Observations on quality time with my 84 year old father, day 9:
• Post-breakfast conversation;
o Me – “Dad, you throw away half of your meal. Why don’t you just make half as much?”
o Dad – “I just need twice as much time to eat it.”
• Random things I do not intend to share with my dad:
o What my salary is
o The ten literary agents waiting to read my book proposal on NY Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan
o The fact that I have a tattoo
o Whenever I say “I’m going to get some Korean food”, I’m really going to the local dive bar.
o These stories I’m collecting about him and putting up on Facebook
• My dad likes to point out all the new construction he sees as we drive through LA. After a while, he brings the conversation back to all the buildings he owned at one time in Manhattan’s Soho area. He claims to be the first landlord to rent lofts to artists in the 1950s. “I owned six buildings at one time. They’re all worth millions now”. He sold them all off one by one to bankroll his other ventures (hardware store expansion, buying out his partner, large home in the Rockaways, trips to Switzerland for stem cell therapy, my mom’s real estate agency, apartments for girlfriends, etc.)
“How’d you buy your first building dad?”
“I had a partner named Manny.”
“That stubby little guy with the cute, stubby wife?”
“Yeah that’s him.”
“He wore a brown suit to my bar mitzvah.”
“Well I don’t remember that, but he had a store in the neighborhood and wanted to buy a building, but didn’t have enough cash. He asked me if I wanted to partner and we did. He did all the work and it was easy. I didn’t have to do anything. He handled everything.”
Pause for effect.
“I wonder why I never made any money on that building?”
He’s always been quite the judge of character.
© Curt Weiss 2014