It was the first day of March in 1978. The bell rang and a bunch of excited screaming kids hurried out to the school yard. This normally meant baseball, football, jump rope, hopscotch and the like. But this day was different at Joseph J. Greenberg elementary school in Northeast Philadelphia. A phenomenon swept the recess grounds. Each of us kids was quoting our favorite television show by saying “na-nu na-nu” and sticking out their hand in an odd manner. These were truly Happy Days.
I remember this scene vividly. It has reappeared in mind after Robin Williams’ passing earlier this week. I enjoyed many of Robin Williams’ movies and count ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ as one of my favorites. I was moved by ‘Good Morning Vietnam.’ However, it is this scene from my elementary school that I recall as the truest testament of the power that Robin Williams possessed
BR& SJ – my reason to celebrate Father’s Day.
Father’s Day is coming, and I am looking forward to it. That was not always the case. In fact, I ignored Father’s Day for over six years.
My father died in 1997. He had been going back and forth to doctors for a few months. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, so he continued to work. That’s what he knew, and that was his way.
He was readying to go work on a Saturday. He had some things he wanted to take care of at the office. He probably would have ended up doing more puttering than anything else. Anyway, he received a call instructing him to go to the hospital. So, he did.
Our family still was not informed of the seriousness of his condition. On Tuesday afternoon, the day after his 65th birthday, I received a phone call. Things had become bleak. I rushed in to Philadelphia from New York. I didn’t get to see my father till it was too late. That still upsets me to this day. I think it always will.