When he was a very young boy, Charlie Rizzo's mother and father split up, and Charlie's mom took him to Los Angeles, leaving his father back in Chicago. For a while, Charlie says, he wasn't even sure he had a father. But in 1959, Charlie's mother died, and Charlie, who was then 10, was sent back to Chicago to live with his father, who was blind.
As Charlie tells contributors Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister, learning the story of just how his father became blind helped him grow closer to him. The only time that his father would take a break from his writing was when he would walk out into the yard, Charlie says.
"We would walk arm and arm. My father had to hold onto my left arm," Charlie says. "I just felt very proud that we were walking together, and I wish I could still be walking with my father.”