June brings us the first day of summer and those longer days and warmer nights.

Many get their flower beds buttoned up and enjoy their first sip of iced tea or lemonade admiring their hard work on a quiet summer night. June also brings us Father’s Day. A day to celebrate our dads with BBQs, a day at the lake, or maybe even a round of golf. Some dads are no longer with us like mine isn’t. My dad passed away in 2009 his name was Russ.

Russ was a “man’s man”, a work with his hands’ man, a Mr. Fix It man. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He loved hanging out in his garage and working on just about anything. One year he even built a soap box derby car from scratch for a local child. In his twenties, he built his own race car taking it to local tracks with his brother in tow who raced the car.

Not only did he work with his hands, but he was rough on his hearing too! That garage constantly had the sounds of power tools, engines revving, NASCAR races on TV, the clanking of hammers and nails, and plenty of Tommy James and the Shondells blaring Crimson & Clover and Crystal Blue Persuasion! In the winter there was always a warm fire crackling in the wood burner from wood he chopped.

There was plenty of life outside of that garage too. Sundays in the summertime were filled with horseshoe tournaments in his backyard with tons of his friends. He taught me his only daughter how to play and loved that as I got older I could be his partner. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to hear the sound of those horseshoes clinking one last time. He also took me to the lake hundreds of times to fish although I only enjoyed casting and hearing the reel whirl that bobber into the air and hearing it hit the water. Touching the worms and fish wasn’t my thing. As June led into July, on the 4th the fireworks were a must-see. For him the louder the better!

It’s ironic now that I work with patients every day and counsel them on what may have caused their hearing loss and how imperative it is to protect their hearing with ear protection around loud noise. My dad suffered from hearing loss from being in the Navy on a carrier in the sea as a fighter jet engine mechanic and as a mechanic and body man in his civilian life as well as damage to his hearing from his hobbies in his personal life.

Our work family has started following a young man by the name of William Sawalich who is a professional stock car racing driver sponsored by Starkey Hearing. We have plans soon to attend his races again. I love going because it is still something I can share with my dad even though he’s not physically present with me anymore. You can bet though I will be wearing my SoundGear custom earplugs.

So how about you? Are you just like dear old Dad and enjoy watching races and fireworks? Perhaps consider making an appointment with us for your own pair of custom earplugs.

Penny May

Licensed Audiology Aide / Patient Care Coordinator