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Dear Dad,

I have a hard time beginning this letter using ‘dad‘.

Maybe I should use your first name (Cono) or even your nickname (Gooch)? I always thought that was a funny nickname; and by the way, how’d  you get it?  They used to call me ‘Red’ because of the color of my hair.

As a proud father of an 11-year-old daughter, I have learned so much about parenting; it’s a daily process, 24-7.  The one thing that I can’t understand to this day is why you weren’t a very good parent? If they gave out grades for your parenting skills, you’d get a D-.

Hey Gooch, I was your son.  The one you should’ve taught how to go from being a boy to a man. It took me a long time to figure that one out. And trust me, it wasn’t easy.

There were high’s and low’s.  The low’s lasted longer than I would’ve liked, and maybe having you around during those low’s, would’ve got me through the tough times a lot quicker.

You were responsible for instilling discipline in this young, lost, and innocent kid.

You were the one who was supposed to attend to my basketball games at Holy Name.

You were the one who was supposed to sit-down at the table and help me with my homework.

How about having a catch across the street in the schoolyard, teach me how to ride a bike, teach me to drive a car…Forget the part of teaching me to drive a car, you didn’t even have your license.

Shit, you could’ve taught me how to shoot a basketball, but no, you weren’t a very good athlete.

Maybe a trip across 9th avenue to Rae and Otto’s for an egg cream?  We could’ve sat down at the counter and talked about basketball, baseball or even the birds and the bees. You don’t know how many times I would’ve liked to sit with you at the counter.

Regardless of what anyone says, it’s a parent’s responsibility to raise their children. (Mom tried hard, she gave it all she had but there is nothing like a boy having his dad involved in his life)

I’ll never forget the time you told me you were going to take me to a baseball game; the New York Mets and the Big Red Machine at Shea Stadium. It was supposed to be for my birthday, June 7th. (You taught me a valuable lesson that night.  You taught me to never let my daughter down; when I make a promise to her, always keep it).

To be continued…

-Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com