I truly loved my father. When I was 4, he put me on a Palmino named Dominic on my Great Uncle George's farm. We rode together often. At 5, he built me a playhouse in the yard with a hand hewn log horse. Dad also built me a beautiful Levitt dollhouse that year, with real lights! In 1961 we drove to Sacramento and he stopped in each state to pick out a rock for me. My love of nature and knowledge of it was all learned by spending time hiking with my father. Planting a garden in our yard in Hicksville, NY, we found arrowheads. At age 10 my Dad taught me to shoot a .22 caliber rifle. He bought it so we could shoot beer and soda cans in the mountains with the "boys." Later, he proudly took me to the Nassau County Police Range. That same year he got me a pet duck. I named him Sonny after my favortie Uncle. Sonny soon started laying eggs! So Dad got fertilized eggs and she hatched 13 ducklings. At 12 he agreed to let me get a dog. We got Muffins that Christmas, a beautiful Sheltie. Oh how he cried when he had to put her down. She is buried at our old home in NY.
My childhood with my Dad was wonderful. He had heart trouble while working as a Lineman at LILCO. Dad was promoted indoors and became a Dispatcher and a Shop Steward. He retired after 38 years. Mom and Dad moved to San Diego to be near my husband George and I on 9/16/87. We continued to hike and Dad was excited to volunteer at the Train Barn at Old Poway Park. Mom helped him paint the Shock Control car that is there today. He learned to drive a train. In 1989, my father wept when I got my masters degree and told me how proud he was of me!
A fantastic cook, Dad's specialty was his American Chili. He gave me his recipes years ago and we are having it in his honor tonight. My father was a man who fought for his country in WWII; loved John Wayne and Don Rickles. He was the funniest man I have ever known.
I miss you like crazy Dad. I hope you are now riding off into a beautiful sunset on Dominic.
With all my love, your daughter, Cindy