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Dad’s Christmas Miracle

9 Dec

Kenneth Norbert Ratcliff's senior picture: 1956

I just watched the latest Modern Family episode, “Express Christmas.”

Makes me think of my family: Full of idiosyncracies but lovable nonetheless.

Here’s an interesting family story, from our resident storyteller, Dad (who calls himself “The Lone Ranger”).

Forty-four years ago, shortly before Christmas (in late November, but close enough), Dad and his friend Cletus (yes, that is his name) were out on Buckeye Lake duck hunting. It was pretty cold.

Somehow, the boat overturned, and they both fell in. They were in the water for about half an hour, long enough to get hypothermia, and they were too far from shore to walk/swim back.

Luckily, there was a member of the Wolfe family (owners of the Columbus Dispatch) looking out the window of their house on Wolfe Island, in the middle of the lake, with a spotting scope. He saw them and reported to emergency officials, who went out onto the lake to fish them out.

What a happy lifesaving. About a month later, on Dec. 20, 1967, I was born.

Dad, I’m glad you made it! Even though we drive each other nuts, if I didn’t grow up with you I’d never have realized how much alike we are. Thanks for being in my life.