My grandfather was a giant if he was five feet. He was the greatest man I knew, and shaped the way I viewed the world and my self so very profoundly. Growing up, my father pretty much walked away from our family. This left my grandfather as the sold male role-model for what were very much my hardest years.
He was an old school Italian man, right off the boat before WWII. He worked hard to provide for his family, and lived by a set of very “old world” social rules. During WWII he was enlisted as MP, but instead of going overseas he was given the option to stay home and instead work MP duties in the city of Buffalo. He did this for the duration of the war. He was blessed by the birth of four daughters. While he loved my mother and aunts dearly, he still always longed for a son. I was the first male in the family born in the United States, and my grandfather treated me as if I was his son rather than grandson.