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My Brother Paul, a Terrific Dad

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

My slightly older brother Paul was a terrific father: kind, attentive, soft-spoken and loving. While I loved my own dad and have posted two times about his life, he was an absentee father in that he worked seven days a week, 10-12 hours per day at his own gas station/garage business.

My brother Paul, (nickname Bali), on the other hand, was a hands-on dad who spent a great deal of time with his children, probably because he remembered how little time our own father spent with us.  Paul was a professor at Brown University for many years. Once when I visited him and my close friend Carol, who he married, I asked Carol if she had ever seen him teach. Her answer was “No.” So I said, “Let’s go hear his lecture.” We did and even though it was well into the semester, I understood everything he said, because he was great at teaching. In fact, he was voted as a favorite teacher several times. He had themes to his lectures, sometimes wearing a “costume.” I remember he was a Star Trek character in one of his “incarnations.” He also used to go to his “office” in their house and practice his lecture after writing it, much like the way I imagine a minister does for the Sunday mass.

As his health diminished, along with his memory, I went to visit him and he said that seeing his students when they visited made him feel really good. He often mentored grad students in his lab and made a real difference in their lives. He died four years ago and I miss him a lot. He always had my back. He was funny and smart and I know his children miss him a great deal. I wish him a silent Happy Fathers Day, because when he was alive, he made his wife and kids happy!

Lest We Forget: A Memorial Day Poem by Harvey Paul Davis

Monday, May 31st, 2021

Note: Harvey Davis is in the Creative Writing Class that is held virtually from New Horizons, the local senior center. We both belong. This is his Memorial Day poem, which I want to share with you, since I believe he hits the nail on the head! Harvey, in his mid-nineties, also authored a book I reviewed around election time called We the People. Go to the Search Box on my website, www.menupause.info, and type in We the People and that posting of the review will pop up.

Photos are my choices from the Internet.

Lest We Forget

Memorial Day is coming up; let me ask you, what do you plan to do?
I see a stack of papers on your table; will that give me a clue?
That barbecue grill I see circled, is that something for you to buy?
Are you planning on this Memorial Day to barbecue and give it a try?

Perhaps you are planning a trip to visit a relative you have not seen for a while.
Perhaps a trip to the familiar Jersey shore, while the weather is still mild.
Perhaps lounging around with neighbors you have not chatted with recently.
Perhaps just taking it easy, planning nothing as all (your hope secretly).

On past Memorial Days the things listed above would have been my approach.
Ideas like honoring martyrs of the wars would not on my plans encroach,
Until last year when sickness, isolation and death were out of control,
And families were separated by disease and death; no one there who could console.

 

On the last Memorial Day, I sat in my wheelchair, lonely and ill at ease.
A pandemic was raging, and I could do nothing that would please.
There would be no celebration on this day; other things were on our minds.
To think of anything but ourselves was not the way that we were inclined.

I am determined that this Memorial Day will be different; take me at my word.
I plan to make up for what happened last year, believe me, I’m not being absurd.
I want you to join with me to make this a real and authentic celebration,
Once again to remember those who gave their lives without any hesitation.

 

 

A short history lesson might be important before our celebration will begin.
After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps something done on a whim,
Flowers were placed on his grave – one thought on how Memorial Day began.
There are other stories, no one is sure, and I’m really not an historian.

It was around the end of the Civil War that the tradition took hold.
A day was set aside when the heroism of our fallen soldiers was told.
Honor was properly given to the sacrifice that all of them made.
It did not matter the land of ancestry, their skin color or its shade.

Unfortunately, there were many wars to follow; I will name just a few:
The Spanish-American War, World War l, and of course World War ll.
Then the more recent wars, where our children and grandchildren died,
Who went off to fight; sadly, we really did not have time to say good-bye.

This Memorial Day we will honor each and every one with sincerity and grace.
Together let us all take a moment, on this day at this time and in this place,
To think about the great sacrifice that all of them made, with our deep regret.
It is fitting, and they certainly deserve this honor and respect, lest we forget.