This is a weekend that happened very occasionally during my formative years. My Father's birthday is 6/22, mine is today (6/20) and Father's Day is always right around both. Sometimes it would wind-up on his or mine but whether or not it happened, it was always a special week. This year Father's Day is mine as I turn 65, my Dad made it to 70 but he got sick at 65. I have already done that and miraculously made it to the other side, albeit more than a little damaged. This year, for the first time in 4 years, my brain is almost back to fully functioning. If by some Time Tunnel magic Pop was still around he would be turning 101. He'd be amazed at what life in 2021 is and I suspect sad regarding how much our human interaction has changed, but thrilled that I could hook him up with a tiny machine that would play all his favorite music wherever he wanted instantly.
He deserved to live longer. He was a good man, a kind man, fiercely loyal and taught me things that in retrospect were quite ahead of their time. I never heard him use "the N word" and he made sure from early childhood that I understood regardless of what is visible on the outside, all humans were the same. We all have the same color blood. That was his thing, I believe he learned in WWII but really don't know for sure as he would never talk the war with me or anyone that I know of. He received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, which he stuffed in box and wouldn't talk about either. That was not the general mindset of first generation males of Italian heritage growing up in Jersey City, NJ during that time period. He taught me a lot of things, but I can safely say that his attitude in relation to race was much more of a gift than handing down his ability to switch hit in Baseball. I am quite sure he would be disgusted that our country has still not settled an issue that should have been resolved decades ago. I miss him terribly still and it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that it has been 31 years since he passed. I absolutely still do think of him every day. So Happy Father's Day, Pop. I miss sitting you down and playing some of your favorites in glorious Hi-Fi, so I'll do it here. And Happy Birthday, too. Love You.
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