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My Dad's Quotes - A Tribute

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posted by alias EX22218 - ON/OFF on Saturday 5th of January 2019 01:54:49 AM

To the tune of CSNY's "Teach Your Children Well" - My Dad's Favorite Quotes: "You know, Suzie (he called me Suzie) you can be replaced". - (He was right. Unfortunately, you couldn't be, Dad.) "If you had half a brain you'd be dangerous." (Up for debate) "Do the right thing" - Huh. "Do as I say, not as I do". "I just want you to live an honest life". (Refer to "Do as I say, not as I do". "You're no prize" "Eat your heart out" "They broke the mold when they made you". Which mold? "I forgot more than you know" "you have a one-track mind" - It's "inherited" (wink-wink) "Do you know what time it is?" (No - I confuse right and left. It only took 60 years to figure that one out) "Get your ass in gear" "Motor Mouth" - His polite way of saying shut-up. He never said shut-up. He always said this with a smile. "Shit for brains" His name for my brothers. "Go run around the block" (We did - many times I did not go home). "Asshole buddies" - (When one of his buddies went somewhere with one of his other buddies other than him.) "He talks like he's got a paper asshole". "Don't dish it out if you can't take it" - See "Do as I say, not as I do". "If you're going to live in my house you live by my rules". "Every cigarette you smoke is another nail in your coffin". "Your eyes look like two piss holes in the snow" - (First time wearing makeup.) "You got band-aids for those mosquito bites?" (First time I'd asked Mom for a bra.) "You have exactly till 6:00PM to eat those tomatoes (two hours away) or you go to bed *again* without any dinner.". (And?) "Watch the tips goddammit!" - (Bringing the fishing poles in from the boat). "You smell like burnt toast". "I don't trust him/her as far as I can throw him/her". I was a child, remember? Maybe throwing your beer cans, cigarettes, cigars and bottles in the garbage would've been a good start, Dad. "You know, sometimes I think about suicide." (He said this to me on Christmas Day - 10 days prior to placing a high-powered rifle in his mouth while sitting on the toilet and blew his brains out. With the cooperation of many officials in NJ who scoured their records I was finally able to obtain the police reports and details in May 2022 after requesting them. Mom said he'd always stated he was going to commit suicide when he was ready, although I was not aware or told of that one while he was alive. IOW, he always had a plan. "He did it his way" - on his mother-in-law's birthday. He probably didn't even know it was. He committed suicide 20 years ago (or so) today - January 4, 1999. Nobody knew my phone number to let me know - my Son was finally able to reach me. Somehow I lost a year at that point. I only know *somebody* put that bullet hole in the bathroom ceiling and his neighbor cleaned up the bathroom. That neighbor developed early dementia as many people do after witnessing such a horrific sight they do not recover from without counseling or talking about it and coming to terms with it. Family trauma and abuse is much the same. That is how people are then labeled with psychiatric terms, unfortunately they were not in fact the "crazy" ones. The true "crazy" ones stay under the radar and appear fully functioning. IOW, "they have jobs" according to today's society. I'd been told my Dad was a "functioning alcoholic". He tried quitting smoking many times. Once he tried replacing cigarettes with Regal Crown sour cherry & sour lemon drops. No sugar-free options back then. That's when he lost his teeth. After he quit he gained tons of weight. He sat at the dinner table waving his fork up and down frequently....fair warning to get ready to duck. The five of us always had dinner together every night - that's good for the family structure, it's said. A few times he turned the dinner table over or threw dishes at one of us. I only know he generally missed. I would occasionally lock myself in the bathroom to get away from the violence. He generally knew how to unlock those doors. I ran away from home frequently. I accidentally drove his red Chevy pickup truck into a pond. Someone helped me get it back up on land. I also accidentally set his red Chevy pickup on fire but he wasn't mad. He just laughed. He was a good sport like that. Brother Bob finally totaled it after being broadsided by a UPS truck (malfunctioning traffic light) on the way home from a Grateful Dead concert in Philadelphia. It really was a pretty truck - fire engine red with hand painted gold leaf lettering. It had ladder racks which I'd used as a jungle gym. He mostly put up tin, slate and shingle roofs. The most fun was taking the old shingles, slate and tin he ripped off the old roofs to the landfill in his dump truck which he parked around the corner on Hudson St not far from Gliba's bar (Chambersburg, NJ), dumping it off a cliff along the embankments of the Delaware River - he would back up to the edge as close as he could and hit the gas to attempt to scare us. He didn't. This was also near the huge penicillin and pharmaceutical dump by the Trenton Marine Terminal off Rt. 29 towards White City Lake.. US Navy Veteran. He had one older brother and one older sister. They (Mom & Dad) had three boys (one died - the second one - Russell - his stomach never