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My dad died when I was 16 and he was 43, so there's tons of things I wish I could ask him -- about growing up in NYC, about WW2 and getting his foot blown off, about his determination to recover and work on social justice and human rights issues. Damn that death thing.

My mom is still around, so I've talked to her about a lot of things. There's a little window of opportunity -- maybe a couple of years -- when an older person becomes willing to tell private stuff but before they forget it all. Catch that window if you can. The self-editing brain cells go first and some of the inhibitions shake loose.

But some things are still too painful. I knew my mother skipped classes for a semester at university to care for her dying mother. Her girlfriends brought her all their notes and she somehow managed to pass. I wanted to know more about that time, what it was like, but didn't get very far. I got the feeling that it was a terrible terrible time for her and she didn't want to go there.

tng -- it is so amazing that your parents got you fixed up into the handsome guy you are now with the singing voice!