Tag Archives: True Grit

True Grit

True Grit

34615_1454886764976_2731530_nOne of my all time favorite movies is “True Grit”. I love both the original and the remake. My favorite word from the movie is “bragadocious”. So, I don’t want to seem bragadocious, but I really had a great Dad. And I mean great, not perfect, because in his imperfection lay an element of humanity that made everyone want to know him, talk to him and respect him. He had no idea.

I was a daddy’s girl. All of his 4 daughters were.

My sisters and I didn’t always get along or agree but we all loved and adored our father, Joe. Simply put, he was lovable.  He called me Ange and loved my curly hair.  We doted on him. We cooked for him and waited on him. I loved to bring him his coffee after dinner. He sat at the kitchen table while we cleaned up. We took care of him and he took care of us.  I saw him express kindness and compassion often. He taught us how to work hard and take care of ourselves but even so,we knew he had our back. He taught us to take pride in whatever we did. He thought being Italian was the best thing on the planet. Not only did we know him at home but we were all fortunate to know and see him in a wholly different light as he faced the daily grind at work.

That’s when I realized he had a personal relationship with Jesus as most of what he said started with the two words, Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ girls, get to work. This was often expressed during the month of June. There was the ever popular,  “Jesus Christ Ange, what the hell were you thinking?” “Jesus Christ, be careful, we’re not making donuts.” Etc. So, my Italian Mom prayed and My Italian Dad talked about Jesus.

Work Dad was highly focused on surviving the Fourth of July with an intact family, employees and a company in the black. No laughing, smiling or horseplay at the factory. Meant you weren’t working. So we just had fun until we saw him coming. He was quiet and humble but he could shut you down and bring you low with a grumble and a look, and often did. He was demanding and kind. He passed down his big heart as well as his quick temper.

And with all that passion, he made great fireworks. He spent countless days finishing shells in a cinder block building with a creaky floor. It smelled like black powder, like him. His hands were strong and the size of catchers’ mitts. He always carried pieces of fuse, a pocketknife and a thousand keys in his pants pockets.  He tested fireworks in our backyard. He lit them with his cigarette.

At show time, he stood in the firing zone focused on the sky.   Burning paper and fallout rained down on top of him. I looked for cover but he never flinched, he just casually brushed hot ash off his shoulders. I was more fascinated by him than the show.

He was unaffected by what he did. It was his job. I was sitting with him in his office talking as we often did. It was close to lunch. A Loveland fireman walked in and asked if he would drive down the road and take a look at what they suspected was a car bomb.

I said, “No Dad!”, and thought to myself, Jesus Christ Dad, what the hell are you thinking? Yes, I am my father’s daughter.

He didn’t think twice, “Come on Ange, drive me down” he said.

(“Are you ***kidding me?”)

15388_4593785635486_1022309376_nI very reluctantly drove him down in his little white Chevy. He got out and walked over to the car, looked under the hood for about 5 seconds and pulled a wire off and declared it a fake. He walked back to the car and we left. I kept asking, “How did you know?”, he answered, “Because I did”. I think we went to Frisch’s for soup and pie. No big deal for him, just like he never dwelled on the fact that he brought joy to so many. It was simply what he did, no more and no less, to the best of his ability Everyday.

True Grit just knows itself. It solves the problem and moves on. It’s the part of us that keeps on getting up because we can’t stay down…Just like Rooster and just like Mattie.

Joe Rozzi was one of a now rare breed of true grit men of the greatest generation. Growing up hungry during The Depression, fighting in a world war and making explosives for a living, you’re pretty much considered macho and full of grit in my book.

My macho Dad also cried listening to Vivaldi and while watching “Cinema Paradiso”. True Grit shows vulnerability.

Married 57 years

Raised 7 children

Never went to high school.

Made salutes with quarter sticks of dynamite.

Faced cancer

Worked and provided

Led and inspired

All With True Grit

I know not all of us have dads to grow up with for any number of reasons so I live in a grateful state for having mine.

So in my fireworks to facials way,

Real Men Do Sparkle.

Make an appointment for yourself or your man and I’ll tell you more stories about True Grit….