I remember this exact moment in 2007. I was nervous walking down the aisle so he told me a joke to ease my nerves. I was not an easy kid. I believe I was in Kindergarten when I schemed to steal a pack of gum from Kmart with friends. It’s true. I’m not even sure I knew 100% what I was doing but I’ve always been intrigued with “danger” and never afraid to push an envelope. So there I was with an unpaid pack of GUM in my coat. I confessed in the bathtub that same night. My Dad drove me to an Upstate NY Kmart soaking wet in pajamas with my half chewed gum in a plastic bag so I could give an actual apology in person. We practiced what I would say over and over again in that car ride. I was nervous and afraid but every time I looked up at my Dad I saw courage, integrity, strength and calm. It was a theme that would continue throughout my life. This man has worked tirelessly for his girls (3 daughters and a wife), whether he’s in America or abroad. He’s been a Professor and a Theater Director. He was a dedicated soccer coach. He was a thesis away from a PhD. He has been in Management all over the world as an Ex-Pat and he made sure we traveled the world, too. In college he was on the ski team, the golf team, and he can probably still ride a horse. He speaks Portuguese. He’s the son of a milkman. He’s been a champion of my writing since I was 12 years old. He’s probably critiquing this as we speak. He is the true meaning of a Renaissance Man and I couldn’t be more proud to call him Dad.
Happy 70th, Pai.