Football, boxing and Bilko.

I loved my dad. He was kind, quiet and devoutly Catholic so, as you can imagine, we didn’t have much in common. We did, however, share a fondness for football, boxing and random repeats of Sgt. Bilko. Many of them were written by Neil Simon who died yesterday, aged 91. At school, I worked part-time at a local cinema and two of the first films I watched from the usher’s flap-down seat were California Suite and The Goodbye Girl, the latter winning Richard Dreyfuss an Oscar for Best Actor. Both were masterpieces and both were written by Neil Simon. They ignited my lifelong love of romantic comedies, which has since provided a counterbalance to all that football and boxing. So here’s another Mr. Simon whose work my dad also admired. Hmm – that’s four things we had in common. And as I get older, I’ve a feeling there could be more.