f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 26, 2006

happy birthday, dad!

Filed under: pre-06-2006,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 7:24 pm

DadMay05s [larger] Today is my father’s 87th birthday. Arthur P. Giacalone was born in Lodi, NJ, to Italian-immigrant parents, on Feb. 26, 1919. For most of his working life, “Art” was a “mail man” for the U.S. Post Office (on walking routes in neighborhoods in Rochester, NY). In retirement, he drove a school bus until hitting the maximum age limit of 70. (With his perfect safety record, why didn’t his two lawyer sons fight that ageist rule? He probably would have told us to mind our own business).

I wish it were possible to give Dad his good health back. Instead, the best I can do is to let him know how much his three children, his wife, and his five grandchildren love him, and appreciate how hard this humble man worked to raise his family and set us off into the wider world.

Click here to see my Dad with his three children on Easter 1954.dadEaster54s


  And click here to see him in 2005 with his two youngest grandchildren. 


I’m a lucky man to reach the age of 56 and have both of my parents alive. Dad, as always, I send my love and wish you all the best.

My friend Yu Chang has written many poems that set an appropriate tone today.


old passport
the tug
of my father’s smile

pumpkin patch —
this one is big enough
for my son

winter woods
seeing myself
in black and white

early bird special
rubbing elbows
with strangers

old birch
the cracked heart
still shows

winter solstice
so glad
you got home safely

mountain lake –
in your reflection

………………….. Yu Chang – all from Upstate Dim Sum
“old passport” – (2001/II); The Loose Thread: RMA 2001
“pumpkin patch” & “winter woods” – (2005/I)
“old birch” – Upstate Dim Sum (2001/I)
“early bird special” – (2004/II)
“winter solstice” – (2005/II)

dagosan has penned a few, too, that are dedicated to Art Giacalone.

dad rather not
talk about it

dad’s 87th birthday
and dementia

visiting parents —
faces and refrains
gettin’ old

rainy night drive —
squinting at glare
through dad’s eyes

[haiga here]

that little grunt
dad always made–
putting on my socks

frogpond (XXVIII: 2, 2005); inside the mirror: RMA 2005

……………………….. by dagosan


  1. What a beautiful tribute.

    Comment by Aurora — February 27, 2006 @ 11:36 am

  2. Dear Brother, Your tribute is bitter-sweet but lovely. Your father would have enjoyed seeing you on Sunday, but he knows he has your love. At one point during dinner, surrounded by his wife, eldest son, lovely daughter-in-law, and two adorable grandchildren, he turned to me and asked: “There’s no special occasion today, is there?” I didn’t want to know whether it was his humility, or his lack of short-term memory, that led him to make that inquiry. I assured him that his 87th birthday was, in deed, a special occasion. After all, he even got to eat his favorite dessert, pineapple-upsidedown-cake. Much love, Arthur

    Comment by Arthur J. Giacalone — February 27, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

  3. Thank you, Aurora and Arthur.  I wonder how our minds will be working thirty years from now.  Maybe haiku and senryu will keep us sharp.  Arthur, you should give it a try.  For starters, go here.

    p.s. Aurora, I realize in thirty years, you’ll be in your early 50’s, so I expect you to look after the old Giacalone twins.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 27, 2006 @ 9:05 pm

  4. David, you have a twin? It must be amazing to be a twin.

    Comment by Aurora — February 28, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

  5. Yes, Aurora, it can be amazing at times.  Of course, my first lawyer mentor hated profanity and would often say: “You can always substitute the word ‘amazing’.”

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 28, 2006 @ 7:04 pm

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