John S 1979 Yamaha DT 125

Smart 16yr old...smarter(cooler) Dad...

I was 16, had my motorcycle learners permit and a 4 yr old Yamaha DT125 street legal dirt bike. Friends used to meet at the sand pit/town hangout and ride/showoff and then later cruise the town...there was a girl...always is...that wanted to go on my bike w/ me, so we set a date for the following night. I got home from school and decided I better 'tune up' my ride for the date...the usual, wash, air filter,spark plug, etc...I was putting in the spark plug ( in a teenage horny hurry) and crossed the plug threads!!! Oh No !! Tried everything...I was freaking out ! My Dad came home from work, saw me in the garage , with a look on my face that he must have recognized...because instead of the usual "what the hell were you thinkin'?" he asked what happened, and I told him "there was this girl, and I gotta meet her in 2 hrs and I stripped out my plug threads"... he looked at me as only a cool dad can and said "Let's see how bad it is"...he then helped me pull the head off the bike, and in an engineering feat of elderly wisdom, proceeded to thread an old spark plug into the head from the piston side, gently working it to the point where the threads were good enough we could get the plug in with no issues !!! A wizard !! We put the head back on and all was Fine...As a teen, we all had battles with our parents as we grew up, but this time Dad was a bit different...my respect for him, and his for me, changed quite a bit that day, and I've never forgotten it...I lost Dad to Alzheimers a few years ago, but this story in particular really sticks in my head...The day I realized he was my friend and a Dad too, he knew my frustration and helped without criticism. A memory I'll never forget and a trait I have passed on...compassion for a dopey kid who just needs a hand. Hopefully this inspires someone to help a son, a daughter or neighbor kid...without judgement, just a willing hand...Oh and by the way, on my way out that night, Dad gave me $20.00, and said "Have fun boy, and if you want to come back later and take her out in my car (A Brand New 83 Nissan 300ZX), I'll trust you... We had a great night and did go for a ride the ZX, movie and a nice cruise to the beach...a great night, Thanks to a great Dad. Miss you...- Jay

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