Sometimes, people tell me that I write well. I disagree, because I will never be as good as Roger Ebert or Stephen King.
Do read Ebert’s loving tribute to his dad here. I wish I could write a similar piece for my late mum, but I think it’ll be many, many years before I can muster the strength and bravery to do it.
Until the day he died, I always called him "Daddy." He was Walter Harry Ebert, born in Urbana in 1902 of parents who had immigrated from Germany. His father, Joseph, was a machinist working for the Peoria & Eastern Railway, known as the Big Four. Daddy would take me out to the Roundhouse on the north side of town to watch the big turntables turning steam engines around. In our kitchen, he always used a knife "your grandfather made from a single piece of steel."