Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daddy Was Buff!

Here's my Dad with a chubby little someone on Revere Beach many summers ago.

Check out Joe's biceps and pecs, straining against his shirt! My father started every day with two hours in a very exclusive gym.


My father was a laborer and came by those muscles honestly—in construction and literally digging ditches. He had no formal schooling. Every morning he went out to the corner and stood with his buddies, all waiting for work. A truck would come by; the foreman would alight and ask, "Who can use a skill saw?"

My father would raise his hand and hope the guy next to him really did know how to use a skill saw so he could learn. The cash he brought home in a little brown envelope supported four of us. When it rained, he found "inside work" as he called it; in good weather, he was off to a building site.

I didn't know it then, but he modeled a work ethic that still means a lot to me: You do what you have to do to earn your own way in life.

Mostly I loved my father for his playfulness. As a kid, I would hide in the same spot, behind the couch, every night as he walked in the door. After he replaced his muddy clothes with clean ones, he'd stomp through the house "looking for me."

As Joe's daughter, I love this photo of the two of us.

As a writer, I wonder who are those people in the background? What are their stories?

Do you have the same thoughts about people whose photos are inadvertently included in your albums or picture frames? And how many living room galleries are we in??


Anonymous said...

wonderful picture with a backround that conjures up many memories. Uncle Joe was very special. this gentle man stood very tall to me in the quietest of ways. xoxo

Betty Hechtman said...

I never thought about being a bystander in somebodies photo album.

What a nice photo of you and your father. It seems like the best gifts our parents give us have nothing to do with things. My mother always told me to make my own good time. The advice has stuck with me and was better than a whole closet of party dresses.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Wow. What a wonderful photo. I love the tender way he's holding you.

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks all. The photo is only 2" x 3," but my favorite!