closed so his guts were exposed and baby Russell only lived a short time. I do not know if or where baby Russell was buried) but Mom said he always wanted a girl, anyway. He told the same stories year after year for over 40 years, yet never spoke about his time in the Navy (the *brotherhood*, code of silence, whatever). He was the baby of his family. He had brown eyes. He said people had brown eyes because they were full of shit up to their forehead. His Mom died when he was 12. He had a severe hearing deficit that was never addressed, as many Veterans do. He was diabetic although it was never addressed. He had metabolic syndrome although it was never addressed. He always kept, cleaned and took great care of his German Ruger which was kept in the headboard of their bed. We learned at an early age where it was and to "respect" it. He either fished or stayed in his bedroom watching old war movies in his later years and went to flea markets occasionally. His back also started giving out. He refused to go to a doctor. I do not recall that he ever did until his 70's when he developed skin cancer (fisherman's arms). Then he wore a hat like Lawrence of Arabia. They took real good care of him at whichever doctor / hospital he'd gone to. Someone trashed all of his records upon his death as I found only a few after Mom passed away - a statement from CMS Medicare - a summary of claims processed dated 6/13/2003 from a Dr. John W. Petrozzi in Barnegat - $70 for an office visit dated 4/25/03. It was denied. Reason? "a. Our records show that the date of death was before the date of service. b. You do not have to pay this amount., c. The name or Medicare number was incorrect or missing. Ask your provider to use the name or number shown on this notice for future claims." My oldest brother wanted his "Red Dawn" book back. We never found it in the house but we combed through everything looking for it. He would go meet his buddies for breakfast at a local diner. He was always mad at one of them at any given time. He had a loud, infectious laugh and a loud boisterous voice. He was also a tinsmith and spent a good portion of his Winters melting lead in the basement to make fishing sinkers. He had freezers full of bait (and hundred dollar bills wrapped in tin-foil). He was a phenomenal cook - he loved the typical German/ Polish/ Hungarian meat & potatoes diet. He adored his fatty meats (bacon, pork, Szalolonna, etc....). He never ate anything sugary except for tons of fresh fruit nightly. He only ate Wonder Bread (white) and tons of processed lunch meats (favorite was Lebanon Bologna). He came home for lunch daily for his bread and tomato sandwich w. fresh radishes on the side w. salt, He did like his Navy Bean Soup with ham. He also spent his afternoons at the American Legion drinking beer. The only "ritual" I remember aside from cleaning his gun weekly and going to Church with us once a year (Christmas) was breaking out the Limburger cheese every Sunday. That was the day we would all hold our noses and run out of the house screaming. He would go fishing twice a week - a 1 1/2 hr. drive from Trenton & Lawrenceville, NJ to Waretown, NJ, where he docked his boat. There was a sharp turn around Cranberry Lake where he would drive 100MPH to try to scare us. It didn't. While smoking his cigars (that was not fun). I did, however, have many, many night terrors most of my younger life about being trapped in a car underwater, among others. Until I learned how to escape one if it indeed happened. My friends all received a glass-break tool for the holidays one year. He taught me how to shoot guns, ride horses, sail and swim (by throwing me in deep waters without any life vest while he laughed),. I am not sure why so many fathers do this to their would think they'd teach them how to swim, first. He taught me how to handle a boat, to navigate through channels, sandbars and the Barnegat Inlet. He taught me how to surf. He taught me to water ski (without knowing how to swim). He taught me to snow ski. He taught me how to drive (while using a quick backhand across the face if I made my turns too wide). He taught me how to shoot bow and arrow. He taught me how to shuffle, deal and play cards. He taught me how to detail a truck. He left me a $2,000 John Hancock Life Insurance policy which allowed me to purchase a Windows Millenium Edition Dell Dimension computer - my first Windows computer which enabled me to go back to school after my aneurysm. He taught me how to "be kind to animals" (after he beat them till they would no longer move) - I skip that part (hurting them). He & Mom hunted wild game (rabbits, pheasants and deer)) with 2 beagles (Tiny and Nellie who was later replaced by Rosie) which were kept outside year long. He had another dog before them - Speck. And another beagle, Queenie. He didn't mind me bringing home as many animals (and amphibians) as I was able. Except for snakes. Mom had a snake phobia and even the tiniest garter snake upset her, so I learned not to bring home snakes after the first one. He frequently had his drinking buddies at the house till late at night. Mom always loved Frank Sinatra, hence he did his best to emulate him in every way he could. He built a beautiful bar in the basement - I was the family bartender. He got a player piano which was quite fun. He set us up with pinball machines, pool table, juke boxes, bowling machines, arcades, etc....which