Friday, October 14, 2016


Louis A. Isabella, my father, passed on this date two years ago. I wrote about him here.

A number of people have asked about the dog tags I wear when I travel to conventions and other events. The tags are visible in a few of the photos taken at the Luke Cage premiere last month. They are my father’s dog tags. I wear them to honor him as well as for other reasons.

Dad loved to drive, especially the big old Isabella Bakery delivery truck. He stopped making deliveries when he was needed inside the bakery itself. He sacrificed one of the joys of his life because he was needed elsewhere. In many ways, that selflessness was the story of his life and repeated time and time again.

Dad also loved to fly, which he rarely did even during his service in World War II. I still remember the delight in his eyes the day I was invited to tour an airbase and museum as part of a project I almost did for the Air Force. Dad and my then-young son Eddie came with me. It was one of the best days of my life.

The third part of this story is that, of all the member of my birth family, no one was ever more supportive of my career than Dad. He build an office for me in our family basement. He drove my stuff to New York when I moved there to work for Marvel Comics. He built a  display for me when I was selling comics at conventions. He saved every comic book I ever sent him. I don’t know if he read them, but he did like to see my name in them.

After Dad passed, going through the odds and ends being set aside for a garage sale, I saw his dog tags. No one else wanted them, so I took them. I started wearing them to comics conventions and other events, especially when I was flying to those things.

Dad loved to fly, so now he flies with the son to whom he gave such strong wings. Dad lived to travel, so he comes to conventions with me. I think Dad would get a kick out of the love and respect that I receive at conventions and at events like the Luke Cage premiere. I bring these small reminders of him with me because I am just as proud of him as he was of me.

Dad is my co-pilot, so I wear his tags.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

1 comment: