EXCERPTS FROM AMERICAN DREAMER: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF MY FATHER, JOE BABY POST-PRODUCTION PT. 2
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.”
My Dearest Mom,
Today would be your 97th birthday, so many memories abound, wonderful memories, caring memories, loving memories. You have to admit I was a handful and you did your best. I hope you know your best was more than good enough. I thought so anyway. 🙂 Planning to stop by and see you today on this special day. It would be nice to share these thoughts with you.
Today people express so many different recollections and messages about what their mother’s meant to them. It’s special that people can share their thoughts on the Internet and social media. So, I too will express my thoughts, and while doing so, I truly thank you for all the patience, love, and understanding you provided to me right from the beginning.
I never thought that these stories would make it too see the light of day, but what the heck. It just shows how a mother’s love can be taxed to the max.
When I was growing up in Syosset, NY and evidently as they said “I was a handful.” I remember never getting over the idea of just putting my things away. You would see my clothes, toys and my sporting equipment all over the floor, all the time.
I do recall when you finally reached your limit, your boiling point, the final straw when you told me you would toss my stuff out the window if I continued to leave my room a mess. Well, you certainly stood by your word. Right out the second story window went my “valued possessions” which now cluttered our lawn on the side of our house.
It certainly was a message and as you would’ve hoped; bring a change, but as you so lovingly said, “a wolf can change his coat but not its colors.” That sort of thing has permeated throughout my life and another loving term of endearment that you would mutter -‘If I had half a brain, it would be lonesome.”
Well, when I think that even in the levity of such a saying there was something that I needed to ponder over. So I tried to make my brain become more productive, more relevant, and live up to what would be considered a better person, instead of a “brain-breaker.” Another one of our families colorful expressions for me. 🙂
I know how much you loved songs and music and also valued how you were the consummate homemaker; cooker and cleaner of the household. Rest assured that your talent in creating all those wonderful meals you so skillfully prepared for us was at least transferred to the next generation, maybe not to me, but to your daughter Bonnie.
And so on what would’ve been your 97th birthday; we send our love and appreciation and know how much you gave, could never be repaid.
So many, many, many memories come to light, the thousands of dinners that created a wonderful atmosphere for our family gatherings. The Thomasville dining room set that you loved to entertain on, with the armoire where you put many of your special dishes, dessert, and teacup sets. They would all stand out so elegantly in the lighted armoire. You would be happy to know now that this dining room set is the place where Dad and your legacy resulted in the 450 pages of the book so far.
It gave me great pleasure to be able to share these special little things like helping you grow your roses when Dad retired to Florida. I remember that you loved to sing and unfortunately in your 50’s developed a thyroid condition that affected your voice and required treatment and surgery. It made us all sad.
As fate would have it, when I went to college, you remember, I decided to take up the guitar and I too loved to sing. So Bonnie got your cooking talents and I got your singing talents. I thank you and on occasion have singalongs, in some way I’m bringing back some of the songs that you enjoyed and that was part of your life. One particular favorite was “You Belong to Me,” by Jo Safford, “Come On-a My House,” a Rosemary Clooney standard and the one that you were particularly fond of and one that I would love to play was, “Annie’s Song,” by John Denver which really captures your essence. It starts off with you “You fill my senses like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain….”
In my later years, I tried to return the thoughtfulness but it would never be enough to repay for a lifetime of giving and caring and worrying, sharing and the irony of the biblical story when Adam “gave his rib,” creating Eve. How ironical in that women and mothers give “their rib” and more for their children. So, I’m very fortunate to have a window to share this with others and the people who had a special opportunity when you passed through and crossed their lives. Like you have become intertwined with them and for them to feel a little of what I have been so privileged; that you were such a big part of and also that we have living proof of these things. Thanks mom.
Love your son,
Figure # PP.8 Picture of Thelma Lakoff Sefekar at 4 years of age
Figure # PP.9 Montage of pictures when Mom and Dad first met.
Figure # PP.10 Wedding pictures, January 3, 1943.
Figure # PP.11 Pictures from 1944.
Figure # PP.12 Mother and me.
Figure # PP.13 LIU College Graduation
Figure # PP. 14 A few of the Hit Parades and Song Hits to sing-along to
Figure # PP.15 dining out in the back yard, Syosset, L.I., N.Y. circa 1955
Figure # PP.16 Getting ready for a nice evening, circa 1957.
Figure # PP.17 Hirshhorn Museum Retirement Party, 1977.
Figure # PP.18 Ruth Eckerd Hall Construction, 1983.
Figure # PP.19 Playing with Granddaughter Diana Jill, 1982.
Figure # PP.20 Florida visit from Daughter Bonnie and Son-in-Law Lee with Diana,1982.
Figure # PP.21 Rose bushes 1980’s.
Figure # PP.22 Birthday Visit and Roses for Mom.
Hope you enjoyed the visit, I did. Brought a cupcake for Dad and the roses for you. As it turned out it was an assortment and reminded me of the different varieties that you grew and I was able to help when I moved down to Florida from Maryland. There was the red Christian Dior; the ever fragrant orange, Tropicana; the Double Delight; the pink Elizabeth; Aspirin Rose, Angel Face and Peace
Figure # PP.22 The Family Dining Room Table; just a few of the hundred and hundreds of dinners and gatherings took place for 50 years.
Figure # PP.23 The Family Dining Room Table; Where “American Dreamer” was created.
Figure # PP.24 Celebrating with a dance.
Figure # PP.25 40th Anniversary Party and Toast, January 3, 1982.
Figure # PP.26 Thanks for the Memories, Thelma and Joe
One of the things I’m most proud of was finishing and printing my first book with Holocaust Survivor, Cantor William Hauben. Over the past 5 years this has offered me an opportunity to be an “Ambassador” of sorts. Coincidentally enough, the book was created around 10 righteous nations and the ambassadors that represented these countries at this time. I enjoyed writing special inscriptions for close friends, relatives, and new friends that obtained copies of the book, “Light: Courage and Hope.” Recently, on one particular instance. a “new friend” happened to find the book in the Hillsborough County Library in Tampa, Florida and sent me a copy of the inscription that was presented to the Library. I would like to share this with you now.
Figure # PP.27 Picture of Inscription from copy of the book: “Light: Courage and Hope,” presented to Hillsborough County Library, Tampa, Florida.
Pre-Order your Autographed Hard-Copy by Clicking the Button Below!
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 in his life and the life of others.
A man who is worth finding out about, who will give the reader thoughts to ponder over and words to live by.
Figure #PP.28 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 © 2017 William Sefekar
** Material will appear in book.
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