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.