Today He Would Have Been 88. Still My Greatest Influencer!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost 20 years since my Dad passed away. Today, he would have been 88. I have always felt that it was so unfair that his time was up so soon. At age 7, he was hit by a car while crossing the street on his way to school, right in front of Hunter College. He survived but lost his sight. He always said to me that once he realized he would never see again, he made some big decisions about the direction he was going take his life from that point on. I have to come to believe that Spirit, God - whatever one might call the unseen force guiding us - The Universe gave him 60 years and said, “Do with it what you will.” Bob Whitstock listened and got busy. No excuses.
This Miami Herald article was published in 1959, about one year after we moved to Morristown. Fiercely independent, Dad had been teaching History at his Alma Mater, The New York School for the Blind and had heard about the Seeing Eye. A Seeing Eye Dog was what he needed! He went for the training in Morristown and was asked if he would like to interview for a position there. The rest is history. The dog pictured here is Gem. Although I was very young, I remember that she was especially good-natured and always went along with my attempts to ride on her back.
Take a look at the car in the background! No Google Maps back then. I love how my Dad answered the question as to how he gets around in a strange town on unfamiliar streets. Classic Dad!