Sunday, August 12, 2007
daddy joe

I'm in kind of a pensive mood, I guess you would say....August 11th was my father's Birthday....if he were still alive, he would have turned 109 years old yesterday....But he passed on, as they say, in 1981, just 20 days after his 82nd Birthday. A massive heart attack...it wasn't his first. They had been to see "Annie" at The Kennedy Center and Olga, his fourth wife, had just driven into the garage at their home. He had been 'popping' the nitro pills all during the evening, which he did on occassion, but this night more than ever....and, by the time she parked the car in their garage, well, that was it. She called 911, but it was too late. What a life. An amazing life, really.

This picture above was taken at a big celebration for his 80th birthday....Our relationship was fraught with all kinds of conflicting feelings....but, bottom line, we loved each other as much as we both were capable of "loving" each other, if that makes any sense....And in the last phone conversation that I had with him the very last thing I said to him before hanging up was "I love you Daddy." This has always been a comfort to me. That fact that even in death he controls from the grave....well, that's another story for another time, maybe. Not an easy story to tell, I might add..... Florida, 1939-40. In the picture above, "Daddy Joe", (That is how he signed his letters....) is standing outside The Everglades Cabana Club, Miami Beach. (right next door to The Roney Plaza Hotel)...The Everglades Cabana Club was where we spent every afternoon of our lives practically, swimming in the wonderful wonderful pool....One of my favorite pictures of Daddy Joe, again, at The Everglades Cabana Club...sitting in a bathing suit, his eyes on Time Magazine. A typical pose for him...He was either reading a newspaper or was reading a magazine....And then, below, my very favorite picture of him, and it is one that I took....1978, Los Angeles, my home. He had just awakened from an afternoon nap on the couch, like 5 minutes before, and I begged him to let me take a few pictures of him out by my garage where the light was still pretty good....This was him. It's all there in this picture. Tough and vulnerable, and, his signiture 'bow tie'. The ties that bind never really untie. What was that line in "I Never Sang For My Father".....(this may be a parahrase)....'Death ends a life, but not a relationship...'. Indeed.
Here it is, 26 years later, and the ripples continue.....Your birth children, all over 75 years old, still struggle with the the aftermath of your wake....Part of the legacy of parents and children, no matter the age, and most espcially when a parent is a rather larger than life figure....Moving on in spite of the many things that might hold one back, that was the challange and hopefully the triumph. Taking the good things and holding them dear, dear Daddy Joe. That was and still is the challange.....! On one of our better days....







More To Come......







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49 Comments:
had this to say:

How eerie - my dad's birthday was August 1, he died 20 days later 9 years ago. He was 73. Here is my birthday post for him: http://daramusing.blogspot.com/2007/08/tangerine-dreams-and-marmalade-skies.html
Thanks for sharing - and thanks for the visit!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 1:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hey Old Lady,

Your daddy surely was one handsome dude :) This tribute you wrote about him shows how much love you have for him.

Here by way of Michele,
Enid

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow. That's a deep post. I can't imagine having a Dad that one can google. My Dad was larger than life to me but was not a national figure. He would have been 71 on August 18th, but died at his retirement party on October 9, 1998 at only 62. As all Leos are, he was a big personality and made a big difference in many peoples' lives. I'm glad we can share this, because I've been thinking about my Dad a lot too. I'm glad you had more years than I did. And do what I do. Just remember the happy times.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:11:00 AM PDT 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

What a beautiful tribute to your Daddy Joe...! lovely pictures as well. Good friends of mine turn 50 and 49 today...Cheers!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:12:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

I'm glad I came over. Lovely to know more of your back ground Naomi and I hope you will fell like telling us more when you feel like it. I know how difficult it can be some timed and - so far I have found facing mu demons helpful in the long run. I had a volatile relationship with my Dad but always loving - especially in later years. I can't imagine how I would have felt if he had married again but Mum was with him till he died aged 82. Over 60 years.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:20:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Lyn M
had this to say:

Does a parent's incapacity for loving infiltrate our lives and then leave us with undeniably painful memories? It does, but if they have left us with our own capacity for loving as large as life itself, then they have left us a precious gift.
You have that capacity Naomi. Your life is full of the enormous rewards that your love has given to all you have shared it with. I am certain that Daddy Joe was the recipient of his gift.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 8:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I imagine that the kind of person your father was there might have been some complications in your relationship, but also made for a part of your very interesting life.
Your memoirs are so fascinating!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 10:11:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

A fine tribute to your father, Naomi.

Michele sent me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 10:13:00 AM PDT 

Blogger rob
had this to say:

Gorgeous, baby.

