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EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY REFLECTIONS PT. 3
A MEMORABLE STORY OF A MAN ON A MISSION
HE WROTE IT, THEY DID IT, HE SAVED IT; TRANSFORMING AMERICA!!
“JOE SEFEKAR’S INSPIRING STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH, WELFARE AND ARTS OF UNITED STATES.”
Figure #R.24 Video produced from small segment of Podcast Interview 12-17-16
It has been a very satisfying experience that has come out of preparing these blog postings. The opportunity has been presented to us to portray small bits from everyday life encounters that over the course of a lifetime becomes building blocks so that one can derive worthwhile lessons in dealing with life’s challenges.
The past few years have created an amazing amount of challenges in itself. The last couple of months were particularly a tussle, slugging through and testing endurance limits. But there have been given quite a number of signals that lead me to believe it is a path being well-taken; which I will share now and in the near future.
My path has crossed very talented and well-intentioned people who helped pull the loose ends together. Starting with the tech savvy individual, Ricky Ricardo who has committed over 15 months of being available to extend his knowledge into all aspects of this undertaking. He was even responsible for leading me to the wonderful experience “in the world of creating and posting blogs,” Tonya has been instrumental in bringing Dad’s story to life. That has been going on at such a tremendous pace with active twitter accounts, instagrams and continuous daily updates of pictures and intriguing tidbits for our readers.
She even brought two of her colleagues on-board that have become an integral part of the team. Mary and Tyler have been diligent in working on the manuscript, detailing the material, pictures, documents. They’ve been very conscientious in editing the manuscript.
One of the more recent members of the team spending over four months involving all aspects that are also an interconnected part of preparing the book for publication, marketing, he is also fully adept with social media outreach, complementing the blog activities. Dan, is a writer and published in his own right while combining many of these critical talents so we will be ready for publication in the next few months. A good friend of mine, Terry has been constructing a “Tasks Oriented Management Tool.” This functional work sheet, will allow all the dozens of the detail assignments and projects necessary to be tracked and prepared in the right sequence so as “to get me to the printer on time.”
There have been as indicated, so many instances of things just seem to fall out of the sky, but the sky wasn’t falling, it would seem to be of a more positive calling. Another dear friend John Casimiro, from my Public Access TV Production days has sort of been monitoring progress of the book, the blog and other incidentals. He had even suggested the possibility of doing a podcast at the Tampa Bay Community Network (TBCN). So, last weekend, Dan and myself prepared some questions for the taping and the following is a result of this session. The transcript of the interview appears below and with Dan’s creative approach bringing some of the snippets to life in this short first run video that should be one of many similar outpourings amplifying the kinds of contributions in all aspects of “a Life Worth Living; Man on a Mission.”
EXCERPTS PODCAST INTERVIEW, DECEMBER 17, 2016: TAMPA BAY COMMUNITY NETWORK STUDIOS, TAMPA, FL
Why was it so important for you to publish this autobiography about your Dad’s legacy:
One of the reasons for undertaking this book is to give people an opportunity to see just what a well-lived can mean. Joe Sefekar was well-intentioned, straightforward and made a difference. That was his style., That was his resolve that you will come to find out.
What are some of the key elements we can take from your father’s example and apply to today’s world:
From humble beginnings of immigrant parents the story line runs true. Joseph Sefekar became a model and inspiration of what America offered to the outstretched hands of the poor and downtrodden from the European and Mediterranean countries at the turn of the 20th century. His family from the Greek Island of Salonika were Sephardic Jews that still spoke the same Ladino Spanish that was the language of Queen Isabella at the time of the Inquisition in 1492 when his ancestors were forced to leave Spain.
Joseph Sefekar grew up in the teeming city of New York and was raised in the tenements of lower Manhattan, when they moved to Brooklyn with his parents and five siblings he grew to manhood working at odd jobs including the Fulton Fish market, and working as an accountant for Joseph Hirshhorn would later change his life when he became administrator for the beginning of the Hirshhorn Museum and sculpture Garden on the capital Mall in Washington DC in 1969 he may not have been a George Gershwin or an Irving Berlin growing up in teeming New York, but he made his contributions to the American scene as well.
