Sherwin Silverstein was born on Friday July 13th, 1936. he never really spoke about his parents except to say that his dad was a hard worker and his mother was a devoted wife. I met my him at an AA meeting that my mother had brought me and my sister to. We would go into this inventory room with the other parents kids while the adults talked about whatever it was they needed to get off thier chests.
he always seemed scary to me, this salt and peppered haired man with big star trek ears that always freaked me out. and he never smiled. and he snapped his fingers all the time…like ALL the time! Freaked me the hell out!
when we visited his apartment there was one rule…DONT TOUCH ANYTHING!
it was like going into a place where of course, you wanted to touch everything. he used to be a jeweler as a hobby and he had this huge jewelry station. there were pieces of ivory with trimmed gold accenting the pieces, with ginormous magnifying glasses that sat on the table.
what caught my attention was these little pewter figurines, little dwarves and warriors finely painted and huge dragons sitting on ruby and sapphire stones. he saw my interest in these tiny little pewter people and on one of our many trips out of the city, we went to this comic book store called “The Dragon’s Den” and he bought me my own set. Back then I figured he just got it for me so i could leave his collection alone.
it wasnt until I was like 12 or 13 that I was in a musical rut. Everything on the radio sounded the same, and even then i lived with the assumption that being hispanic and living in the bronx, it was expected of me to listen and follow a specific genre. Rap wasnt really big yet and there was alot of freestyle flooding the airwaves. They didnt have sirius back then so my options will next to nil.
And then I remember sitting in the passenger seat of his car and I heard this sound like nothing I had ever heard before. And I loved it..the music did something to me that just said “wake the hell up, theres more out there than you ever thought there could be” and it was to the sounds of Led Zepplin that brought me to that edge.
From then on, we finally had something to talk about. Musics the universal language right? For me and my dad, it was the turning key that opened the door to what would be a lifetime of memories.
He had this laser disc (yes i said laser disc) of the led zepplin movie the song remains the same. And I remember watching it and he paused it and pointed and was like “there i am”.
But even growing up with him i had felt like something was missing from my life. At 18 years old, I had took it upon myself to find my biological father. before that day, i had spoken to my dad and i remember telling him that i was going to meet him and i hoped that he wouldn’t be mad at me. And to this day, I remember him saying to me “bebe..you do what you have to do, you’re an adult now, and i love you no matter what you do”
So I met the man again. And being in his house, I remember telling him about my dad. and what a great job he did in raising me and my sister. and that he never had to worry about us because we turned out pretty ok. After a 15 year absence from my life, i got my closure and i went home..i went home to my dad.