Beads of Joy 04-10-10
Dedications Days - Frank Leandro (my cousin)
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
This dedication goes out to my cousin. A man when I was in business with my dad, played more of a role in my life than he may ever think or know, so I decided he needs recognition for being such a dynamite role model. Now here's a mountain of a man who I care a great deal about and love very much. Just some quick highlights: Frankie is my parents age, he's a proud dad of five awesome kids who are in each and every way an exceptional reflection of their dad, and Frankie is my cousin on my mother's side. Now Frank has had many challenges in his life, like many of us do, and he like many of us have hit some of those speed bumps head on at 90mph. But I gotta tell ya, obviously I know him my entire life; no matter what this man has been through, he comes out of it stronger and he finds the positive in every experience. I don't know if you're reading this Frank, but if you are (kudos to you) for setting such a wonderful example for your kids, and I'm over here standing up on the chair waving (ME TO).
Now when I was in business with my dad and Frank was retired from his NYC job, he use to spend a tremendous amount of time hanging out with us at the garage. He was our tow truck driver for some time, and I use to hang out with him a lot through those years. Me and my dad always looked forward to Franks arrival each day. Sometimes he came in on one of his motorcycles, other times one of his many cars, or that old Volkswagen bus. No matter we always looked forward to his arrival, he always brought smiles and laughter with him. One really cool thing to was, Frank was never board, I mean NEVER board. He had so many projects that he brought with him and in the wings waiting that there was no time to be board. Me and my dad painted many of Franks motorcycles and cars and inventions, we really enjoyed it. Frank would be in charge of creating the color he wanted; we had lots of left over paint and a mixing station. The colors were always interesting, but cool. One very special thing about Frank, to me, is that he and I are a like in many ways. Well we both like to talk.. LOL, ok, after that he always use to talk about how his kids (cousins my age) were doing and what he was doing in their lives. I always thought that was so cool. He gave me a wonderful insight into someone else's family and what the role of a dad meant to them. I know he's my cousin, but no other cousin ever gave me that insight. I have carried and learned from that wisdom to this day. Another thing Frankie taught me, was how to be a good safe reliable precise tow truck driver. And he taught back when I didn't even have a drivers license. It was he and he alone who taught me, my dad use to always say, "How did you get that car backed in so quick and so straight?" I always use to say, "I learned from the best - Frankie!" Frankie is very meticulous, and that is a good thing, he taught me well.
Yes it was he who taught me to be such a good tow truck driver back then. Basically all my driving skills that are tow truck related all come from his training. Frank (if you're still reading this. lol) I am a safe, no tickets, no accident, clean slate tractor trailer driver these past four years, because I still use so many of the skills you taught me. Tow truck driving and tractor trailer driving aren't all that much different, just a big difference in size. Frank taught me with the patience of a saint (or a dad), sometimes he'd be in the cab, other times I'd see him in my mirror. He explained and showed me things over and over and over, then he had me do it, with him right there next to me. He really wanted me to do it right. And in time I was almost as good as he was. LOL. All credit at the garage always went to him, I loved giving him all the credit, he deserved it, and he earned it. This was a very memorable part of my late teen years.
Another very special moment for me was when he gave his heart and life to Jesus and his spirit was reborn. I'll never forget it. I don't know about everyone else out there who lives a life pretty much centered around Jesus; but I do notice how when we do live this life, Jesus sends so many special people and events to us. Well as many of you know I born again in 1983, and this was in the mid nineties, not much after me. Well (hope you don't me sharing this Frank, it was very special to me) we were out towing and talking and spending time as we usually did. And all of a sudden frank pulled over, he was jittery and nervous and not really himself, and he was crying (tears of joy). He wanted to tell me about an experience he had the night before at a prayer gathering; and basically he wanted to let me know first and privately so that he can better understand it. He was in tears, he was telling me how much he loved Jesus, how sorry he was for all his sins and he was just so overwhelmed with all the joy he felt inside, he just didn't seem to know how to handle it. It was one of the most remarkable experiences I was part of when it came to being there for someone, at least from that vantage point. Frankie is a most remarkable man. Now don't misunderstand me explaining who he is, this man is a biker dude, I'm talking cc's, not peddles and chain. He is a solid man; and he allowed Jesus into his life. I can truly write volumes about all my years hanging out with Frankie, he was always a lot of fun, always upbeat, always filled with wisdom about so many things.
Today I salute you: FRANK LEANDRO
So many wonderful memories, so many years of smiles and laughter.
You are one incredible man. LEANDRO FAMILY ROCKS !!!!
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO
PS: Watch for Dedication Days, every Saturday.