From the chapter featuring the climactic event of the book, my daughter Kina's wedding. One of my favorite passages from the book was about my grandson Kalen delivering the best man toast at the wedding:
Kalen, my 10-year old grandson had been chosen by his dad to be the best man at the wedding. Kina asked me if I would help him come up with his toast. I leaped at that opportunity. What a fun task to help him with his toast. I wanted it to be his words, not mine, so I conducted a phone interview with Kalen to get his creative juices flowing. I smile when I remember that; I just knew that Kalen would make me proud and do a fine job of delivering the toast at the reception. Kalen was a bit of a ham, a quality I noticed during a sad occasion two years earlier, when Bunyan died.
At his funeral, with Bunyan lying in repose with his New York Mets cap on, comments were solicited from family and friends. Several got up and stood by the coffin and spoke including me, my sister Sandy, and then, unexpectedly, eight-year old Kalen strode up to the front to speak. He delivered a long soliloquy at once moving, cute, and seriously off topic! So I was confident that with a prepared talk, Kalen would do fine at the wedding—and as expected he knocked it out of the park. This is what he came up with:
My name is Kalen Frazier. Thank you for coming to see my mom and dad get married. First, I want to say that my sister LaKi and I are very happy for my mom and dad on their wedding day. The best man is one of the most important responsibilities in a wedding, and I am very proud that my dad chose me to be his best man. My dad is my sports coach, my barber, my homework tutor, and my friend.
Mom is my cheerleader and my ride to sports practices and school. My dad played football for the Dallas Cowboys and the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. I got to go to games in Toronto, Montreal, and Saskatchewan, where I went to the Grey Cup, which is like the Super Bowl. My dad took me on the field, and in the locker room where the trainer gave me a breakfast sandwich. Recently, we went back to a game in Saskatchewan when they celebrated my dad after he retired. My dad and I rode around the field in a golf cart and waved to the crowd. It was just my dad and me. I felt so proud. Most of all, my dad is my hero.
Please join me in raising your glasses. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to propose a toast to mom and dad, Kina and Lance. May they continue to have many years of joy and happiness with each other and with LaKi and me.
Dr. Paul Thornton is currently a university administrator. In the past he has been a professor, small business owner, and corporate executive.