Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dad died on my birthday in 2014.  Was there any significance in that? Was it a warning of some sort? A weird coincidence? Those thoughts have been among the many as I wish Dad a happy birthday, in Heaven. I know Dad is in heaven because he was saved through the grace of God, because his wife was”Born Again.”

1 Corinthians 7:14 English Standard Version (ESV) 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

Dad was not unbelieving but he was not pure either.  See, I know without a doubt of his happiness with Mom as they rise each morning in each other’s arms.  They had a strong love for one another while here on earth. They imparted knowledge and goodness in the hearts of their children. They now care for each other the day long while they go about their tasks.

Always happy Dad with little Steph whom he teased, “You’re pretty, almost pretty as me.”

Dad was also taught the crudeness of this world at a young age (thirteen) and worked nearly everyday until his death at age eighty-four.  He loved work and that’s what he did his whole life…Saturday, Sunday, it made no difference to him and as a matter-of-fact seven days a week were best. He had to quit school and get a job after his parochial days had come to an end.  An eighth grade education. No high school.

Dad couldn’t understand people retiring, “What the hell do they do all day?”

He passed life-lessons on to those who would listen and did so in in a lighthearted way.  Dad had a grand understanding of the way of the world. That understanding left his heart stained and blocked God from working real blessings in his life.  He was a good man. Dad’s integrity was unshakable, fair and just.

He made many happy customers from all walks of life – and through each business he owned.  He was never a pretentious man. He made many friends and associates through his, home decorating services, and carpet store. Long after most of his colleagues and friends had either retired or died – our dad bought and turned a doomed restaurant into a success, his age, eighty-one.

Dad’s Pizza pie at his Romolo’s restaurant, love you, Dad.

Dad possessed the Midas touch and was successful with his decorating business – his carpet store – and his restaurant.  The latter was his ruin; in part for wanting to care for everybody.  Bothered greatly that he was unable to assuage everybody’s problems, he went to be with Dorothy in Heaven.

Though raised a Catholic (was even an altar boy at Saint Pat’s) he turned on the Catholic faith because of what he and his eventual wife (Dorothy) were told by the priest before marrying.  When the priest told Dad that he had to sign a paper pledging to raise their children in that faith…Dad would not do it.  He wouldn’t allow anybody to tell him how to raise his kids, not yet here.

Christmas, 1968, Peggy, me, Dad, Linda and David
Dad standing behind me and my siblings…Christmas long ago

Me and my siblings knew of the parent’s sincerity to each other.  They were just two young kids starting out.  Doing the best they knew how and even with their foibles they were exceptional parents, always setting a good example.  When Mom or Dad had a hard time with anything at all, it was each other they looked to, and received their comfort from.

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Autumn 1947 - 18 years
1948 – My handsome father


1948 - 17 years

My beautiful mother –



Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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