I can recall no sage words of wisdom he imparted to me like Ward Cleaver did to the Beaver and Wally. He was the king of the one liner jokes, cracking one every chance he got. His favorite- A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, “You’re crazy.” The man says, “I want a second opinion!” The doctor says, “Okay, you’re ugly too!” I would hear that one at least once during every visit with him. I admit, there were not a lot of visits, but that old Henny Youngman joke stands out in my mind. Or, when he would come to pick me up, he would say, “Hi, it’s good to see me.” Confusing to a child to say the least.
When I was 19, he changed his entire name from William Clark Polley to Anthony Joseph Pollizzio. When I asked him why, he said, “We’re Italian, that was my grandfather’s name.”
If you’ve read my previous posts, Waiting on DNA, and Final Answer: Not Italian, you know that’s about as far from the truth as you can get.
I do recall at the same time this revelation of his name change occurred, he quit drinking. Did he decide to change his name because he wanted everyone to view him as a whole new man? A reborn man who didn’t drink? Who was Italian?
Left to my own imagination about why, his last joke is on me as I have a mystery that I may never find the answer to. This may be one he’ll take to his grave.
In part, I have my dad to thank for who I am today. All our experiences in life, good and bad, mold us into who we are. Dad helped to show me what not to be, and gave me a delightful sense of humor.
So dad, if you can hear me at all during your blissful hours of slumber, I thank you for making me into the person I am today.