A few random things to share in his memory...
1. This piece I wrote about him four years ago this Christmas.
2. Naomi asked me at dinner the other night what I remembered about him. There is a lot I remember, but one of the first memories that came to mind was from one day when I was perhaps 11 or 12 and accompanying him on some errands. On the way home, he noticed a man selling watermelons off the back of his pickup truck. Knowing that my grandma and I loved watermelon (as does he, and my dad, and, well, everyone I am related to), he pulled over and bought two. Why I remember that so vividly is beyond me.
3. I also remember his funeral, which will have been ten years ago this Wednesday. It was at the Queen of All Saints Basilica in Chicago. A bagpiper friend of his had approached my dad after hearing of his passing and offered to play for the recessional, to which my dad responded, "He would be honored." And so as my dad and I along with some of my dad's cousins carried the casket from the church following the funeral mass, this gentlemen stood at the curb and played "Amazing Grace." Here is a video of a solo bagpiper doing just that, not the same bagpiper as my grandfather's friend, but the same solo bagpipe voice.