A one-of-a-kind Father?s Day tribute

The scandal won?t go down in history like Deflategate or the Black Sox scandal, but my dad (Walt Kleinsasser) ?fessed up to a scandal of sorts when he was a young boy.

My dad died earlier this year at age 92. Lest you think it?s inappropriate for me to share this story now, I can assure you that my dad would laugh like only he could. Besides, he shared this story in his family memoirs. If ever a scandal can be humorous, this is Exhibit A.

It?s hard to say 4-H and athletic/academic fraud with a straight face, so I won?t even try.

Here?s the story in my dad?s own words.

?The local 4-H club had a basketball tournament coming up, and since Harold (an older brother) was a pretty good athlete, and I could also play a little, they asked us to join the club.

?That sounded like fun, especially since we didn?t know what we were getting into. We attended a few meetings and discovered one other catch?we had to have a 4-H project.

?No sweat. Dad had bought three pigs to raise for butchering so we decided that we could claim that raising them was our ?project.?

?I guess we decided we could easily cheat a little in filling out forms regarding feed, etc. A slight problem developed. One of the pigs was a runt, and one had a softball-size hernia on its belly.

?No sweat. Who would ever know?

?All went well and we even won the basketball tournament.

?One beautiful spring day I saw two cars pull into the yard. This time there was lots of sweat because it was the 4-H leader and the club members making the rounds to see the various projects.

?My back was to the wall and I became a believer of, ?Be sure your sins will find you out.?

?We led the group to the pigpen, and it was a sorry sight. A trough with slop in it and three pigs as described above. The leader was kind enough to point out the nutritional value of slop and then they soon left.

?Needless to say, that brought a fast ?whoa? to our 4-H experience.?

My dad liked sports, but I don?t know that he excelled in any of them. However, he was the oldest fossil playing intramural basketball at Tabor College on the Faculty Fossils basketball team.

We played endless hours of catch or shot hoops together. We also broke a lot of basement windows in our home because of errant throws. Somehow he never acted upset about it. He?d just fix the window and we?d resume playing.

Eventually, my dad took up running when Tabor basketball Coach Norm Holmskog informed him that the following spring, his aerobics class would run the 13-mile road, and asked if he would want to join them.

In his memoirs, dad wrote: ?I started running immediately and in fall I felt I was ready. The problem was no one else was.

?I waited two weeks and finally went and ran it by myself. Two weeks later another fellow wanted to run it, so I went with him. On Nov. 9, my 53rd birthday, I ran it again. That got me started and I have been running ever since.

?I have run over 14,000 miles, including many races from three to 15 miles, five marathons, one 52-mile run and two triathlons. I was never a great runner, but was one of the top three in Kansas in the 50-and-over category.

?My most satisfying 10K was getting first place in the River Run in Wichita, beating a fellow that won five gold medals in the World Masters Track Meet. It is true that he was a sprinter rather than a long-distance runner, but still a fantastic athlete.?

My dad also tried some crazy and illegal dives at the Hillsboro swimming pool, even into his 70s and 80s. One time a kid complained to the lifeguard that one dive in particular was illegal, according to pool rules.

The lifeguard, to her credit said, ?Tell you what, when you?re his age, we?ll let you do it too.?

Dad, I miss you, but I?m sure proud of you.

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