From what I have heard, my father had an extremely high IQ. He did seem to know the answer to pretty much anything that I needed an answer for and I was quite the inquisitive child.

He loved to garden and was always outside tending to his various plants, mostly tomatoes, green peppers and string beans that spiraled a pole. He was actually making his own little greenhouse before he passed away and never got to finish it.

He had stacks of gardening and Readers Digest magazines. I would sit on the floor and read them, one by one.

It’s a known fact that I thought my dad walked on water. I still do, actually. As an adult, I realize that he was human just like the rest of us and therefore had flaws.

But to me, I still look at him with a 12-year-olds mindset.

He was always tinkering around, his mind full of imagination. He made ice cream and orange sherbert that only I would eat. He made his own root beer, birch beer, regular beer and even wine. One night, my parents were awakened by loud popping sounds. When they went into the basement, the bottles had exploded due to too much pressure buildup .

It was a holy mess. Our cellar smelled like a brewery for weeks.

He was a private man, quiet and passive. The King of the Introverts, as I like to say. I got some of that from him.

There is one thing for certain about my father. He loved his family fiercely and he worked his ass off at a dirty factory his entire life to take care of us. He never complained even though he didn’t always feel well because of a bad heart.

He had a great sense of humor, dry as a piece of stale white bread. I am proud to have inherited that part of him.

He was also a devout Catholic. He never swore. Not once that I can recall.

He was a good man. When God made him, He broke the mold.

And even 30 years later, writing this brings fat tears to my eyes and my heart still calls out to him.

Daddy, I miss you.