“What was Papa Gary’s favorite color?” asks my 7-year-old daughter, Penelope, who’s madly doodling at the dining-room table. She is deciding how to decorate a photo of my father, Gary, for her second-grade celebration of Dia de los Muertos, which honors family and friends who have passed away. The photo is a close-up of him — 1970s mustache and sideburns — holding me as an infant. Both of us are laughing, as if part of an inside joke.
The guy at Mail Boxes, Etc. had owned the place for 10 years and was a very angry individual. You would walk in the door, the little bell would ring and he would roll his eyes and emit a thunderous “Ugh.”