On This Day in History

On June 8, 1997, my father, Martin Stanley Matishak, died in his sleep from a heart attack. He was 64 years old.

Martin Stanley Matishak. October 10, 1932 - June 8, 1997.

I was 16 and he passed away the day before the final day as a junior at Lockport Township High School. Needless to say, I did not attend class the next day and subsequently missed several of my final exams. I would make up the tests several weeks later, to universally disastrous results. Oh, well.

What most folks don’t know is that in the fall of 2001, shortly after I started at Emerson College, I wrote a short story, or essay, about the day my father died. I had just been introduced to David Sedaris by my cousin Kara, who thought I had a writing voice similar to the wildly talented author, and believed I might have a future in publishing.

Circa 1968.

I spent months slaving over the manuscript. In the end, I produced a 20-page story. I shared it with a few select members of my family and Emerson classmates, most of whom said it was overwritten.

I haven’t looked at the essay in years. Maybe I’ll dust it off sometime and share it on this web site.

1987 in the pool at our old house on Richmond Avenue.

My dad and me.

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