Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rant #394: Happy Birthday, Dad

After the calamities I experienced the past few days, I am happy to report that there is something good happening today.

My father turns 79 years young today.

And yes, I do mean young. Both he and my mother are the youngest older people I know. My mother has the energy of someone a third of her age (she turns 80 in March), and my father, while a little slower than she is, is as active as one can be at his age.

Proof: he still drives a New York City cab for a living!

No, he doesn't own his own cab anymore--he did for several decades--but he still drives a yellow cab for a fleet three days a week.

And don't think this is easy work.

He gets up at 1 a.m., leaves by about 2 a.m., gets into work by 3 a.m. or so, and begins work for the next 14 or 15 hours or so. Then he drives home, which is oftentimes a trip of two hours or more.

Double that regimen, and you get what he was doing for many decades before that when he worked five days a week (or sometimes six days a week).

He is the guy who brought me up with a sports-minded bent. I wasn't the greatest athlete--although I played all sports--but he was the one who taught me that the first part of the newspaper you turn to in the morning is the sports section.

He is my link to my heritage, as is my mom. With my grandparents long gone, both of them are the leaders of our family--spiritually, mentally, emotionally and religiously.

Sure, he isn't 25 anymore. He has had some health ills, but nothing catastrophic, I am happy to say.

He also has a wry sense of humor, says what is on his mind, and is stubborn as all hell--just like I am.

And I am very proud of him.

So happy birthday, Dad. I hope you have at least 79 more birthdays to celebrate!

And by the way, how is he celebrating his birthday?

He is, of course, behind the wheel of a New York City cab. As we speak here, he is happily at work.

He is a true one of a kind.

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