As many of my readers know, I am away for a few days celebrating the life of my father.
Today’s 13 is dedicated to my dad.
1. He was born in 1923 on a kitchen table in Patterson, NJ. This was not uncommon for the time.
2. His parents were European immigrants who quickly adapted to the American way of life.
3. My father had a brother who died at childbirth. He also had an older sister and a younger brother.
4. My father outlived the other member’s of his family.
5. This was his childhood home (minus the dish).
6. This is the high school that my father attended. He ran cross-country and studied many languages including Latin.
7. My father grew up with a fella named Larry Doby. They were very good friends. In case you do not know who Larry Doby was, he went on to become the first African American baseball player in the American league. I think you probably know who was the first African American player to play in the big leagues was.
8. This is a statue of Mr. Doby in his home town.
The eerie relevance to me is that somewhere among my father’s belongings is a newspaper clipping with a picture of him and Larry Doby, when they were very young, climbing the fence around the ball field that I believe to be in the same location as the field in the background of this photo.
9. During my father’s senior year of high school he enlisted in the army. He could not wait to graduate and serve his country.
10. My father fought in the Battle of The Bulge 16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945
11. He was also on a ship that was hit by a bomb. He was one of a few men who knew how to swim to safety. Swimming and running were things my father did until very recently. Despite all of his bouts with cancer, he had a very healthy heart. This is why I run and swim.
12. My father was married to my mother for 61 years
13. My mother passed away 2 weeks after their last anniversary together. My father followed her 7 months later.