Freaking gorgeous.

I love the fact that the last thing you ever said to your father, despite what your relationship may have been (or still is) was, "I love you, daddy."

In the end, I think that's something any father wishes to hear.

It's also something any daughter wishes to say to their father.

Well done...

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 11:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a nice tribute to your dad!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 11:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Your daddy was a handsome man and I loved these pictures. What a nice tribute to him Naomi. My daddy's birthday is this Wednesday the 15th.

I know you must miss him. Hugs!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 12:32:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's lovely. You are so beautiful and your words fascinate me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 12:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I don't know that a child ever outgrows the desire to have the approval of their parents.
As you said, though, you had the underlying foundation of love -- oftentimes, some people don't even have that.

Wonderful post.

In answer to your question on my blog, the scanner I bought can scan unmounted slides, 35 mm negatives, 126 negatives. Basically the adapter sits atop the scanner platen, and in its scanning area is enough room for one strip of film. I'm not sure if it would scan your transparencies. The single thing that made this scanner workable for me is that it's skinny, at 1 3/4 high, it will fit in the space in my desk I have designated for a scanner.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 12:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It sounds like you had a complex relationship with Daddy Joe, as did I with my father. He died at 50 and our relationship was never close. I don't think he had a close relationship with anyone in his life though apart from alcohol unfortunetly.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I was only 31 when I lost my father, but as you say, death ends a life but not a relationship.

Your Dad was a good looking guy, hey? How wonderful you were able to tell your Dad you loved him, just before he passed away. That must give you great comfort.

How come both you and your Dad look so familiar to me???

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 3:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi naomi! What a beautiful post of your late dad with photos. Thank you for your honesty and openness.

I missed my dad (passed away 6 years ago) and mum (joined him 18 months later) terribly.

Take care and God bless you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 4:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I got teary...such a great post...and the pics...oh my!!!

A big hub for you today all the way from New York City!!1

Lots of love!!!

Maria

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 5:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I received your second comment and posted a little reply to it. Thank you. I thought I recognized you.

You know, I sometimes still talk to my Dad. They never really leave us.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 8:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What an interesting and lovely post! Thank you for sharing this with us!

I lost my dad over 20 years ago & I still regret some of the unresolved issues.

And thanks for coming by to visit me!

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 9:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful post my dear friend I've enjoyed this very much.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 2:46:00 AM PDT 

Blogger TLP
had this to say:

Lovely post. You were lucky to have him.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 6:57:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Naomi, very nice post. Is it not amazing, just how much our parents, and enviroment, stays with us all of our lives. Karen and I share a Mom, and have different fathers.And it does amaze me, just how much both of them still touch us ever day. Memories:) Pat from NY.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 7:46:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

great post and great memories.. it's hard to even imagine what we'd be like without our memories.

..but we never really stop missing them.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 8:03:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

Hope you had a lovely concert and saw shooting stars.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 8:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely tribute to you Dad, Naomi! Love all photos, as well. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories. Many hugs my dear!

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 9:10:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely tribute to you Dad, Naomi! Love all photos, as well. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories. Many hugs my dear!

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 9:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love this post Naomi. It reminds me of how things were between me and my dad. It was a strained, akward relationship and at one point didn't speak for many years. He even missed my wedding. We finally got together and I got a few more years with him before he died 4 years ago. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 10:52:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hello Naomi:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your "Daddy Joe". He was a very handsome man, and even though you say you had difficulties in your relationship at times, I can hear in your words how much you still love him. My own dad wasn't a famous figure, he wasn't well travelled, or even well educated, but he was a lovely dad. He has been gone since 1977, and he lived to 95 years old. And I still miss him!!!
On another topic, your "Lucky Star" from Canada is on it's way!

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 11:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

relationships with parents can be so hard. even when they are gone, the influence they exerted lives on in their families. sometimes good, sometimes not so good.

did you notice how much your father resembles Robert DeNiro?

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful post about Daddy Joe, Naomi. I always find your life so fascinating. I'm sure he was a wonderful man!!

I'm glad you told him you loved him during your last conversation too. I can understand the comfort that brings!

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 12:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

There was good and bad, but you seem to have managed to hold on to the good and learn to cherish it. I suppose some of the bad is worked out again and again in the primal room along with many other deeply imbedded negative feelings. It is too bad that once bad emotions are let out and dealt with they don't just melt away for good. The good news is we have tools to cope as best we can and be thankful for all the good things in our lives.
When troubles cloud my day, I reach for a chocolate truffle! :-) It soothes things temporarily.
Jason and I ate at two really nice bistro-style restaurants that he had never tried. Both are located in South Pasadena:
1. Mike & Anne's
2. Firefly
The food at these places is reasonably priced and very, very delicious. The service was excellent at both places as well, in addition, also.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 1:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That was a very touching post adn I can tell how difficult it was for you to write it. I'm not sure how, but I can. I think maybe because I have not always had an easy relationship with one of my parents.

