Would somebody pinch me? I can't believe one of my puzzles is in the New York Times. My Dad (pictured to the right) would be so proud! He loved crossword puzzles.
Although he worked six days a week and had five kids, he found time to experience and enjoy life. His interests were varied; he played golf, learned how to fly a plane and happened to be the best tourist ever. He dragged us to every tourist spot in the Midwest. Sunday mornings he would crank up his Grundig (think Moon River by Andy Williams), sip a cup of coffee and complete the Chicago Tribune crossword puzzle. Only when he was finished would he go on with his busy life.
He died when I was 18, but I still remember the joy and peace I felt watching him on Sunday Mornings. It is because of him that I learned to love words, puzzles, and life itself.
I cannot thank my mentor, Patti Varol, enough. She has endless amounts of patience, and her generosity is stunning. I really can't imagine how, or why, she has stuck by me for the last several years. I'll be forever grateful.