Those bastards stole the day

My dad was born on 9/11/1926.   He died in 1986 and although I still miss him and would like to send a hearty ‘up yours’ to the damn cancer that took him out, I am glad he didn’t have to see 9/11/2001.   Until that horrid day, 9/11 had always been a specially wonderful day for my family.  The day commemorated the life of an amazing man – a great teacher, a great person with whom to argue politics across the dinner table (it got pretty heated – he was a William F. Buckley disciple and I really did believe that love is all you needed).

He taught art to thousands of people over the years, and instilled an appreciation in those folks who HAD to take Art Appreciation to graduate college.  Even now, over 20 years after he died, I still have people coming up to me telling me how much that art class enhanced their lives and how going to an art museum was an event to cherish rather than an obligation because of the enthusiasm of a man in front of a classroom.

He taught me a lot more than art.  His actions spoke volumes and his words were well chosen.   He was forever modest and as stalwart and loyal as any man who has walked this earth.  One of my great regrets is that my kids didn’t really get to know him.   He laughed until he cried at the 3 Stooges and told me that if you ask the man at the soda fountain to put a little vanilla in your coke it really makes it a lot better…things to prize when you are six years old.  More importantly he showed me that it’s your duty to get up, suit up, and show up (and often a virtue to ‘shut up’).

9/11/2001 was a gut punch, a toxic shock and so much more.  Of course, I’ll never forget my dad,  and even though I’ll always celebrate his memory, those bastards stole the day.

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7 Comments

Filed under evil greedy bastards, friends and family

7 responses to “Those bastards stole the day

  1. Hutch,
    Great post. What a terrific remembrance of your father. I’m sorry I never met him after reading it, but I do know that he did a great job. 🙂

    I have acquaintances who celebrated the birth of their first child 9/11/2001. I don’t see them very often, but I have thought about them each year on 9/11, and how strange it must be to have such a happy personal event entwined with such collective sadness.

  2. Your dad sounds pretty cool. I hate that you lost him. *hugs*

  3. I appreciate your wonderful tribute to your dad and wish there was something profound to say that could shake the dark cloud away that hangs over 9/11. The best I can do is to tell you that reading about your dad was a bright spot in my day, a testimonial that great dads trump murderous thieves.

  4. A hearty amen to the kudos, and hearty hugs from the west as well.

  5. Its my brother’s birthday too. You said that so nicely.

  6. it doesn’t sound to me like they did. although, I know exactly what you mean by it… you will always have great memories of that day in history as well as a lifetime of love and learning to look back on because of your dad, and that to me is exponentially more powerful than what happened 6 years ago.

    they can’t have it if you don’t let them.

  7. Margaret

    John, I just read this today on your birthday and want to thank you. You made me cry in a good way, remembering what an amazing and gracious man our dad was. He would have been 81 this year and I can almost picture what he would look like – a little stooped from all the crazy falls he took over the years, but still smiling as if he’s thinking of some funny secret he’d love to share with you if it wouldn’t get him into trouble. I miss him all the time. Thanks for bringing him to the attention of others. Love you and happy b’day. May your children’s memories of you be as fond when you’re gone.

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