he'd gotten from his friend, Whitey Bralynski from Browns Novelty, who supplied the arcade, pinball machines & shooting local diners, bowling alleys, etc. - an all cash business. He & Mom hunted deer with bow and arrow together, also. They beat the shit out of us, whipped my brothers and I frequently (I was the only one to hit back). One of the more favorite methods of "teaching" was total isolation for a day or night or more (locked in a completely dark cellar way). He was not the major disciplinarian (at least not for me). We won't go there. He taught me how to not give a fuck about life although it was against my grain. The medical profession convinced him knee implants (which his body rejected) and various other surgeries would improve his quality of life - while in his 70's. They, as well as Medicare or the V.A. (not sure which), squeezed the last bit of benefits out of him prior to his death. He began getting major headaches. He took shark cartilage which his buddies told him would help with pain. He died a few months after these surgeries after he insisted he did not want a nurse visiting his house to change the packings after they removed a good portion of his colon. Unless of course, his insurance would not cover it. Mom was unable to pack his wounds. His neighbor Bobby LeFebvre would go over and do this. Dad never exercised although climbing up and down a ladder in his younger years qualified for a while. Other than passive sports (bowling) while younger. he did practice his boxing skills on the family although that extended out to cage fighting, MMA and simply total loss of control of his anger (on 3 little kids). Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia attempted to convince him he needed to have an eye surgery - he left there in the middle of the night - Mom and her neighbor, Judy, drove to go get him at 2AM. I had just returned to work after the aneurysm and could not leave my job II was partially blind and was taking the bus) so I was on the phone with Mom throughout the night. The hospital also attempted to convince him he'd had a brain aneurysm (he did not). He did have a small stroke one Thanksgiving Day and refused treatment at that time. But one day a week or two later he walked into a wall, fell, knocked himself out splitting his head open (and one eye went crooked) which concerned them, hence a visit to the hospital. We all do love the holidays, after all. Wills Eye Hospital removed one of my Mother's eyes - she was in her 70's also. They like to take eyes when they can - someone can always use them. He was a Democratic Committeeman in Lawrenceville, NJ, USA. He was also a boxer on his ship, a ship's cook, a roofing contractor, a great singer and comedian, and made friends wherever he went. He could be a very sharp dresser. He was also a die hard fisherman, a Charter Boat captain, and skilled builder, card player, gardener and carpenter. He was also an asshole, bigot and a stubborn fuck all his life. To the best of my knowledge, in spite of his earlier years as a boxer, he was never evaluated for TBI, trauma, hearing loss or any other neurological impairment or injury. His favorite song was Frank Sinatra's "My Way". He loved to watch Dean Martin, All In The Family and Three's Company. He liked Chrissy. He never liked any of my friends and called all of my girlfriends (since elementary school) whores. He left instructions for Mom on how much to sell his boat, cars and trucks for and what to do with all his fishing stuff (an entire garage full) - that was very considerate, I thought. Once he & Mom were going to get a divorce - Dad said we had to choose who we wanted to live with. Ironically, I chose Dad. Brother Bob (the middle child) went hysterical and could not choose. So they reconciled after counseling with our Church pastor, we became The Brady Bunch and moved to the illustrious suburbs. Both he & Mom had themselves cremated and dumped in the Barnegat Inlet. We took Mom out on a neighbor's boat (Al Casamente, one of his fishing buddies who later was hitting on Mom, she said) - not sure who took Dad - perhaps it was one of his fishing buddies Jimmy McCarty. When their cat, Max died here in Kentucky his ashes were shipped to NJ and his neighbor Bobby again took care of it, so Max should be out there living with the fishes as well. I do not even remember which war Dad was in. - with everyone in our families on both sides generations back in wars, it became impossible to remember whose was whose, mostly because when I'd asked there were many different answers their paperwork disappeared. There was no obituary. No memorial service. I was told two versions of how his Mom died. One was she was at the "beauty parlor" and died from what was called "beauty parlor stroke syndrome". The other story was she was getting her hair done and there was a mob bombing in which she was killed. While Mom was sorting out his belongings after he allegedly committed suicide, she said she found a black bra in his closet. This would most likely account for why all of his belongings were disposed of. RIP, Dad. Thank you for preparing me to deal with senior citizens. I hope I haven't created too much havoc as your Daughter (if I really was). With Love, Dysfunctional Veteran's Daughter Moral of Story: Drinking, drugs, babysitters & kids don't mix. Think about it.

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