The phrase that always pops into my head when I think of my dad is him saying “rules are made to be broken”. He would tell me this daily. This was Patrick LaGrone’s personal anthem! It’s what he would say to himself. It’s what he lived his life by and it’s what he taught his daughter! It’s important to note that my daddy is deeply disappointed that I did not adopt this mantra…I believe firmly in a society with rules but then again I am not a hippy! When I was 9 years old Dirty Dancing (movie) was released and one evening after I was put to bed my dad and step-monster planned on watching it (alone). Well they had a huge problem or two. 1) I really wanted to watch it and 2) the tv wall was also my bedroom wall! I was so mad that I couldn’t stay up to watch the movie that I focused on the one thing that I knew would get my dad’s attention….rules are made to be broken! All my pleading to stay up late was falling on deaf ears but then my dad said “give me a reason to let you”…I went to my room and as I listened to the movie, that I wanted to watch, I decided to learn my ABC’s backwards. I focused for nearly an hour and perfected them! I remember crawling out of bed and walking into the living room. I remember my dad pausing the movie with a smile on his face and I remember the sour look on my step-monsters face as I was interrupting her time with my dad. I proudly started with Z and ended with A and after my dad clapped his hands he told me to join him and finish the movie! For years and years after that, he would randomly put me on the spot, and ask me to repeat them. Yes, I still know them today 30 years later! My dad even bought the movie as a reminder for my accomplishment! Over the next 6 years or so I would naturally push his mantra and each time he was true to form. He loved breaking rules but always told me I had to be honest with him! If I wanted to skip school – no problem. Just had to tell him where I was! Went to a party I was not supposed to – no problem just call if I neeeded him! I would never get in trouble as long as I called my dad! One day in March 1994 (3 weeks before I turned 16) I broke all the rules and went to a party that I was NOT supposed to be at – I was a freshman in high school but was friends with seniors. I was supposed to be at the movies and then at my friend’s house by 10 but instead I was on the other side of town at a party in a field with hundreds of kids I didn’t know, nor did my friends. A disagreement broke out and my senior friend was killed. I called the one person who prepared me for a difficult moment such as this. I called my dad! He came to the hospital as quickly as he could and started calling parents of kids who did not feel they could call their own. We never once discussed that night. I was not grounded for I paid a much higher price. My dad was true to form. I called and he came..I also never broke a rule again!