February 13, 2014

CHIUSANO | On Parents, Teachers And Fleeting Careers

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The New York Times wrote a feature on Saturday about 79-year old Charles Granby, a basketball coach at a New York City public high school who is retiring after 45 years on the court. On Wednesday, Roy Oswalt announced his retirement, and a few hours later, beloved Yankee captain Derek Jeter said that the 2014 season would be his last. Undoubtedly just a coincidence, the close proximity of these three retirements nevertheless got me thinking about careers — both prolific and disappointing — and their inevitable endings. But more than that, I guess it got me thinking about my dad.

My dad has been a high school English teacher for almost as long as Granby has been a coach. After 35 years, and with more and more Catholic high schools in New York City shutting their doors, he too has started to consider retirement.

Unlike Granby, though, I am not sure my father has ever stepped foot on his school’s basketball court. And if I told him I was mentioning his name alongside Derek Jeter’s, he would most likely say, “Oh Jeter, the football player, right?”

When anyone looked into the stands and saw the man buried behind a stack of papers and wearing glasses that were held together with a rough tape job, they knew that was my dad.