I always said when I write a piece about my dad it would be well thought out and edited and it would get my undivided attention. That plan has changed.
I just went to the bathroom and passed a kidney stone and this thought came to me.
My Dad. Vito Termine AKA Screeto. The legend. Before I get silly and make fun of my pops I want to set the record straight and let everyone know my father is the most honest, loyal, understanding, supportive, chain smoking father I know. This man has been crushing butts since Jesus was a baby and if there is one thing he has taught me over the years it’s how to roll a cigarette during a typhoon on Flag Day.
When your Dads name is Vito that can be a major conflict in life. Especially when you are a trouble maker like myself. Regardless, nobody should fuck with you when your Dad is named after The Godfather. Period. But my Dad was a different type of Vito.
I had an issue with a boy in school named Vinny. His dad was named Vinny. So we arranged a sit down between our fathers. His dad Vinny showed up with Sammy the Bull Gravano driving a tank and a meat clever and my dad showed up to the meeting with three packs of Viceroy cigarettes, an ashtray, macaroni spiraled chest hair, a coffee stained wife beater and a signed record from Dion and the Belmonts. We lost that fight.
So now I realized my dad wasn’t a real Vito. But he is my dad and I love him regardless. My dad was 123 pounds soaking wet in High School and was always so proud of being nominated the “best looking white guy” in an all black school in the Bronx, NY. He doesn’t let us live that one down until this very day. We are so proud of him.
Then my Dad met my mom and how this relationship got started even has Dr Phil and John Edwards baffled. But it happened.
After dating for a week and a half my parents got married and my Dad finally found his niche in life as a door to door vacuum salesman earning three cents a week. So that had its draw backs and my Dad had a vision. He started a gutter cleaning business. Things started great and I remember being a little boy and my Dad ashed his cigarette in my eye lid and said son “don’t ever advertise son, don’t ever, never let the other guy know what your doing”. Six months later a guy named Gary started a gutter cleaning business and actually advertised and started making more money than Warren Buffet.
I sat back and patted my Dad on his extremely hairy back and said it’s ok pop. We get em next time. Then my Dad gave up and settled for a life in tobacco. Every decision he has made in life since then has revolved around a cigarette.
Like the time he did a roof repair in Suffern, NY and finished. Tied the ladder up. Got paid. Drove 20 miles home and realized he left his $6.99 pack of cigarettes on the roof. Got back in his truck. Burned 8 gallons of gas. Drove through three DWI check points, no inspection or brakes, back to the job. Set the ladder up. Got his cigarettes and set himself on fire as gasoline leaked on his gloves upon lighting his cigarette like John Travolta in Backdraft.
That’s my Dad.
This is Part one. There is sooooo much more. Love you Dad!