“…Though nothing can bring back the hour
       Of splendour in the grass 
       We will grieve not …”

William Wordsworth

My father would have turned ninety yesterday. Still, my guess is that at some point Sunday, 30+ years after his exit, he muted the sound on FoxNews, looked down on his two boys, and with his driest of wits chuckled: “If I was alive today I’d be dead by now”.

I don’t attest to thinking of him every day; I just don’t. What I can confirm though is that the simple moral fabric he wove remains the garment of my aspirations —

And that the admonitions he gave me —at once both profound AND elementary — have all proven true.

“Take a level swing,” he would urge, (often pointing to Indians’ catcher Johnny Romano), “And the hits will fall in”.

It was true on the ball field and I would learn even truer in life.

“What do you have better to do?” he’d point out, especially as I balked at Hebrew School, or studying in college, or calling on relatives. Oh so warmly then, with his arm ‘round my shoulder … oh so softly, deftly he’d punctuate it: “Trust me. Your friends will survive without you for an hour.”

“I promise,” he’d say. “Have I ever given you a ‘bum steer’”? he would ask.

Al Bogart never broke a promise to me and never, EVER gave me a bum steer. He wasn’t always right, but he was never wrong. His heart was always on course.

Three decades after family, friends, card players, lodge brothers and co-workers laid him to rest I remain heartened.

He was my mentor, teacher, guidepost, cornerstone, and compass. He taught me how to laugh, hugged me when I cried, and guided me —always— with both sustained humility and the twinkle in his eye.

He was not a perfect man, but I’m telling you: he was the perfect father.



  1. bobby says:

    He was a great friend father and boss as well. Glad to say I knew him well.

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