Travels with Dad
—-This is a story of a complex relationship with my father, Al, who I came to love and understand after he was diagnosed with dementia.—-
In 1957, while Al was still on the police force, he met his future bride. Ann Marie Gallagher was 8 years his junior, and from his home town. She was a mere 20 years old. They began dating, and he would come home from Malone on weekends to see her.
Ann, who is my mother, explains that my father called off the romance a couple of times, claiming that it was getting too serious. He was 28 years old! What was he waiting for?? My mother’s response to him would be would “OK.” Then she would call her friends and tell them that she could go out with them, because Al was out of the picture again.
He finally came to his senses, and married her in August of 1959. Prior to the wedding, having left the police force, he was still floundering in the job department. People were advising Ann not to marry him because he was so unsettled.
He decided to return to college, and was scheduled to resume his studies in September, 1959, right after the wedding. He took a temporary job as a Prison Guard at Greenhaven Correctional Facility for the 3 months prior to the wedding. He was assigned night duty which required him to provide roof surveillance while carrying a rifle. He was unnerved one night when he heard unidentifiable noises, which luckily turned out to be an owl. This job only reinforced the idea that he wasn’t cut out to handle responsibilities that were characterized by surprises, and required him to carry a gun.
He married Ann in August, and his first son, Vincent was born the next June. By May, 1961, the second little Fiore arrived. This was his daughter Mary. Irish twins come to mind. He graduated from Siena College a week later. Getting and holding down a job was now a huge priority.
After all, by this time he was 32 years old!