My dad left me when he was 86 years old and I felt cheated — I wanted more of him.
My dad was a quiet man who, with a look, could make me shudder and change my behavior. But mostly it was his quiet strength and support that I think helped make me who I am.
My dad was born in New York to a family who cherished education but had little more than the bare necessities. His brother and cousins Arthur Kornberg (who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine) and Martin all began their college education at a CUNY school that was totally free. But to pay his expenses, he got a job at another cousin’s menswear (haberdashery) store.
Upon graduating, he stayed in town and ultimately started his own business, which would remain open for 50 years at 411 Fulton St. (now the home to Shake Shack). He worked six days a week to provide my brother and I with great education and a comfortable lifestyle.
Although he made a nice living, he never forgot the depression and days of no money. I’d laugh when he’d say “shut the light when you leave the room,” but I do the same with my children today. When a paper napkin wasn’t used at a meal he said, “Save that for tomorrow.” I believe that expression lingers in my mind to this day!
I remember vividly how he would sit in his chair in the living room in the evening after my mom had made dinner for us and read the New York Post and The New York Times.
During the week, his night out was going to art school. My dad had a hobby of oil painting and it became his passion and avocation. Lucky me — I still have his art around me today at home and in my office.
My dad wasn’t a “throw the football” kind of dad, and when he retired after 50 years in business, he and mom made a beautiful second life together.
My brother and I laughed about how my mom treated dad like a king, always catering to his every need. He never cooked or shopped or did any domestic chores.
But I watched him take a 360-degree turnaround when my mom got ill and could no longer take care of herself or the house. My dad took total charge and met my mom’s every need. His strength of character will always be so special to me.
He was mostly a loner, never having joined groups or causes, and was just happy to be with his family, brother and cousins on his rare days off. He had strong values and taught me the power and importance of family and hard work.
When he retired and mom was ill, I helped him navigate her healthcare needs toward the end of her life. I remember one time we were in the car going to a doctor’s appointment I had helped arrange and he turned to me and said, “I like how strong you are. I’m so proud of you!” Those were the most powerful words he said to me in his lifetime. I always felt his love and pride, but it was so sweet to hear.
My dad was a good man and I will always cherish his quiet dignity and devotion to our family. I miss him every day, but I feel he’s still with me.
Vote for Carolyn
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney works tirelessly to serve three boroughs in an extraordinary way.
As they say in the vernacular, she’s “brought home the bacon” to her district in Brooklyn, which encompasses Greenpoint and Williamsburg; she has “brought home the bacon” for her Queens districts in Astoria and Long Island City; and she has “brought home the bacon” for her districts on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
I’m proud to endorse her for reelection to another term in Congress.
She’s been an incredible advocate for her communities and brought in more than $10.7 billion in funds for jobs, infrastructure projects and quality-of-life concerns.
She serves in the powerful position as chairwoman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is a critical place to be in today’s world. She’s also a member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
Not surprisingly, she was rated the No. 1 leader in Congress due to her outstanding track record.
She has fought tirelessly to keep services at the Manhattan VA hospitals. Understanding the power of a great education having been a teacher herself, she led the task force to establish the Eleanor Roosevelt and P.S. 151 schools.
Her advocacy for the Second Avenue Subway line helped to secure $1.3 billion in federal funding. She has championed equal rights, building efforts for a strong economy and expanding healthcare while safeguarding clean air and water issues. Her list of accomplishments can go on and on.
It’s important to reelect someone like Carolyn, a proven champion of the communities she serves. I’m proud to call her my friend and a true public servant.
Make sure you make your voice heard and cast your vote, either in person or via absentee ballot.