To the man who watched me jump off the diving board at the country club swimming pool in 1962 . . .watched as I dropped like a rock, then jumped into the pool in his 3-piece suit to save me —

hkb To the person that, nearly every year from 1958-1968, would pack me and my six younger siblings in the back of a station wagon and drive 500 miles to my grandmother’s house in Virginia —

To the friend who never once took a day off from work because he had seven children to feed and send to Catholic schools  (ungodly expensive!) —

To the disciplinarian who marched me into Woolworth’s in 1959, straight into the Manager’s office to return the six ball point pens I’d stolen earlier that day —

To the sports enthusiast who went to every basketball game his son was in, despite the fact I sat on the bench the entire season —

To the Gate Keeper who protected his family 24/7, and when three men showed up at the front door, looking for my brother Gerry, and one made the mistake of saying, “I’d stay out of it old  man,” my father hit him so hard, the  man was launched like a missile off the porch.—

To my guardian who always got up with me when it rained, and helped me deliver my newspaper route.—

To the best friend a kid could have, and when he found out I skipped school and drove to Brooklyn and went deep-sea fishing and was suspended for a week by the Principal, he grounded me for a month, but made sure I had the keys to his new Oldsmobile on Prom Night.—

To my father; I didn’t always understand you, certainly didn’t always agree with you, but said to you on the day before you died . . .”If I had to do it all over again, I’d still pick you for my dad.”

Goodbye Dad. I will miss you.