108 Shelley Spector


On January 25th , 1970, a Sunday morning, my father, Edward Spector, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He left my mother widowed with me, who was nine, and three teenagers. After dropping my brother off at Hebrew school, he didn’t feel well, so he crossed Welsh Road to go to Dr. Miller’s office. He collapsed in the middle of the street not far from our house in Northeast Philadelphia, and he was gone before my mother could get to him. He was forty-two.

My family has some physical reminders of him, like photos, hardware and an odd assortment of his belongings. For as long as I can remember his belted yellow bathing suit and jockstrap has been passed back and forth between my siblings and myself. It’s a joke between us. Who wants their dad’s old jockstrap? Nobody, but none of us can throw it away.