Tuesday, December 06, 2011


15 years ago today, the most important man in my life, the man who I owe more to than anyone... the man who made me who I am... died.

My grandfather, Robert Emmet Dinsmore (for whom my uncle, brother, and cousin were all named), died December 5th 1996, of complications arising from cancer.

Robert Emmet Dinsmore of Quincy, an attorney who ran for the US Senate in 1976, died last week in his second home in Floral City, Fla. He was 65.

Mr. Dinsmore was born in Boston. He graduated from Brandeis University and New England School of Law and earned a master's degree in education at Suffolk University.

A veteran of the Army during the Korean War, he taught in the Boston public schools before becoming a lawyer in practice in Boston and Quincy. Mr. Dinsmore's clients included antibusing leaders Louise Day Hicks and Albert (Dapper) O'Neil. He twice ran for the Boston City Council before unsuccessfully challenging Edward M. Kennedy in the 1976 Democratic primary for the US Senate.

He leaves his wife, five daughters, three sons, his mother, a sister, and 10 grandchildren.

He actually had 11 grandchildren at the time of his death (sadly, he never got to know his granddaughter Christina). Of those 11 grandchildren, I was the oldest. He unfortunately did not live to see the birth of his 3 youngest grandchildren (or any of his great grandchildren, now numbering 8 I think); my aunt Maureens daughters, the oldest of whom will be 15 next year. He passed on a few months after Maureens wedding.

He was only in his mid 40s when I was born, and most of his kids were still at home; then I lived with him from age 2 to 5 , and later about two more years altogether (my mother was ill much of the time while I was growing up). As a result, he always treated me more like his youngest son, rather than a grandson. As my actual father was in prison most of my life growing up, I felt much the same.

I never got a chance to say a final goodbye to him, but I like to think he would be proud of what I've done, and where I am today.

Of course... he always though it was a waste of my mind that I didn't want to be a lawyer (he most certainly taught me how to argue a position).

Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. There's not an hour that goes by that I don't feel the impact he had on my life. There's not a second that goes by that I don't miss him.

Papa, I love you and I miss you.