Story Time: A Night of Remembrance

Tonight was the Celebration of Life for my father. It was held at the Italian bakery where he visited every day. They prepared lots of authentic Italian food for this open house. These people love my dad so much. He was a pain at times but it was very much a love relationship. Dad even went to Italy to one of their family weddings.

My dad had his own seat at the end of counter. My sister once took a picture of him sitting there so when he called or texted that he was at the bakery, she knew his view.

People from all over the world would come to the bakery but no one ever left without knowing who Denny was. After 25 years or so of sitting at their counter, Dad was just about as permanent as any fixture in the place.

My dad and his wife once played in a ukulele band called the Bandaid Band. Two of the members came together tonight to play in honor of Dad. They played Dad’s favorite song, That’s Amore, and had everyone sing along. It was wonderful. I imagine Dad would have had tears.

I heard several stories. Beautiful, touching stories. Funny stories. Love definitely filled this room tonight.

My dad’s appearance is combination of a godfather from the Italian mafia, Colonial Sanders, and Einstein. There is a story in question that someone in the film industry begged Dad to go to Germany to play Einstein in a movie. His friends encouraged him to do it. His wife knows nothing about it. So did it really happen, or was Dad having a bit of fun with his friends?


“Colonel Sanders“


There’s a picture on the display table of Dad in Africa wearing a red shirt. An African man greatly admired the red bandanna that Dad wore so Dad gave it to him. In return, the man gave him a club that he had carved himself which is used to kill lions.

My Dad and his wife went to see Sister Sledge in concert and Dad was asked by them to come up on stage with them while they sang We are Family and apparently his dancing was quite entertaining to watch. I can only imagine.

One morning, the owner saw my dad park out front. She noticed he was slower than usual to come in. When he entered, he was having difficulty catching his breath and his color was not right. He said he just got his haircut and wanted to come by. They told him he needed to go home when he asked for coffee. He thought that was a good idea too. One of the beautiful Italian girls got him to his car and she drove him home. She hugged him when she dropped him off to his wife. When she got back to the bakery, she told her family she felt that was the last time she was going to see him. And it was. The ambulance was called and that was the day he left home to never return. His Italian bakery family felt it was as if he came to the bakery to say goodbye without really being aware of it.

It was such a nice gathering. I know my dad would have appreciated it very much. To have so many of his favorite people gather at a place he loved, well…there just aren’t words to describe the depth of gratitude and love.

I felt my Dad’s presence there and that was good. Oh, how he is missed so much already. He touched lives from all corners of the world. I found great peace among his friends. I am proud to be his daughter.

I pity the poor soul who wanders into the bakery and sits in Dad’s seat at the end of the counter. He just may be run out of town. Maybe even tarred and feathered. Just kidding. Dad’s presence will continue there, and in the hearts of all who knew him for a very, very long time. ♥️


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