From remembering various other snippets from previous posts he certainly seemed to be a larger than life character! That photo you took of him is wonderful. All those things you describe are there in his eyes.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 1:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think this is a beautiful post, because it's so honest. I can feel your pain, but there's also a lot of love in what you write also.

PS: I noticed someone else mentioned how much your Dad looks like DeNiro - that's the first impression I had also!

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 4:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very sweet post about your dad. I'm impressed that despite any differences it's obvious how much you care about the man. Very sweet, Naomi. Great photos.

~S

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 5:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks so much for sharing such precious parts of yourself with us...I very much enjoyed reading this..and the photos...Daddy Joe was a handsome fellow for sure and was surely a very interesting person to say the least.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 6:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a touching post.

I love how you write. I can hear you talking.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 8:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I know from an email or two of yours that it was a tense kind of relationship that you shared with your father. Although it must be painful to delve into that father-daughter relationship, you have done so. Thank you for sharing a personal piece of your heritage with us.

Monday, August 13, 2007 at 10:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

No matter our age, the remnants of our parental relationships are always with us, I think. Glad you have good times with him you can treasure, the rest just "is." I'm not sure what is more difficult, having someone in your life and wanting more, or not having them at all -- guess the experiences are simply different. What a lovely memory that your last words to him were, "I love you."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 3:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, that line about people controlling even in death - that could be said about my mom - and it is so true. But you know, that only happens if we LET it! You dad looks like a very strong-willed man (as was my mom). Had mine lived, she would be 101 this year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 3:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

He was a very handsome man in his prime as evidenced in the poolside photo. The relationships between parents and children are uniquely treacherous. There are so many ways a parent can scar a child and the child has to metamorphasize the experiences and injuries over a lifetime, making sense of them, interpreting and reinterpreting events from the perspective of a child, a young adult and later with much more experience and perhaps compassion, as an older adult, finally understanding how human parents really are.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 5:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Your father was very handsome.
Its wonderful that you loved him, despite an obviously complicated relationship.
Thanks for sharing.

Kendra

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 6:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Made me tear up, but that's not hard to do because I have been writing my own post about the wake of death, my dad's and my brothers. Reading this has helped me formulate further the complication in parental/child relationships, more so than siblings, because they have so much power over you and power to effect you.

It must be in the air. I see that Dara has also written a post about her dad. I wonder if the signs of summer ending make us all feel a little nostalgic and melancholy.

Your dad reminds me of Robert Nero.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 8:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a heartfelt post and one that I can so relate to. The last words that I spoke to my father were "I love you" and considering that I said that to him maybe 10 times in my life .... it was a very big deal and something that I am grateful for.

I am so glad that I came by for this one.

Have a good day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 10:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

My favorite picture of those is the one of both of you together, at the bottom.
He looks like he'd have the same personality as my dad, full of piss & vinegar! But also full of love.
In your writing, it comes thru loud & clear that you are daddy's girl. There's a sense of adornment there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 10:02:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very poignant post. His face certainly had lots of character. And I felt your emotions coming through the words. My mom would have turned 80 years old tomorrow...she's been gone 2 years this past Feb. I know what you're saying here....and for some reason, I passed on blogging about my mom's birthday this year. Love has many different paths, doesn't it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 1:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Well... as one who had NO relationship with my father (past the age of 5) and a "rough at best" relationship with my mother... I certainly CAN understand where you're coming from - and I think it's awesome that you have SOME "love memories" with him! Surely that makes it all just a little bit easier.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 3:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You know, Naomi, about the struggles I have with my dad. I don't know why it has to be so hard, but it just seems that it is for so very many of us. I'm so glad you have these photos....I have none of my dad. And the sad thing is, I don't even know if i'd want them anyhow. So strange the connection/lack of is between a parent and child. Thank you for sharing this.

Friday, August 17, 2007 at 8:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow... he looks like Robert DeNiro!!

Loved reading this, especially since I did a "daddy" post yesterday (or reran one, anyway). These relationships are indeed complex, and do control us even from the grave.

You look gorgeous in those photos!

Friday, August 24, 2007 at 4:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love this post.

Friday, August 24, 2007 at 9:18:00 PM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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