start catching fish – like it was just an ordinary day. It was the best day of my tiny little life. He left us shortly after that.
Joe Goulding – my Dad, never screamed to the world that he was there. He quietly built. First a new family; then our relationship; then a name. And eventually a multi-million dollar company. He beat prostate cancer and barely mentioned treatment. He retired, and only then told his wife that he had lung problems. He teased, “It was nothing death wouldn’t cure.” Once I knew, it was too late to do anything but try to see him every five days. On one of my last weekly trips to Vegas, he asked for a fifty-cent cheeseburger. Then quietly ate.
Joe Goulding – my Dad, died of lung cancer in June 2011. It wasn’t honorable, or pretty, or easy.