Avoiding Crisis

Sixty-two flavors and then some

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Today is my father’s birthday. His 62nd birthday. In honor of this day I am going to share with you 62 different facts about my Dad.

  1. He’s named after his paternal grandfather Giambattista.
  2. His family immigrated to the United States from Altamura, Italy.
  3. He’s been to Italy twice,
  4. Though he’s never made it to Altamura.
  5. He’s a second generation Italian-American.
  6. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.
  7. He was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers Fan.
  8. He’s still a Dodgers fan.
  9. I think he secretly pretends that they still play in Brooklyn.
  10. We used to go to one baseball game a year, it was when the NY Mets played the LA Dodgers. He rooted as loudly as possible for the Dodgers. We all pretended like we didn’t know him.
  11. He collects Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia, especially anything from the 1955 World Series.
  12. He’s played baseball all his life.
  13. He coached little league baseball.
  14. He was really good at baseball.
  15. He was the Captain of the Hunter College baseball team.
  16. His team won the school’s first-ever CUNYAC Championship in 1965.
  17. He played catcher.
  18. He wore #13.
  19. He went to Power Memorial Academy.
  20. When he was a senior and Capitan of the Varsity baseball team, Lewis Alcindor was a Freshman basketball player.
  21. He was a high school Social Studies teacher.
  22. The first school he taught at was Evander Child’s High School in the Bronx.
  23. He eventually left the classroom and became an Assistant Principal, a Principal and then a Superintendent.
  24. He created the School of Cooperative Technical Education.
  25. He was the Supervising Superintendent of the High School Division for the New York City Board of Education. Which is just a fancy way of saying that he was in charge of all NYC high schools and responsible for a quarter million students.
  26. He retired in 1996.
  27. Since 1996 he’s worked for the National Academy Foundation.
  28. He’s retiring again this year.
  29. He’ll never really retire.
  30. One summer he actually drove a NYC taxi cab to earn enough money to buy my mom’s engagement ring.
  31. If he was to write a book about all his experiences working for the NYC Board of Education he’d title it “You Can’t Make This Shit Up.”
  32. He curses quite a bit, especially if he’s angry or frustrated.
  33. He’s often full of shit, and in that I mean that he has an amazing gift for bullshitting.
  34. Which, makes him this incredible extemporaneous public speaker.
  35. He can be a bit larger than life when he gets behind a podium.
  36. He can also be quite intimidating.
  37. He’s really just a big teddy bear.
  38. He’s a real big softee when it comes to his grandkids.
  39. He doesn’t like to lose.
  40. He’s very competitive.
  41. He always wins at Trivial Pursuit.
  42. His favorite game show is Jeopardy.
  43. He knows A LOT about a lot of things.
  44. His brain is filled with some of the most bizarre random facts and figures.
  45. For example, without hesitation, he can tell you in what year Mary Queen of Scots was executed.
  46. And yet, he knows absolutely nothing about computers.
  47. Actually, he knows more than nothing about computers.
  48. Well, aside from the fact that he knows enough to be able to sit for hours playing Freecell and online poker.
  49. He will not let anyone talk to him while he’s on the computer playing his “games”
  50. He thinks that speaking Spanish simply means putting an “0” on the end of any English word
  51. He’s one of those types that when visiting a new country will try to pronounce the words on signs and billboards even though he has no idea how they are supposed to sound.
  52. His favorite Spanish word is colchón.
  53. He also has this need to give everyone a nickname, even if they don’t want one and even if their name can’t really be made into a nickname. This is typically achieved by adding a “y” on the end of a name or an abbreviated form of the name. If this method doesn’t work, he tends to just call them by their first initial. And these rules apply to almost everyone he meets, including employees and colleagues, expect for my twin brother who was given the name of “Sherman.” Though, come to think of it, that too, over the years, became Shermy.
  54. He’s an avid golfer.
  55. And he only recently stopped playing organized softball (and that was only because he had a heart attack.)
  56. He is in constant motion.
  57. He still treats me like I am 4.
  58. If I’m visiting and staying at my parent’s house, to this day, at 9PM he will tell me to go to bed.
  59. He’s extremely generous
  60. He’s a doting grandfather,
  61. a wonderful father,
  62. and an rather incredible person.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Written by nicolemarie

June 30, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Posted in birthdays, list

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