2018-06-14 / Letters

Memories Of Dad

To The Editor:

Dad and I never played baseball or went fishing. But in my early years, we dug up bricks together.

A building with a brick foundation apparently once stood on what became my dad’s garden behind the house. So as we dug the garden each spring, old bricks would pop up. I assumed this was normal. We used them to edge the garden.

My dad was born on a small Greek island in 1910, came to America in 1934, cooked in Wilkes-Barre area restaurants, served in World War II, married my mother, and in ’48 had me ... and later my sister. Each morning he’d dress in coat, tie, white shirt and hat and take the bus to work. Someone must have told him that’s the way men were supposed to dress to go downtown. Then he’d cook all day.

Dad never made much money but between his garden and my mother’s frugality, we had plenty to eat. He was quiet, easy going and unlike my mother, who tended toward rigid and judgemental, he never said an unkind word about anyone. His best friend, Johnny Hantzes, was known for his generosity in the small restaurants he managed, as in “Nah, don’t worry about it, take it, it’s free!” (He never made much money either!)

From these men I learned tolerance and generosity. Coupled with my elementary school principal’s six-year weekly drill of “isn’t it nice,” to which the student body replied, “to be nice,” these are attributes that have served me well through life ... to the extent that I followed them!

Dad died in 1997; my mother the night the century turned. Before the house was sold we hauled a bunch of bricks from the yard, where they now lie behind our house in Greencastle as the Ignatius Politis Memorial Brickwalk.

Paul Politis

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