I wrote this three years ago and it remains true today as PaMonk at 79 retains his capacity for puttering around golf courses, traveling the world, and now enjoying his grandson, the Monkling.
Seventy six years ago today, MonkGramps and MonkGran welcomed their second baby boy into the world. Unlike his older brother, this baby thrived and prospered. He served his country in the USAF defending the UK during the Korean War. He returned to the US, had three kids, got a plum job as a teacher in the second-best public high school in NYC and found the woman of his life on the second try -- MaMonk, 43 years ago this June. In 1970, he had his fourth and final progeny -- The Monk.
PaMonk is not just my Dad, but what a Dad should be: a figure of respect and to be emulated (for the most part); knowledgeable and sharp -- we don't go to bars, we go to ballgames; we never talked smack about women -- that was for me and my friends (before Monkette2B domesticated me). He's a history and politics reference today, just as he was when I was in my developmental stages. Supportive, smart, demanding, disciplined. In all cases, he was my Dad first and foremost and that's what a son needs.
So here's to the PaMonk -- 76 and still hoping to match his age on the golf course (that may take another two decades). Happy Birthday Pop, I love you.