Just an hour ago, I was talking to someone about my Dad. This man worked one summer at Pittston Lumber, where my dad was employed, a long, long, long time ago.
It was nice hearing someone speak so highly of my old man. To know that others saw what I did about him. That he was a good, kind and gentle man. Traits I've recently tried to emulate.
It is not always easy, having been the victim of some pretty extreme bullying as a kid, I became adept at building walls, hiding the true "me" behind figurative layers of brick and mortar, which at times manifested as genuine layers of fat and flesh.
To this day, I find it difficult to be my genuine self, because the good-hearted, artistically inclined, sensitive kid who loved and cherished his father, often had that good nature exploited, and worse, suffered at the hands of his peers both emotionally and physically.
It took me decades to learn that it is okay to be a gentle man, and to live the tenderness that is at my heart, which has allowed me to explore art through the written word.
People may mistake the qualities I have been trying to emulate from the good man that was my father as weakness. However, I do not, and I will not.
Thank you, Joe O, for the bringing back some fond memories. And thank you Raimondo Leonardi, for being the man I call Dad.