The Last Joke’s On Me

Chair on empty theatre stageI suppose even the most perfect of fathers have their faults. When I was a child, I couldn’t get enough of the TV show “Leave It To Beaver”. Not having a father, I hoped there were profound words of wisdom I could glean from Ward Cleaver. They were, in my young child’s eyes, the perfect family.

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Waiting on DNA

DNA

So many people are of mixed heritage; everyone is from somewhere else. “-G. Willow Wilson

In January of 1973, my father changed his name. Not only his first name, but his entire legal name. In the district court of Harris County Texas, the man who was once William Clark Polley became Anthony Joseph Pollizzio. The reason according to court records? ‘The causes which induce him to desire a change of name and to adopt another are: That the name which the applicant desires his name changed to was his grandfather’s name and most of the members of his family are known by the Pollizzio surname, as is the applicant, and that it is for his interest and benefit to change his name and adopt another for the reasons aforesaid.’ The court granted his request.

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The FlimFlam Man

My dad grew up on the stage in Vaudeville. He was in his parent’s act. At a young age, he was on stage singing a song-“Mush,Mush.” I found this out years later from an old friend of his.

Dad 1

Dad

He was a great dancer and jitterbugger. His friend Ralph, told me he went out with dad and 5 other couples, all packed into a ’37 Ford. Dad looked like Tony Curtis and the women all loved him. Hell, everybody loved daddy. He could charm the wings off a butterfly.

He was smart too and funny. Always cracking a corny joke to anyone who would listen long enough for the punch line.

On October 8, 1945, he enlisted in the Army. His records state he was married at the time, but I have yet to find out to whom. I am still researching this.

Mom and Dad married on October 31,1952 in Galveston County, Texas. I know this because I have their marriage license.

He and mom divorced when I was two. A few months before, mom went to run errands and left me with dad. When she came home, she found me outside in a wheelbarrow, playing with something. She moved closer, and couldn’t believe what her baby girl held. There I was, in my diaper sitting in a wheelbarrow playing with a dead owl. It was in that moment she knew the marriage was over, or soon would be. Continue reading

What I know About My Mother

Recently, a friend lost their mother and I started thinking about mine. Mom died on August 9,2011. I think of her every day. I wish I could hold her hand just one more time.

There are no words one can say to comfort a person who has lost a mother. A piece of you is gone forever. Your mother has known you longer than anyone else in this world. She felt the first flutters of your life deep in her belly. She carried you when no one else could.

This is what I know about my mother. She was the oldest of 3 children raised by her mother. Her father died when he was a very young man from a heart condition. She grew up during the depression. At a very young age she worked with her beloved brother James. They mowed lawns for a quarter and shined shoes for a nickel. She wore James’ hand me down coveralls they were blue with white stripes. She loved to roller skate and was quite good. Since she was the oldest she had to work and help support the family. This instilled in her a strong work ethic that she in turn instilled in me. Continue reading