his character


Taking the Staten Island Ferry this morning and enjoying the cool breezes and the City, I thought of my parents and when they took me to New York in the summer of 1953 (or was it ‘54?) when I was age seven.  We took the ferry to cool off.  Our hotel, in Times Square,  was four dollars,  I seem to recall.

Why did they take just me? I had a younger brother who was around three years old and an older brother who was around ten.

They may have thought I needed special attention.  I was,  deep down, unhappy and insecure.  I adored my mother and was needy of love and attention.  She gave it, but it did not seem like enough.  My father often seemed remote and distant.  I was afraid of him.  He was so imposing.

Then there was the time in 1969 when my parents, with my younger brother and sister, came to visit me in New York. I was doing CO  (conscientious objector) service. I was barely making enough to live on, but I had found an apartment.

took them to Wo Hop, 17 Mott  Street, in  Chinatown.  No frills. Cheap!  My coworkers on East 18th Street had introduced me to the  place. What became of them? Where are they now?

My father was delighted.

My father relished every such good moment in his life,  every day. People and quotidien experiences.

I miss him greatly.

A Dickens or Shakespeare would have appreciated him for what he was.  A sort of Sir John (aka Jack) Falstaff,  a Mr Micawber, a Simon Dedalus.  A man liked by all and unfairly maligned by a few narrow minded relatives  for faults real or imagined that most of us have and few like to admit.


— posted by Roger W.   Smith

   July 25, 2022

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