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Another funny Pop memory…

 Just reposting this story about Pop from my Holes In The Foam Blog, on the anniversary of his death. 

Pop, and mastering fear….

So, that time of year rolls around again, the anniversary of Pop’s death. It’s been six years now, and I still wonder if I will ever get through one milestone unfazed. I always seem to think that the “next time” it will be easier or less taxing, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. At least not yet. 🙁

Anyway, here I am, going through my usual introspective grieving period that I have now grown fairly accustomed to. I start looking for some inspiration on what to write about regarding Pop. On one hand, I have to be grateful for these milestone periods I go through regarding my parents. Because it seems to be the sole force that makes me have to sit down and write. (more…)

Pop goes to McDonald’s in Centre Pompidou…

Being in Europe while Pop’s birthday passes today, I couldn’t help but think about his last jaunt out here. It was courtesy of my ex-wife and me. The time I spent in Amsterdam during this jaunt particularly brought back memories. In the midst of it all, I’d find myself grinning or laughing out loud remembering his antics from those fateful weeks he spent with us road tripping from Holland to France. But I also had to shed a few tears. (more…)

A funny Pop memory…

Dealing with the milestone dates always seem to take a different angle with me as each year goes by. Yeah, I went through my sad mopey period today on Pop’s birthday like I usually do. I get a bit quiet and reserved. Which this time was pretty easy to do, because I was by myself. Karen was in Caucasia visiting her parents, the passengers cleared out yesterday, and I was alone. Just me, and the Luce.

The strange thing this time is I spent most of the day having recurring memories about some of my funnier moments with Pop. There have been many of them, sure, but today, my memory chose to showcase a couple particular ones from my younger years. And one standout from that group seemed to get top billing. The funny thing is it was a memory I hadn’t thought about in a long time before today… here’s how it goes: (more…)


My Pop, a few months before his death...

Pop, a few months before his death...

Four years ago today, I lost my Pop. I guess I’m getting better at handling this particular date as each year passes. And this year, I even wondered if any prevailing thought or theme would enter my head enough to make me want to write about it. Yet again, here I am doing just that. And the prevailing theme for this year’s go-round, is that painful thing we can only call regret. (more…)

Alter Ego on Michigan Avenue

This is a true story.

I grew up in Chicago up until I was about 11 years old. Growing up in the southside of Chicago was kinda tough. I wasn’t a big kid, a mix of Italian and Brazilian with curly hair. The odds were stacked pretty high against me in the mainly Polish and Irish middle-class neighborhood of Bridgeport.

From what I hear, it’s no longer that kind of neighborhood anymore. Rather, it’s been gentrified pretty good on account of a recent real estate boom consisting mainly of yuppies and young families moving back into the city from the suburbs. (more…)

Grijalva Pereira dos Santos, June 6, 1925 – January 22, 2005, pt. 2

A recent picture of Pop

My father was born in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil in 1925. He was one of 3 brothers, a half sister, and an adopted sister. His father was an officer in the Brazilian navy, and his mother was a seamstress. He did a stint in the Brazilian Army reserve right out of high school, but was never called to active duty during WWII (the Brazilian Army was part of the Allied Forces). He attended business school in Rio De Janeiro, and at the age of 22, he was appointed manager of a major bank in Rio.

He worked at the bank for several years, until he decided that he was being passed over for promotion too many times, and walked away from his career. He then put his savings together and bought a popular bar and restaurant in Rio. He was quite successful, and the place soon gained a solid reputation. He married relatively young and had 2 kids by the time he was 30, Gilda and Gustavo, both whom still live in Brazil.