You know, this is a day to reflect on all the people and things we're thankful for. It was easy for me to come up with my list.
Yes, I'm first and foremost thankful for my family: my great wife who puts up
with me, and understands me, my four beautiful children, all of whom are
successful in their careers, my fantastic sister, and my grand kids, cousins,
nephews and nieces. And-- my friends and best friends. My health and my career,
and a whole lot of other things.
But today I'm reflecting on two people who made it all happen. Who gave me life,
who nurtured me, who taught me about values and ethics and morals. My mom and
dad, who are now gone. Sure, there were tough times when I was a teenager. I
hated my evening curfew when all my buddies could do as they pleased. I hated
the dictum that I couldn't go fishing by myself until I passed the swimming
merit badge when my dad was scoutmaster. And a whole lot of other things that I
can smile about today.
Mom and Dad were common folks, blue collar people. Their parents came over from Italy in the early 1900's, went through the rigors of Ellis Island along with
millions of other immigrants of many nationalities who could barely speak
English. Mom worked in a coat factory until I came along, and then she became a
full time mom. Dad started out as a barber, then drove a dump truck with my
grandfather, and ended his career as a highly successful car salesman.
Dad always liked to tell people that his son never worked a day in his life. But
he always said it with a grin. As he told it, I studied forestry and wildlife in
college, worked outdoors as a forest ranger and wildlife biologist, then went on
to hunt and fish full time for a living and make money writing about it.
Mom was the consummate cook. Some called her the little pasta lady. She lived to
dote on Dad, and my sister Rita and I.
I can't even begin to tell you about the incredible memories of my family in
this blog, because it would take volumes. But today, on Thanksgiving Day, I want
to simply say, I love you, mom and dad. You made it all happen for me.