Somebodyisfromhere.com’s father may have been a white collar professional whose favorite music came from far off lands like Venice, but looking back on it, there was a tidy localness about him.
He was born in Camden, NJ where he remained until he went to college at LaSalle University across the bridge in Philadelphia. Later he returned to Camden to get a law degree from Rutgers. He met his wife, married, and moved into an apartment in Camden. They moved out of that apartment with their first child, a boy, and moved to a town named Lindenwold in Camden County where they had three more boys and remained for three decades.
This is what Somebodyisfromhere.com thought as he flew to Seattle to say his final goodbye.
Many families’ greatest memories come from travel; the proverbial kids in the backseat bickering during a long drive type stories. There’s a reason the Griswolds are as famous as they are. Somebodyisfromhere.com’s family did travel and his father’s travel stories have left some of the more indelible impressions of the man.
While Somebodyisfromhere.com remembers the time they took the train from Philadelphia to Chicago and Somebodyisfromhere.com’s dad brought an empty suitcase as opposed to the packed suitcase left for him on the bed, he mostly remembers how his dad sat with him on the observation car of the train the whole night after some drunk lady stole their seat.
While Somebodyisfromhere.com remembers the road trip to Gettysburg, in the era before cell phones, when their car stalled and they had to spend hours playing in a grassy circular area inside of a highway exit, he mostly remembers the less catastrophic drives his father made without complaint trekking back and forth from college and wherever else was needed.
While Somebodyisfromhere.com remembers the trips his dad took him on to the homes of the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Cubs and knows his father especially liked taking him to the homes of the Yankees and Phillies, he mostly remembers how his dad managed his little league teams.
Unfortunately, Somebodyisfromhere.com’s dad got more trips then he bargained for during an Alaskan cruise. Not only did he get a ride on a boat, but he also got his very own helicopter ride to a hospital a Juneau.
Somebodyisfromhere.com’s mom battled cancer for a couple years with her husband at her side. Fortunately, she built up strength and got healthy enough to return to everyday activities. After cancer, of course, a return to the mundane is celebrated. One day she decided she was healthy
enough to do the supermarket shopping on her own. On that day, Somebodyisfromhere.com’s father was taken to the hospital. Later, he was diagnosed with a different kind of cancer of his own
He too fought the cancer. He was healthy enough to attend his son’s wedding in October 2008.
When Somebodyisfromhere.com’s father and mother were to a point in which they were healthy enough to travel, they surely took advantage. They flew to Vancouver and spent a couple days in that beautiful city. Later, they hopped aboard the Celebrity Cruise to see Alaska. Things deteriorated from there and he took that fateful helicopter ride off the boat. After he spent a few days in Juneau he was again deemed ready to travel, this time to his hospital in Philadelphia. During a layover in Seattle a new complication arose and he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Looking back, it’s hard to miss the “Cat’s in the Cradle” observations. Somebodyisfromhere.com always thought he listened to different music than his father, but it was he who took him to his first concert. How cool is it that Somebodyisfromhere.com’s first concert was the Rolling Stones?
Somebodyisfromhere.com’s dad used to take him to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but had to bribe him with lunch. Without those lunches though Somebodyisfromhere.com probably wouldn’t have gone on to visit fascinating museums in London, Amsterdam, or Barcelona and wherever else.
Somebodyisfromhere.com’s dad loved photography as much as anything else on Earth; the picture above, for example, was taken at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver and is called “Photo Session.” Here, meanwhile, Somebodyisfromhere.com sits writing about his father on his psuedo-photography site.
On the plane back from Seattle, after the goodbye, Somebodyisfromhere.com thought about all these things. More than anything though, he thought about just one thing… I miss my dad.