Cheech, my father.

Dad was always on the serious side. He never smiles. Once he had that first glass of wine, his whole personality changed. When he smiled, everyone smiled. It affected people that way. Often after a few drinks he would serenade anyone close enough to listen with his beautiful voice. If he had a mood swing in the other direction, look out, anyone who didn't take him seriously was in trouble and sometimes not even that helped. In his time of sobriety and quietness, only a child could make him smile. It was like something magical came over him. I can't recall Cheech ever smiling at Maria when he was sober. And yet she followed him around like a puppy dog.

He was 42 years of age when this photo was taken. It was a year after he was released from Sing Sing prision. One can see at a glance that there's something in his eye's that shouldn't be there for a man that young. Judging by photos, the only ones I have, at the time of his capture, he wasn't the same man. Dad, I wish I could have been more of the kind of son you needed. I tried, but I couldn't understand what you wanted of me. I know you loved me and you know finally that your son loved you. Sorry, I should have tried harder. I think of you and mom all the time and hope that you both are with joey and Ida again and forever. Hopefully on my second landing I will be with you and the family again. God bless you Cheech.

I love you, for sure. Dominic...