The booming voice

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When I was seven, our family moved to West Lafayette. My mother and father wanted us to have access to the good schools in the midwest. At the time, I had no idea that my father had a booming voice. It wasn't until he took us to a Purdue basketball game that I discovered (to my then embarrassment) that my father was a loud, boisterous basketball fan. He, along with many of the fans around us, would yell out encouragements to the Boilermaker players and disagreements with the refs over bad calls. I can remember telling my dad, "I don't think you should be so loud, Papa." He just laughed.

Over the next decade and more, I became a Purdue Boilermaker basketball fan (much to the dismay of my Illinois friends my freshman year at the University of Illinois) and even joined my dad (albeit at probably a lower volume) in the cheers.

My father also introduced me to volleyball at a fairly young age. I think I was 9 years old when he invited me to come play with his group of faculty colleagues and students at the co-rec gymnasium. Tina was there as well (at least at first). It amazes me to this day how patient the others were with having inexperienced kids come out to play at what was their twice-weekly exercise. Out there on the volleyball court, my dad would shout out (in his booming voice) instructions. "I got it!" "This set is for you!" "Help!"

He was easily the loudest voice in the gymnasium and it seemed to me that he directed the play and kept the game going. He usually played setter in a 4-2 offense, served underhand and was fairly sound fundamentally.

Many years later, when I was in grad school, I had my own volleyball club. I invited my dad to come out one evening and play with us when he and my mother were in town visiting me. I will never forget that night. I had built upon the base of volleyball skills my father had taught me and learned to spike and serve overhand; and my team ran a 6-2 offense and middle attacks. One of my players (Paulo Acioli) deliberately hit into my block to make me look good for my dad ;-). He was not quite as loud as he had been with his own club; but my friends remarked they now knew where I got my voice from. :-)

When my parents moved to Illinois in 2004 and my father was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, one of the symptoms was that my dad no longer had a booming voice. I was sad to see it go away; I will never forget it.

Tim 14:48, 3 January 2010 (UTC)