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there goes my hero

[No Halloween stories here, no WMDs, no election rants. The following will be of little interest to anyone but my family. Sometimes a "journal" is like that. If you do choose to read it, thank you.]

The culmination of my long week ends this evening as I attend a swanky dinner at which my father will be honored.

I will miss both the debate and the Yankee game tonight, but that's ok. It's for dad.

About seven years ago, one of my father's friends and fellow firefighter came to him with an idea. No, it was more than an idea. It was a dream. He wanted to create a museum dedicated to the history of firefiighting in Nassau County. Dad thought about it for two seconds and agreed to help make his friend's dream come true.

At first it was just a grass roots movement. My sisters and I spent a lot of time that first year helping with fundraising, publicity and general support. There's nothing like being in on the ground level of a project that you know is going to strike gold some day. Not gold as in riches or making money for anyone; this is a non profit venture. The riches made on this project came in the form of seeing someone's dream built from the ground up - not just succesfully, but bigger and better than he ever hoped.

Seven years later, there is finally a scheduled groundbreaking for the museum. My father has devoted nearly his entire existence to making this happen. It's not always been easy on my mom or my sisters and I (dad wears his frustration on his sleeve), but to see the look on my father's face when he shows us the plans or gives us news of matching funds is priceless.

The man who first had the dream to get this museum built died recently. He'll never see his dream come to light, but his death made my dad all the more determined to get the museum doors open. It's been a struggle. There were many times that they thought the funding wouldn't come through or the space promised to them would be taken away. But they never gave up on this dream.

The museum will be located in a revitalized part of Nassau County now called Museum Row. It houses a world class children's museum as well as the amazing Cradle of Aviation museum (you can see some photos I took of that museum here).

You can read all about the coming firefighter's museum here; if you look at what this place will encompass you will understand just how much work went into this endeavor.

My father has been honored for many things in his life. He is the ultimate giver; I'd say that most people who dedicate their life to the fire service are. He's done so much for our community as well as the firefighting community. When people recognize my last name and ask "Oh, are you Angelo's daughter?" It is with an incredible amount of pride that I tell them yes.

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Expect a lot of photos here tomorrow. The dinner is being held inside the Cradle of Aviation museum, a brilliant, dazzling structure that is an amatuer photographer's heaven.

Comments

If you lived in a sitcom world, you'd have an AM radio turned to the game in an earpiece during the ceremony.

However, this is not a sitcom world, so you'll have one earpiece turned to the Yankees and another tuned to the debate.

kudos to your pops. i don't think too many people get to build a museum in their lifetime. free admission for all regular (-ly annoying) comment posters?

That's a wonderful story, Michele. It's easy to see where you've come by your integrity and drive.

Have a good time, and we'll look forward to the pictures!

You have every right to be proud of such a father. All the best to him.

Give your dad a big congrats (and your family too) that is an incredible accomplishment.

Wow! Congratulations to your father, and your family. It's so good to see someone's dream come true!

Your dad rocks.

A hearty thanks and congratualtions to your dad and all those who put forth the effort. thanks Michele.

You're wrong about "little interest to anyone but my family."

There are more than enough political posts on the web - everyone has an opinion (informed or not), and so political postings are easy to find.

Many people like Halloween (I don't dress up much, but I do like to carve pumpkins), and Halloween items also are easy to find.

How many people, though, are involved in developing a museum? Of those, how many can/will blog about it?

For one, I'd be interested in hearing more about it. Not necessarily to the level of "zoning meeting tonight," but more generally, at least. I'm sure there are some who would love to see details, but I'm not among them. The idea of starting a museum, though - wow!

As a former firefighter in a family full of firefighters it is a pleasure to see this post. I eagerly await the pictures.

One person CAN make a difference. Wonderful story...and why wouldn't we be interested? Your regulars come here for this sort of thing too. ;)

Congratulations. Your dad sounds like a very fine man.

Good fer you and yer Dad. T'hell with the rest of the world, for once!

Great post, Michele. You have every right to be proud of your dad. Not everyone can do what he has accomplished. Give him our best. I wish I lived near there so I could visit that museum.

Wow. I look forward to the pictures.

You have a fine father, Michele. One to be very proud of.

Not hard to see you haven't fallen far from the tree!

much applause.

I spent my working life as a deputy sheriff. As such my respect for firefighters borders on awe. From the rural volunteers to the professionals in the larger towns in my county I've worked with them all. America is blessed to have such people. In my entire career nothing frightened me more than beating the firefighters to a rural house fire and having to go in looking for people. It didn't happen often, I doubt I would have had the courage to do that on a regular basis. With what it took to force myself into those houses and buildings it was a days-long process of getting back to whatever passes for normal with me.
I'm glad to see your dad and his fellow firefighters get some recognition. Nobody deserves it more.
If you, Michele, close your eyes and look toward rural Texas you'll see a bald fat guy standing at rigid attention saluting your dad.