I was named after my father. I have no idea why his own father gave him that name. Grandfather was a teacher. Maybe he read and loved Dante Alighieri. Maybe not. I did not ask him so I will never know. He died many years ago, on my father’s birthday. My father died last year a few days after my birthday. How’s that for strange?
Anyway, I’m just sitting here thinking about my name, and how uncommon it is. I mean, it’s not as common as Michael or John, James or Peter. Growing up, I did not like my name, because there was another “Dante” in local showbiz. I detest show business.
But after my father died, I began cherishing my name, because I cherish the memory of my father. I cherish my remembrances of who he was and what he did for our family. He was a great man.
My grandmother was a teacher, too. Maybe it was her who gave father that name. She died a few years after grandfather’s death.
You know, less than a year before my father died, a thought occurred to me. I was at our garage and my father was checking our car. I thought, “I still have a lot of things to learn from him. We may lose him someday, and I haven’t yet approached him and asked him to teach me how to fix the car.”
I still don’t know how to fix cars.