The Real American Dream 

Born on this day June 19, 1924 – he was The American Dream. Joined the RAF at age 15, instructor by 17. Chose America after WWII. With no father to turn to – he sought out Jesuit Priest Father Wertenberger, who steered him to the assembly line with a night school plan. 

He got an Irish Setter and named him Rotty. They were transferred to Hamburg, NY. Rotty got a disease and had to be put down – the only subject I ever saw him cry over. “After twenty years he still grieves.” With a 160 IQ but little social skills, he was set up on a blind date with a 27 year old school teacher – Catholic Mary Bunce of Buffalo. 

He became that teacher’s pet, and stepped up his game and promised a family and to provide for it. He converted to Catholicism. They had four kids, he continued to show up at 7:30 daily for work, and spent the bulk of his time here, managing Sterling Stamping. His drive home to Farmington was 15 Mile / Maple. 

Today I drove it, and imagined him thinking about us all the way home. Thinking about the cabin he was building up north. Thinking about how lucky he was to land Mary. Thinking about how much trouble did Greg get into today? Thinking how sweet his daughters were to him. Proud of his eldest, David, who made him quit smoking.

Ready for a greeting from Gabie, the dog, a great home cooked meal, and woodworking in the garage – after a cocktail or two. Thinking about his family. Daily, faithfully going to work, ulcers and all on the automotive economic roller coaster, keeping his promise and providing all Catholic schooling. 

He was my hero, and it took until his death bed for me to tell him so. We cried and said goodbye. But since he was Catholic now, it was really more like “Thanks for everything and see you later Dad.” 

Happy Father’s Day, happy 98th Birthday, Happy Days were brought to me by Warren J. Swan. I love you dad. You were the very best. You were the American Dream.