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My dad was very similar to your dad. He drank Manhattan's, only one a night, and we were the only Irish Catholic's in the neighborhood with a briefcase of Nixon bumper-stickers. He wanted to become an electrical engineer, but only attained a degree in physics, Latin and philosophy. He bought his parent's house and encouraged them to live there, declare bankruptcy a decade after they'd lost their savings in the '29 crash. Dad became a scout leader for my brother and me though he was an upper West side kid his whole life. Dad allowed us to question everything he held dear in order to encourage 'debate'. I loved it my siblings hated it. He never spoke a derogatory word against anyone, and admired the Jews because of their love of education, theology, and the law. Yet he was intolerant of laziness, whinny Irishman (like John Wayne) and self-inflicted ignorance. Yet despite his strict Catholic adherence he welcomed my unmarried pregnant sister who gave birth 70 years to the minute of my dad's birth! He quietly slipped away with Alzheimer's after 5+ years at 12:30pm on January 20th 2009, the day-moment President Obama was inaugurated. Life is full of irony and serendipitous events....
Thanks for the memory revisit. He was the rock for 3 generations of my family!