2009/365/239 When He Was Young
cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Another August 27th clicks by, another notch marking one more year since my Dad passed away (2001).

I love this picture of him (not sure how old) at Coney Island (he grew up in Newark, NJ)- he looks sort of serious in is driving role and his suit (people got more dressed up in the 1940s to go to amusement parks), yet there is a very very faint twinkle in his eye, or at least I want it to be.

This is from a series of old photos I had scanned when I last visited my Mom, and part of the project to continue digitizing the stories recorded in 1994 by my grandmother (his mother).

In one segment she described a series event that happened when Dad was 7- he and so neighborhood kids were playing King of the Hill on a pile of snow, and Dad slipped and hit his head hard on the pavement. In her recanting of the story, my grandmother described what happened (with Dad’s voice filling in the background, both of them now voices from beyond the living):

It was a serious head injury, one that continued to plague him with massive headaches and likely some lingering brain issues the rest of his life. These were things I knew growing up, but still appreciate more and more how he spent his whole life battling the pain from this event, yet managed a career, raised kids, tinkered in the garden.

Looking at this photo makes me smile, and think that in photos, we can always be young, happy, and free of the things we deal with internally.

With love and missing you, "Old Man"

And in my Mom’s archive, I actually found the doctor’s bill for $40 for the surgery performed

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Thanks for posting this, and tweeting that you had posted. It doesn’t have to be my dad to make me remember mine. He passed away in 2005, and I have a few recordings of his voice. I’m so glad you were proactive in collecting these recordings in your family. I am slowly digitizing family photos, and your blog reminds me to get scanning.

  2. Alan, thanks for your hard work and generosity inviting me/us into your life. My dad passed away, aged 65, in 1983 and, of course, your web site has helped me learn about you, and also to think about him and about my mother, who died at 80 in 1999. What gifts they gave me. What a gift this is that you have given to us. Thank you.

  3. Great story, and beautiful pic (and beautiful reading of the pic). It’s hard for me not to see a Philip Roth story in this, though I’m guessing your dad grew up on the other side of Newark (Roseville Ave is off Bloomfield, whereas Roth grew up in Weequahic.

    Thanks for sharing, Alan.

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