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).
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.
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.