What was the relationship like between your mom and dad? What did they like to do together? When and where did they tie the knot?
The relationship which I would say was just about perfect. They never argued, they cooperated, my Dad had a very famous line about the best way to be relatively successful with women; three little words, “Compromise and give in.” He took great pride in being married 67 years to the same woman.. I’d never seen them argue, they were always together, lovingly together. It was a beautiful example of how to build on a life together and how you treat those you love and everyone else in the right manner with courtesy and respect that’s what my Dad would always fall back on how his wife exhibited her persona. As I said they enjoyed doing things together whether at home or with friends. In the book you can see the playbills that involved from the shows that they were able to see in New York and on Broadway before they moved to Washington DC in 1965. Things that were most important in their lives was their family. Family togetherness was number one. Between my Mom and her sisters and brother and my Dad’s sisters and brother they were very close and their parents were number one and made sure they took care of them.
They met in Brooklyn in 1940 and are were engaged in 41. With the outbreak of the World War II they decided to tie the knot in New York on January 3, 1942 and honeymooned in Miami Beach shortly thereafter. Because my Dad would enlist in the Army, he was he was inducted in June 1942 and given his orders to be shipped overseas to England 1943 and fighting the Germans in Europe in 1944 and 45. That wasn’t much of a marriage up until that point.
What was your Dad’s biggest influence?
No doubt about it is, HIS biggest influence was meeting Thelma Lakoff and his marriage to her in January 1942. This defined the course his life will take in the years to come and throughout his life. She was his guiding light, a pillar of strength, she exhibited love with her endearing actions that helped them, help them raise two children, steered him through the shoals and turbulence of life. When he had to make important and critical decisions he knew he could count on her to offer just the right words of advice and comfort. Through the good times and bad, the fruits of their labor came out like a shining light.
He became an expert writer of thoughts and happenings. He acquired this special talent from reading the nickel novels of his time. Almost 20 years prior to the present day I had good fortune and desire to work with my Dad and his handwritten page after page after page of what he thought was a wonderful expression of how he came to be the man, and the force behind what would become an extraordinary life and his legacy and the legacy he left.
Why should people read this book?
Nothing compares with the story of this man, who dedicated and devoted his life to be an example of goodness., of determination, love and encompassing what is the best this country can produce. He wrote about his experiences, he shared his experiences, he documented his experiences and people responded. Growing up in teeming New York City on the lower East Side of immigrant parents, the stories have been told before but he exemplified, shared his proficiencies and pulling himself up by the bootstraps and being a commendable human being. Husband and war hero he wrote about it and he wrote about what it was like coming back from the war and he shared his letters and wrote letters to newspapers, too friends and they responded. Whenever he left a job it would be for a promotion. They did going away parties and they put together things and his wife, Thelma shared in his success and was a large part of his success. She was so invaluable and made sure they had a family, a loving family and her family and his merged and showed much for the union. Two wonderful children; they accumulated much, but not necessarily wealth. A lifetime of togetherness as depicted by their 40 albums of pictures, 100 Kodak slide carousels, videos, etc. There are files and boxes with letters, folders carefully collected and labeled. Everywhere that he organized and documented, he built one Museum and a Performing Arts Center. information that would eventually go to the archives for the Smithsonian Museum and too Ruth Eckerd Hall on the West Coast of Florida.
The following is the Press Release that provides details on the expected Release for the book. It explains what we have presented our viewers over the past 11 months and hopefully will be an exciting portrayal of a man who made a difference with his life. A man who is worth finding out about, who will give the reader thoughts to ponder over and words to live by.
Figure #R.25 Press Release Announcing the Upcoming Release of “American Dreamer: A Look into the Life of My Father, Joe Baby, A Man on a Mission; He Wrote It, They Did It, He Saved It.”
In the upcoming Blog posts we will provide readers the opportunity to take advantage of presale purchases of the book and offer other incentives so that you can receive especially packaged first edition copies.
Copyright © 2016 William Sefekar
** Material will appear in book.
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