I certainly understand your response to that photo of Dad; I had many of the same feelings when I saw it. Though it appears to be a previously unseen picture, however, it is actually a detail from a photo that’s been in the family for many years (1). Through the miracle of Photoshop, we are seeing him up close for the first time. It was taken on the day he was sworn in as Commander of the Sheehy-Palmer VFW Post (a place which will get greater coverage in future ‘posts’), and is significant not just because of his handsome face, but because, one, you are in it and I’m not, and two, it captures your almost supernatural ability to appear angelic in public (2).
Aside from blatant firstborn son favoritism, though, one likely reason I’m not in it can be seen in another picture taken at that event (3). Notice the two black eyes, the ones I had for almost a year, all due to a series of unfortunate events which befell me in those dark days. This sordid tale begins, as I recall, when you pushed me into a block of ice in front of Einstein’s drug store (by the way, how did he find time to run a drug store and do all of that relativity stuff? And why did he name his daughter Dodo? What a sense of humor that guy had).
Then, just as those first two shiners were fading away, I fell (or was I pushed?) off Pat Villani’s front porch, thus delivering the second set. The final beauties were bestowed from on high when a towering construction of chairs and other objects collapsed under me just as my fingers reached the key hanging over the door in our apartment, apparently in a bungled escape attempt. (Had Mom locked me in for some reason?) Two things are clear, though: I had a run of bad luck, and a very hard head. This would be evident in other periods of my life as well.
The only other memory I have of the day in the photos is walking down Delaware Avenue with you, Mom and Sue, you mocking me all the way because I couldn’t say Colonial, the name of the restaurant where the event was being held. A few minutes later there you were, all angelic.
One other bit of history: The building these events took place in now houses a Vietnamese restaurant named My Linh, where my daughter Nell worked for several years after graduating from Pratt Institute in New York. I’m sure she will be amused by this scene from the Brady brothers saga.