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Monday, September 12, 2016

JIM THEY CALL HIM: BUT HE WAS BETTER KNOWN AS DAD

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Back in the 1970's and early 80's, there was only one man who sat comfortably in his chair in the United States. He was sitting in MY chair but he owned it! The chair when I tried it out was a perfect fit for me, encasing my butt, with just enough room from the front of the seat to the backrest. There were no gaps, just a perfect glove-like feel. When I sat in it, I had a happy tush with the comfort of sitting on a cloud-like cushion. The man was my father-in-law, Jim Manning, and when he passed away, when I visited my wonderful mother-in-law Helen afterward I would sit in his chair, like I said, with a happy tush.

Today is Jim's birthday. He would have been 106-years old!

I remember him most for his seriousness, his lack of outward humor, his sense of propriety except when he had a few, then he was hilarious. I remember him sitting in his chair and complaining about all the typos he found in the Sunday Times, spending his day with one eye on Meet the Press and the other penciling out the typos in the newspaper, which he would then on Monday morning, mail into the editor of the Times.

He did have a wry sense of humor, he could knock you out with what he would say and he was a very smart man, his Christian Brother's education from Ireland having given him the tools to understanding better than anyone I knew.

His greatest gift to me was, of course, his precious daughter, the very one I still cherish, and would never disappoint him from the day he left her off at the altar in my care.

If you met Jim you would wonder how you could get close to him, he seems so standoffish in a way, but suddenly, you were in his world and you never noticed anything but a truly nice guy who knew how to love.

I often think about him, wonder how proud he would have been of his children, his grandchildren and what they accomplished as human beings, my guess is very.


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