Submitted by John Bellucci on 12/30/1998. ( ArtistExpr@aol.com )
Some of you may have wondered where I have been this past week.
As some of you well know, my pop had been in the hospital in the ICU, hooked up to a respirator and what-not. After he was taken off the respirator and put into a private room, we thought he would recover.
Well, on December 21st, I recieved a phone call from my mother telling me that my dad had passed-away. He lost his battle about 3 o'clock in the morning.
Needless to say we've been back on Long Island all of last week. The wake was Wednesday and Thursday, and he was buried on Saturday. With my sisters kids, it was better not to have the funeral on Christmas Day - not that it made a difference - but...
Unlike many who get involved in taxidermy, my pop wasn't the type to go hunting, or camping. We did fish off the piers and docks that surround the "island" however, so I did learn how to bait a hook! For a time we owned a houseboat, which we piloted up the Hudson River one summer... many moons ago.
It was in another way that he got me involved in taxidermy, without even realizing it. He always liked the mounts in the dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, and the first time he took me there - WOW - I was possessed! He took me back there several times in my youth, and to that I am eternally grateful, as it introduced me to a world of wildlife art the likes of which still astound me!
I remember he worked hard his whole life, to keep the roof over our heads and the wolf from the door. I did get to work with my pop on many occasions, be it on the various newspaper delivery trucks - delivering bundle after bundle of newspapers to various stores, shops, etc. - or for a moving company, or picking up and delivering scrap metal to the "yards" that re-used the stuff. Nowadays its called "recycling"!
He was generally a quiet man... but when he had to be loud, we listened.
Through my pop I also got an appreciation of the Big Band Sound, as well as Jazz and the Blues, not to mention the comedy of The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers... you get the idea. Oh, and did he love the original King Kong, not to mention everthing John Wayne.
My pop could always make people laugh with a quick joke or one of his korny stories.
And, oh-boy could he sketch a thought! He could put it on paper quicker than he could say it.
That brings me to the greatest gift my pop ever gave me... I inherited my artistic abilities directly from him. (Dan Fogleberg's "Leader of the Band" is swimming through my mind since this happened) That and my love of horses.
That one goes back to his dad, who drove a team of horse and wagon through the streets of Brooklyn, selling everything from fresh fruits to pots and pans. He always told me that my love of horses was like his old man coming through in me. He was probably right!
My pop was only 72 years old when he left this Earth. I say "only", because people today are generally living longer. Pop was of a generation that didn't take good care of themselves - smoking, not eating right, not exercising, you know. He suffered from advanced emphysema, diabetes, arthritis, and even after bypass surgery and installation of a pacemaker, his heart was only functioning at 20% of its ability. His arthritis had gotten so bad he couldn't even do any more sketches.
The end, though not eventually unexpected, was still a real kick in the guts anyway. The worst thing for me was due to a falling-out with my mother, I missed out on the last two years of his life, of seeing him up and about.
I am so gratefull I got to see him at least one last time, albeit in the hospital. On our last visit to him, he opened his eyes, and focused on me, then turned to my mother - smiling. This he did twice! I know, in my heart, that he recognized me and knew I was there. That will always stay with me - always!!
So, I end this tribute to my dad - my pop. Just want to post it here, among friends... I love you pop - always!
Thanks to all those who have communicated with me during this trial. Your words of comfort have not gone unappreciated. Thank you all.
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This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 12/30/1998. ( )
John, just wanted to let you and Cheryl know our thoughts are with you.
Keith and Carol
This response submitted by Sallie Dahmes on 12/30/1998. ( email@example.com )
Dear John and Cheryl,
Our deepest condolences on your loss. I'm sure your Pop is very proud of the tribute you wrote and he probably has a big smile on his face as he looks down from heaven. The greatest gift we can give to our parents is our eternal love and thanks for all that they have done for us. It's always hard on those left behind but when you feel sad just remember that he's in heaven walking on streets of gold.
This response submitted by Larry Wildlife Artistry Taxidermy on 12/30/1998. ( N/A )
John You don't know me but I guess I know you from the articles I read in the magizines and here, just wanted you to know I share your grief I lost my dad Dec 19 last year. Take care my friend I know it is a hard time for you now but you have friends here for support if you need it.
This response submitted by Bill on 12/30/1998. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
My dad never hunted or did taxidermy yet he still past it on to me. Along with a receding hairline, he gave me the qualities needed to succeed. What are those qualities? I still dont know, but they are now mine and I hope I am enough of a man to some day pass them on to my children. Like you said, I know that song, too. My father left while I was away on a bear hunt, and long before I became the Bill Yox that you guys know, what ever that really is. But I know he would be proud and my children would love him the way the girl I was dating, and later married, did and does.Best of all, he knew long before that he was not only my dad but also my friend. Those kind of friends are hard to find...
This response submitted by richard christoforo on 12/31/1998. ( email@example.com )
My sincere symptheys, well done trubite, i know he would be
happy with it and proud of you for writing it . my dad also died at christmas, no time is good but christmas is worse. I had just turned 10 and can tell you it still bothers me. Your dad sounds like mine, horse and wagon, moving and express truck,scrap iron, he didn't hunt of fish , he to was to busy working, but he loved the rodeo, horses and mules. He always found time to take me to the rodeo and i remember it most and also putting the truck on the ferry boat to go to Boston.Sorry for ranting on but it still does bother me and it feels good to write it down and get it out .
ps- I watch the rodeo on tv every week.
This response submitted by Valentin Potchekansky,Bulgaria on 12/31/1998. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
My condolences for your Dad,too.Althoug,The World is too big and there are so much
people and nations the lost of person you loved always is greify.The words are so
insufficient to express our grief.
Let God rest your Dad's soul!We are really thankful him for that he create once
John Belluchi,the artist!
My condolences again! Valentin
P.S.LIFE MUST GO ON!
This response submitted by Ken Edwards on 12/31/1998. ( email@example.com )
My sincere condolences to you and Cheryl. Glad you're back. The Forums have been kind of dull without you.
This response submitted by Mark Wilson on 12/31/1998. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
John, my condolences on your families loss. Remember however, that as long as his memory lives on in your heart that he lives on.
Best wishes Mark Wilson
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