My dad

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day and so it is natural for all of us to think of our dads.  I am thinking of mine with special love as he just passed away (the Times prepared a lovely obit which I’m sharing here): Over the past week since his passing, I’ve been thinking about the things my father loved and I wanted to share some of them with you:

He loved baseball, most particularly the Yankees.  As a boy, he would journey by subway to Yankee Stadium from his home on the Lower East Side of New York, stand outside the gate where the players came in and get their autographs on his baseball. These included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig among many others.  When I was a girl, I remember him taking me to the stadium and introducing me to Mickey Mantle.

When my brother John and I became competitive figure skaters, my dad became passionate about the sport and actually helped to get figure skating on television.

When my brother, sadly, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, dad became a passionate participant in the National MS Society, served on their board, and set up two funds in my brother’s name – a research fund which continues to this day and a nursing fellowship.

My dad was, of course, passionate about books (he was a brilliant editor and marketer), and he built a publishing company into the leading mass market publisher in the world.

More than anything else, however, my father was passionate about people.  He made a real difference in the lives of so many—family, friends, and colleagues—really almost everyone whose life he touched.  He encouraged me to become an agent and to open my own literary agency so many years ago.

I will miss him very much but I have many wonderful memories of him and am so profoundly grateful for the enormous outpouring of love from his many admirers over the last several days.

So on Father’s Day, I will be remembering my father Oscar Dystel in a very special way this year.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad, wherever you may be.  I love you.

7 Responses to My dad

  1. Kevin Grange says:

    Thank you for sharing, Jane. You and your family will be in our thoughts this Sunday.

  2. Simone says:

    He sounds wonderful. So sorry for your loss.

  3. Lynn says:

    It sounds like you were privileged not only to have such a wonderful father, but to have him for much of your life. Like you, I was also privileged to have a great dad, a wonderful musician and an avid reader, who gave me a love and appreciation for the arts. It’s been decades since he’s been gone; he passed away when I was still relatively young. As you know, time heals the sorrow, but the love and memories remain. And, yes, I still miss him. Thank you for sharing, Jane. I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. Terri Weiss says:

    I’ve been thinking of you, Jane, ever since I read the obit about your father two weeks ago. It sounds like he lived life to the fullest. You were so lucky to have him, and for so long. Not a Father’s Day will pass – actually, not a single day will pass – without him smiling at you, from inside your heart. My father smiles at me from within, and gives me strength, every day, and it’s been almost thirty years since he passed. True forces of nature never leave us.

    Please accept my sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    — Terri

  5. Your dad sounds like a great guy who had a great life (and great daughter, of course). Thank you for sharing. You have my sincere sympathy for your loss. I’ll be thinking about your dad and my dad both, this Sunday.

  6. D. C. DaCosta says:

    My condolences to you and your family.
    Just yesterday I was thinking what a sad twist it is, that by the time we’re old to enough to desire and appreciate our parents’ insights and advice, it’s too late to ask them.

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