For my father, with love

The nearness of this Father’s Day led me to think about what I had received from my father. It was easy to know what I’d received from my mother, since she was always vocal with how much she’d given us.  She was the emotional one.  My father, the logical one, had a quiet strength about him that I liked and depended upon. He tried to explain the world to me, but it was hard to understand his version because it was my sister who inherited his logic whilst I, unfortunately, got stuck with my mother’s emotionalism.

Dad was a good, kind, peaceful, intelligent man – with a great sense of humor – who kept his worries to himself. Everyone liked him. He seemed to have a vast knowledge on many subjects. He had wanted to become a rabbi, and was a thinker and a reader. Plus, he loved ‘If I Were a Rich Man” from “Fiddler on the Roof” and all of Gilbert and Sullivan, especially “H.M.S. Pinafore.”

If I had problems with Mom, Dad was the mediator. Mom would get exasperated with me for whatever and she’d turn to my father. “Hal, you talk to her. She always listens to you.” And Dad and I would go on one of our not infrequent walks. By the time we got back to the house, I had a better understanding of my mother and what I had done to aggravate her.

My parents were very beautiful people, especially when they were all dressed up, calling for pictures to be taken. Dad loved the new Polaroid camera. He was delighted with the immediate result of seeing a photo right after you had snapped it.

At the end, when he…

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