Friday, December 21, 2012
My father died two years ago today, December 21st, 2010. Although our family would rather celebrate life than the anniversary of a death I wanted to revive his memory with those who loved him as Grandpa Louie, Dad, Pops, Uncle Lou or simply, Louie. Dad bestowed all of his children with an appreciation of comedy and film. My father introduced us to movies such as Stripes, Uncle Buck and Animal House. He loved comedians Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. Every Friday night he video taped the Canadian comedy show, SCTV for me to watch the next afternoon. SCTV featured notable characters such as Bob and Doug McKenzie, Guy Caballero and my personal favorite triangle enthusiast, Ed Grimley. There were times we would talk on the phone while Seinfeld reruns or Everybody Loves Raymond was playing in the background. " Hey Lisa, the Jerk Store called", he'd cackle or "Are you ready for Festivus yet?" he'd joke.
When he was in a serious mood his children were forced, I mean encouraged to watch documentaries and films about military history or warfare. How else would a twelve year old girl know how to whistle, "March from the River Kwai"? or even know what the hell, Tora! Tora! Tora! meant? Growing up on Lake Erie he appreciated ships, boats and naval exploration. Lou was an avid videographer who filmed many high school marching and concert band events. Five out of six children were proud "band geeks". Dad had played the saxophone. He began filming high school and professional football training camps and worked briefly with the Cleveland Browns football program.
As a veteran of the United States Air Force he had a passion for flying and airplanes, earning his private pilots license as a civilian. Like his Hungarian father before him he was associated with the railroad and had an almost scholarly knowledge of trains. One of Dad's hobbies was filming trains so on weekend ventures my brother's reluctantly accompanied him "railroading". Etched into our memories, he excelled at drawing and loved photography. Intentionally or not, most of his leisure activities incorporated documenting our childhoods in some way. All of his children inherited his positive qualities. We refuse to admit to each other we inherited MORE negative traits from Lou as well. Thank you, Pops. With love and peace. Serenity now. Serenity now.....