Gil’s dad worked for Mobile. An honest living at an honest company. This story was my favorite and Gil choked up every time he told it. I think it was a vignette that illuminates how he lived his life.
Paraphrased from my memory of how Gil told it:
Once while my father was a salesman at Mobile, he was invited to dinner at one of his managers’ house. He was honored to be invited to have dinner with one of the fine men that ran Mobile in those days.
He arrived at the house and a man took his car to park it.He walked through the fine gardens and well trimmed hedges up the stone steps to the front door. He was greeted by the butler who showed him to his seat.
When dinner was served, it was placed not the table where only my father and his boss sat. The meal was exquisite and delicious. The home was beautiful and extravegant.
My father remarked to his manager at how fortunate he was to live in such abundant surroundings, with such a fine home and wonderful food and service.
The manager responded – and my father said he would always remember this – he responded that he would gladly give it all away; all his wealth and all his goods; if only he would have someone with whom to share his meals and his home and his life.
I’ll always remember that. I believe he was right in many ways. It’s fine to have money, but without family, it really doesn’t mean much. This man would have given it all away for a chance to have family.
Godspeed, Pop. Heaven just became a bit more honest and a bit more just and a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Tell Nanny and Uncle Jack we said hi.