I didn’t know my dad very well. That’s not to say he wasn’t around, but he never really shared anything with us. Well, he did share a few stories when we were kids. For example, I know at the age of 10 he fell through the ice of Lake Michigan. (he was quite OK, just cold)
Or that he pushed his brother Charlie (my uncle) out into the street where in turn, Charlie got hit by an oncoming car. (he was OK too)
He also told us about a place he used to hang out. It was a pizzeria called “Roma’s” that was across the street from St. Vincent’s of De Paul in Chicago, where he went to high school . I guess you could say it was the “Peach Pit” of the 50’s. He took my brother and I there when we were kids. That’s where I had my first cherry 7-up. A real one. …from the soda fountain.
Later on, when I got older, his stories stopped coming and the excursions turned into boring fishing trips. That’s where I opted out, and my brother soon became his co-pilot.
I started becoming more and more interested in socializing with my friends, school functions, and sports. Oh, and thank God for sports. That became the only time my dad had shown interest in me. Since I didn’t like fishing, there was really nothing else to talk about. Maybe it was the awkwardness of a a girl going thru puberty that he kept his distance. Maybe he was just no longer the sharing type. Maybe he didn’t have any anecdotes that went with getting your period?
After my dad had past, my half sister gave me a picture of him, one I had never seen of him before. She said it was one of the only few she had of our dad, and was one of her favorites. He’s in what looks to be a red Cadillac convertible (or a similar boat of a car) where he’s wearing a white t-shirt, hair combed back in the style of back in the day, and posing like he was cool as shit. Knowing those few stories about his childhood, and seeing this picture makes me think of a Martin Scorsese movie like a Bronx Tale. Tough, but sweet.
My dad was sick on and off for about 10 years. He had a stroke in 1997 and past away in the fall of 1998. I had moved back from California to Chicago to be with him and help out my mom. I didn’t realize the extent of how bad he was til my mother started calling me everyday crying, begging me to come back. So I did.
And I am glad I did. One of the last things I can remember of my dad is having lunch at White Castle. His stroke left him unable to talk and use the right side of his body, but he was still able to scarf down 6 burgers without batting an eye. He would ask for no cheese, but never said anything about the pickles. Those he would peel off and give them to me…just like when i was a kid.
Maybe I knew my dad more than I thought. I’m glad now I have stories like these to tell my son. He never got to meet my dad. All I have is memories and great pictures, like the one of my Dad in the Cadillac.
This is something I posted today on Facebook about a comment that one of my ‘friends’ made on a picture I had uploaded. The picture is below, and just between you and me, I thought it was pretty funny. ..
· “ I had someone post on one of my equality pictures here yesterday asking about gay marriage and what about it in the eyes of God.
I explained that my God doesn’t see differences in people and sees all of us as one, and the conversation continued back and forth where I was told I was wrong, gay people will die, and that God did not intend them to exist.
Now, with all of that said, most of us realize that this cannot be true.
~~~BUT, I completely missed the point of all of this and got sucked into a religious debate over it. ~~~
Bottom line, this has NOTHING to do with religion. It has to do with civil rights. And for one American to say another cannot have the same thing they do, is simply wrong. We are not a 3rd world country. In fact, a lot of Americans think we are the dominant country over all.
So, if we are, why do we need other countries to show that this is possible, that they recognize same sex couples and married couples in their countries while we sit and push those of us that are different down?
( As of March 2013, eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden), and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Brazil, Mexico, and the United States), allow same-sex couples to marry. -reference from Wikipedia))
Why do people feel it’s ok to keep gays from benefits that most other Americans have. Haven’t we learned from our past that this is just wrong? Why must this drag out when we all know that all people should have the same rights. THAT is the American way, and has nothing to do with religion. That is my thought on this and that is why I changed my profile pic and that is why I have been posting a lot about prop 8, DOMA, and the historical decision currently at the Supreme Court’s feet.
I was raised a catholic but learning about so many other religions, I am not by any means a religious person now. There are so many different beliefs that I feel I can’t follow one……nor do I believe that any of them may be correct.
And I know I’ll probably get a lot of comments for debate on this, but this is how I feel. EVERYONE should be able to adopt a baby together, should be able to file and/or pay taxes together, (YUK) and overall, marry the one they love. “
You know this would make for great TV.
This is so true, although, my clouds and pix of my dogs are probably good enough to sell in a gallery.
So, yea, 3 months of bullshit from Bank of America and 3 months of stress (added bonus) I finally got approval for an offer on my house $15,000 over asking price.
(I know, why all the bullshit run around if they are going to approve it anyway, right?? It was like dealing with a bitter ex.)
So now I am in the stage of purging. 10 years in a house you accumulate a lot of stuff. and not just stuff you need, stuff you put in your garage and forget about for years until you have to move.
Next logical step, garage sale, right? And the next step after that? Procrastination. then the NEXT step, prepping for 8 hours the day before, sweeping thru every room in the house, getting rid of anything you don’t want to move. That also Includes beds, dining room tables, lamps etc.
I am now sleeping on the floor, we are using flashlights, candles and smartphones as sources of light, and I told my son it’s cool to have picnics in the house! (we are eating on a blanket on the floor.)
This past Sunday, we opened the garage door and invited the buying frenzy to commence!!!!
And the result of this spectacular garage/everything must go sale?? I still have to park outside, and my garage is still full of shit.
I have learned three things from this:
1) Do not have a yard sale on a Sunday during football season.
2) Do not have a yard sale on a Sunday
3) Do not have a yard sale.
4) call the local thrift store to pick up your shit and ask for a blank receipt and fill in that your shit is worth millions (maybe not millions) and write it off at the end of the year.
So what’s next? Start packing and oh, maybe find a new place to live. Otherwise, I’m going to have to come up with another ‘fun thing’ to tell my kid about living in our car.
My friend Stephen Dunham passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago. His memorial service is tonight, and I am devastated that for several reasons I am prevented from being there.
Stephen and I first met when we worked on a sitcom many years ago. He was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known and was a giving and caring friend. We had an insane amount of fun both on and off stage. We’d hang out in my dressing room and clown around, do bits, sneak drinks, watch the rehearsal feed from “Passions” on my little TV (the soap opera shot on our lot), and watch and goof on the original Hawaii Five-0. Out of an episode of that show came a nickname we’d call each other: “Paniolo.”
Life found us drifting away from each other— no falling out, no hard feelings, just a thing that happens sometimes— but we’d remember each other’s birthdays. Emails, texts, that sort of thing. “Happy Birthday, Paniolo! Love, Paniolo.”
We reconnected a couple years ago, on an episode of another sitcom, and it was like no time had passed at all. He came to see my variety show at Largo and had a great idea for a sketch we could do. We performed together a couple times and it was like old times. Actually, it was better.
We went out for dinner with our wives and had a great time and promised to do it again. The life did what life does, and we had a hard time connecting again. I should say, I had a hard time connecting with him. Stephen was good about reaching out, trying to make some time for dinner, lunch, a beer; I was perpetually over-scheduled, always saying “not now but soon, check back with me in a couple, we’ll make it happen.”
It turns out that there might not always be enough time. It turns out there’s never enough time. It turns out that it’s cruel how little time there actually is.
How is it that I will never see my friend Stephen again? How is it that a young, healthy man is just… done? How is it that his wife doesn’t get to grow old with him? How are we not supposed to be angry?
Two of my favorite moments that have ever happened in the ten years I’d done my variety show were the sketches I performed with Stephen. I am one of many people who will sorely miss him.
Rest in peace, Paniolo.