Over the years I have normally hosted a Fourth of July party over in Union Pier for my family but this year I was invited to see the other side of the coin and I’ll be staying with friends who live in Forest Beach, one of the last communities before you get to New Buffalo as you go around our beautiful Lake!
In honor of the Holiday I wanted to share a little about a big-hearted man who always hosted the family Fourth of July parties in the past. A man I am so proud of and who I miss dearly. I’m talking about my father!
His mother, my “Baba”, came over to America from Croatia, and went through the whole Ellis Island immigration process. She was a huge influence in my life and imbued him with the fine qualities, as well as the charming idiosyncrasies, that I remember him by.
He grew up to become a well-known High School baseball pitcher, and there were rumors that even the Cubs were taking a look at him! He would sometimes pitch BOTH games of a double header, something that no manager would ever do to a pitcher these days.
When Pearl Harbor came he was to young to enlist, but a couple years later when he was only 17 he enlisted. As we think about the courage of those who protect our freedom I am filled with pride that my father was there at D-Day, fighting through to the end of the war.
After the war he was not able to pursue his dream of being an architect, but instead he went on to continue serving the public as a Chicago Policeman for 35 years. When I recall the pride with which he wore his CPD uniform I feel like it was as true if not a truer calling for him in his life.
Family came first for him, and he was the original host of our annual Fourth of July parties. They were probably his most treasured memories later in life. He was always trying to instill the values of courage and dedication in me and my cousins, pushing us all to be good in sports and in doing well at school.
Somehow I believe that riding in his car and seeing the City from the real streetwise point of view is one of the things that led me to do what I do today.
Happy Fourth, Dad, and Happy Fourth to all of you!
Filed under: Uncategorized