I adored my Daddy… To me, he was the strongest, smartest, and surely the most fun guy in the World.  Even after I grew up and realized he wasn’t the strongest or smartest,  he still was the most fun.

After his retirement in 1988, he would go have a few drinks at the VFW every Wednesday.  He got in the habit of coming by my house afterward, allegedly for a cup of coffee, but we would end up listening to music, or making music at the piano.  After a while, he arrived earlier and earlier, lugging a 12-pack;  eventually, he brought his uke and kept it at my house, and we had Music Night every Wednesday, drinking and singing and laughing, and doing the Charlie Brown with the Willie Break…

Dad died in 1997, 5 months after he was diagnosed with metastatic renal cell cancer. He still made it to my house for Music Night whenever he could.  Weeks before he died, on the occasion of meeting Melissa’s fiance’,   he got out his uke and played his last song…”and the band played on”.

He jokingly had me promise that I would take a 6-pack out to his mausoleum on Wednesdays, and one Wednesday about a year after he died, I picked one up and took it by.  I sat on the little folding chair in front of his drawer and sneakily popped one open … I thought how he must hate that cheesy piped-in music… I started giggling, the music got cheesier and went into–I swear!–“those were the days, my friend” ! That struck me as hilarious, and I laughed until I cried, “Come on, Dad, let’s ditch this place.”   We left together…

Dad is such a part of me that I often feel him standing behind me when I’m playing his favorite part of Maple Leaf Rag, and he communicated with me through Phish….but that’s another story.

Still, there’s nobody to sing with anymore, and I miss that more than anything…

Peace and Love to All Daddies!!