To my father, Mike Royko.
Twenty years ago today you, my father, passed away.
Thank you for being the boat lover you were and turning me into the boat fanatic that I am today. Here are some memories of you off the top of my head along with my favorite picture of you, to whom I named my youngest son Mike after, along with my mother Carol, to whom I named my daughter after, my aunt Barb to whom my cousin, who you loved so much and is really more of a sister to me then a cousin is named after, and my uncle Bob, who myself as well as my oldest son are named after. I hope you four are boating the sea of afterlife together........
Our summer home in Wisconsin that the column " a November Farewell " was written about, teaching me not to take shit from anyone and how to dish it out, our trip to Florida and Bourbon street just us two after mom had passed, all our family vacations together, how to BBQ Ribs, teaching me about politics, fishing, endless one on one conversations, how to play guitar, how not to play head games and to say what's on my mind, that family is everything, how to forgive, that money doesn't come first in life, that "every kid should have a dog growing up," how to pitch a softball, and the saying that "if you go out with the boys at night, you better wake up with the men in the morning," how to treat a hangover, how NOT to be a rat, how "any asshole can write a book," "write what you know" and you sure did, when you buy a car buy American, Billy Goat Tavern and the great proprietor Sam Sianis who helped me so much after you died, how to see through people's bullshit, how to make fun of yourself, the genetics of humor, love and toughness, growing up in a beautiful home, the list is endless and I could go on and on and on.
Our last Christmas together as a full family in 1979 before Mom passed away, my brother David Royko brought a small portable Panasonic cassette recorder to record the usual after dinner music and conversation. It consisted of you, my other uncle Bobby and myself playing our guitars while Mom and aunt Geri belted out harmonies and my little cousins Steve and Amy banged away on a drum and cymbal that Dave had brought.
That tape has since been converted to CD and there's hours of it.
I've only been able to bring myself to listen to it once. I don't know if I could Listen to it again. It's just too emotional for me to handle.
Last night I guess there was a get together at the Billy Goats Tavern, your old hang out owned by your dear friend. I closed it down the day you died. I guess the post office lost my invite. It was called Remembering Royko. It's ok. What I did instead was sit with my dog, ate pizza and watched old movies that you and I used to watch together at the condo such as the Jerk, Honey Suckle Rose and A New Leaf. It was great. I felt as if you were right there with me. Who knows, you probably were. It sure felt like it. I even turned a couple times toward the chair, looking for you to laugh with. But you weren't there. At Least not physically. But I know one thing for sure..... as long as I remember and keep your memories close to my heart you will always be with me.
And now I must stop. I'm dehydrated and the trash can next to my desk is overflowing with napkins and toilet paper.
You are greatly missed. I love you always Dad, you're the best!
Posted to Facebook, 4-30-2017