He lived through the 1960’s and worked hard all his life, he went to Woodstock and he loved a good joint. He was kind of a hippie but not the peace and love type. He often criticized the world and the state of the economy by saying “it’s only going to get worse”, he said that from 1999-2014 and pretty much he was right.
He read the newspaper daily and never carried a cell phone, until my mom forced him to. He was extremely smart but he never let anyone know it, because he was smart enough to know that kind of knowledge came with expectation. He always flew very low on the expectation scale and came through with flying colors because he was quite the charmer.
He took us out to dinner Sunday nights or a movie on a Sunday because he worked Monday- Saturday at his self employed company East Coast Van. I later found out that he owned part of this franchise and eventually took ownership of the entire company. They pimped out vans like they did back in the 60s. He was a brilliant business man. He loved money. Which may have contributed to his high stress life.
He was frugal and in light of this he prevailed through the crash of the stock market in the 80s, and then through the recession only to finally hit 62 and collect social security which was a welcomed relief to the years of uncertainty.
He managed to support his mentally ill wife,(and me) paying for private insurance from the time they were married, to 2001 when my mom went back to work which was about 15 years. He paid for insurance for his drunken-addicted brother, his whole family and provided him vehicles and a job for more than 30 years.
He took care of me, he didn’t want to pay for things, but he did, he drove me to Greek school every Saturday and always got me great birthday cards. He was a sentimentalist but no one knows that.
Sunday’s though we’re our day. He would wake up late and watch tv. I would get home from church with my mother in my Sunday dress and go straight to whatever outdoor project he was doing. I would help him rake leaves, pick up tools, hold the level and my favorite job…go get sodas. I spent years of Sunday’s following him around the yard, as he did things on his own. He was free from the wrath of my mother in the yard.
We would work really hard all day, well mostly him while I picked flowers. We went off roading in the back woods to dump brush. We planted all the shrubs in the yard together. We built rock walls, well he did I watched…
We took breaks together though. We patched the driveway and sealed it every August. He weed wacked the wild flowers and I yelled at him, but in retrospect they were really weeds. Then at the end of a long day in the yard we would go swimming. Just me and dad hangin out.
We would go to the lake when no one else was there cause I think my dad was a bit antisocial. He would bring his towel and wear his sneakers without socks and I would sit in the front seat (cause otherwise, I wasn’t allowed to).
We would go see fireworks together. He would crack jokes at my expense and he kept me sharp. He didn’t like anyone’s company like he liked mine. We didn’t talk much… We just were together. When he spoke I listened.
We had the kind of relationship that was simple. I looked up to him and he was proud of me. He was the best man I’ve known. He could really do anything… And he was silly. He wasn’t perfect but he was my dad and if it were possible I’d be making an apointment in heaven today.