My Dad was born David Robert Rosalsky on October 20, 1911. He was the youngest of seven, and the only one to go to college, if only for a year. He attended the University of Virginia where he happily majored in riding horses and dating girls, and after a year returned home to Red Hook, Brooklyn to join the family business. All his brothers had changed their name Rosalsky to Ross, so Dad followed suit.
Dad was one of “the greatest generation” so named by Tom Brokaw. During the Depression, he worked 18 hour days at a Catskill Mountain resort scraping together whatever he could earn. He always had the work ethic, and even though he started his own business which ended up a public company, Dad was almost always home for dinner.
A father of two young boys in the 1950’s, Dad was a guiding force in our lives. He wanted us to get the education he never had, and he sent us to private school for much of our formative years.
Dad was always reliable and loyal with a strong sense of responsibility. You could count on him. He was our rock. And he never forgot where he came from. He treated those less fortunate with respect, and he was one of the most philanthropic people in the town where we were raised.
He hated bullies and would not back down when threatened by one. Nor did he believe that “when they go low, we go high.” When I ran for mayor, the entrenched political machine pulled down my signs. Dad went out in the pouring rain and within hours their signs were down also. The machine never touched one of my signs after that.
Dad was a loving grandfather and father-in-law as well. I was blessed to have had him as my father. Happy Father’s Day!