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  • Father’s Day.

    To me it’s just another day on the calendar. There’s nothing special about it. I never really had a father. There’s no need for me to celebrate something I never had.

    I supposed he reluctantly accepted the title of fatherhood. I am sure he wasn’t thrilled about it. Neither was my mother. Her unwanted pregnancy complicated matters to say the least. He was 21 and she 20 years old when I was born. They had no real plans for the future. They never got married, so technically I am a bastard; a child conceived out of wedlock.

    My mom was disowned my her father and tossed out on the street. Back in those days, an unwed mother brought shame and disgrace to the family. Mortified, her father sent her away to live with an aunt. Never mind that he was a drunkard. As a single father, he had to protect his family’s reputation.

    My father’s father didn’t have much to say about the matter. My father’s parents had become separated. My grandfather had remarried to a younger woman - without divorcing his first wife. He had his own problems to deal with.

    I was told that my dad was a talented baseball player and musician. But his dreams were never realized. He never took me to a Phillies game and he never teached me how to play the saxophone. In fact, I rarely saw him except on rare occasions when he needed a love nest for one of his many romantic conquests.

    I lived with his mother who was an alcoholic madam. Two of the four bedrooms in the north Philly rowhouse were used to generate revenue. My grandmother would arrange meetings between women and men. It was a very classy operation. My dad would drop by with a lovely young lady to use a unused bedroom.

    One bright and sunny day he came by to visit. There wasn’t a woman with him, I assumed that he was there to spend some time with me. I ran to him to give him a big hug. I was just tall enough to wrap my arms around his leg. He was always well dressed. He was dapper, debonair, suave. That day he wore navy blue slacks and a white seersucker sports jacket.

    He grabbed my little shoulders and prevented me from hugging him. “No, Sports! You’ll get me dirty.” Sports was his nickname for me.

    That moment is etched in my mind forever. A little light in my soul was went out.

    Nah, Father’s Day don’t mean shit to me. Especially since I have no children of my own.

    He passed away in January 1966. I never knew him.
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