My father had a lifelong fear of heights.
I didn’t know this.
I took him on an open cable car ride that climbed a mountain in Park City, Utah.
It was just one of the adventures I’d planned for him and my 2 brothers during their summer visit in the 1970’s.
We also took them to a rodeo, and a Willie Nelson concert. Not memorable.
But the 20 minute ride that took us from 6000 ft. at base to the 10, 000 ft. summit in an open sided gondola was most memorable.
My teenaged brothers were delighted, leaning out the open windows, gently rocking the car on that narrow cable, taking in the mountain air and sunshine.
My dad was turning white as a sheet. I noticed, but I assumed it was the heat.
He didn’t say a word, a front of fearlessness that was so characteristic.
Here is how I found out about his acrophobia.
At a party some twenty years later, he turned to some family friends with these words.
“Yep, I have a fear of heights, and my daughter there (pointing at me) took me to the top of one of the tallest peaks in Utah.”
He smiled at me as I sat in my version of shock and awe.
I had no idea.