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HAPPY BIRTHDAY “POPS”

dad

So my Dad would have been 76 today.  I wish I could say its been getting better since he left us a few years ago, But that’s just not the case. Its tough to be a father and you really can’t take the proper time to grieve because you have to take care of your family and keep moving forward.  It’s a fast paced world and there is so much going on that you forget sometimes that the person has left. I sometimes forget that he is gone and tell stories about him to my kids that are completely hysterical but I often catch myself  saying “ The next time you talk to Grandpa B.  ask him about…”.  It’s almost like I secretly wish he will show up at the door with Toys for the kids and a big sh#! eating grin and of course ask me “ Did you call your mother”?    I share stories about my dad with the kids all the time and the smile and look in their eyes is something I cherish and I only hope someday they are telling stories about me to my grandchildren and getting the same reaction.  Some of their favorite stories of my dad revolve around him at my Football and Basketball games.  My dad was a large man and had old knee injuries from his early football days so he winced walking up and down the bleachers at my games and walked very gingerly. He would always try to go to the top bleachers so he could have a clear view, plus he loved hanging out with some of my football friends who would go to the basketball games and yell insults and other things to the opposing team.  He would always tell me after the games who said what, who was funny and who he got a kick out of.  Oddly enough, my buddies all loved hanging out with my Dad..he was like the Paternal leader of a Frat house.  Despite this position at the top of the bleachers and his gimpy knee, every time a scuffle broke out on the court and there would be pushing and shoving (Usually started by me!) I would always turn around and suddenly he was on the court??  How?  Did he just jump off the top like a wrestler jumps off the top rope??  Did he Swing down on a rope? How could a 300LB man with a bad knee scale down over and in between people within a mere 2.5 seconds?  I say to you the Ussain Bolt would beat my dad in the 100 meters but my dad would easily take him in the 20 step bleacher hurdles!

For football games my dad and a few other dads (Mr. Keenan and Mr. O’Donnell to name a few) liked to stand on the field which was not allowed .  So my dad did what he always did:  He improvised and pretended he was security.  He would even walk up to kids or spectators in front of the police and tell them “Sorry guys no spectators on the field” and would suddenly have ‘Earl the Cop” from the city of Poughkeepsie assisting him.  So here was my dad on the field illegally and he was  helping Police remove people from the sideline…who were there illegally?  I remember playing at Stizel field once when I was a junior and as I always did, I liked to eyeball my Dad and know where he was, whether it was Football or Basketball games. After all if I start yet another fight I kind of wanted my bodyguard nearby right?  Also, when I would make a good play he would give me the little fist pump as I looked at him and if I was going off the tracks he would give me the calm down wave and mouth to me relax.  Well at one football game I got injured on a play.  I really don’t remember the play but it was at mid field or so and my dad was on the sideline by the 10 yard line.  My leg got rolled up in a pile and I was writhing in pain on the field for about 10 seconds when out ran the help..I looked to my right and there was one coach, I looked to my left and there was my dad already on a knee and asking me “ What happened”?  All I could think was ..HOW?  How is it possible that you just came from about the 10 yard line to the 50 yard line and was on a knee next to me?? He couldn’t even Kneel at church for Crying out loud!  I am starting to think my dad secretly may have been the world’s fastest human and probably COULD beat Ussain Bolt in the 100 meters…all you would have to do would be to tell him at the start of the race: “ Hey , one of your family members or friends  is in need a 100 yards away” …SWOOOOOSH!!!!

Oddly enough, Earl the Cop and my dad struck up a relationship and became friends so by the time I was a Senior Earl knew full well my dad’s little schemes but he didn’t seem to mind.  I once was doing some rabble rousing with some friends (underage drinking comes to mind but don’t tell my Mom) and Earl rolled up on me.  My heart was frozen as a cop got out of the car and Earl didn’t seem to mind the Genesee Cream Ale six pack on the ground in the Alley next to me and instead said’ Hey, How is your Pops, I really get a kick out of him” It was after that that I started referring to my Dad as ‘Pops” because that succinctly described him as a personality and character.  Any fool can become a Dad, but to become known as ‘Pop’s” takes a lot more.

So today we celebrate the life and times of my Pops and I only hope one day my children will lovingly tell the story about me running over that Goat in N. Carolina or the time I did an Irish Jig on somebody’s lawn because he didn’t want kids walking on it.

 

Happy Birthday Pops..I still miss you and feel a void everyday …but I can’t wait to tell you about the NY Mets!!!

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Date
September 28th, 2015

Author
jbusacca

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