The Bread Man


Pete, the Bread Man
Originally uploaded by p2son.

Stuffed in the trunk of his car, my dad, Pete Toscano, always stows several dozen loaves of bread, packages of english muffins, boxes of doughnuts and bags of bagels.

He buys the stuff wholesale then ferries it around with him handing it out randomly to anyone he meets. Whatever is left over he “feeds to the animals”, a nightly furry crew of skunks, foxes, deer, cats and the occasional black bear that lumber onto my parents’ New York Catskill property. Then the animals get their carb fix.

My dad turns 75 this month. A Marine veteran of the Korean War (who stands opposed to the current Iraqi War of terrorism), he uses every opportunity to hand out bread, wisdom and one-liners.

Some dad classics,
“Stand Up for Jesus! Now sit down for Christ’s sake.”

Referring to the outcome of a night of partying with marine buddies, “Yeah, we got hooty-toot.”

As my 96 year old grandmother tells us that when we eat dinner, angels come and settle under the table to bless us. My father chirps in, “Sure Ma, then you fart and the angels fly out the room.”

When after 17 years of trying to become straight and I told him that it did not work and that I am still gay, dad didn’t miss a beat,
“Well son, you can’t make a fish fly.”
(which inspired the title of Tom Murray’s film)

Last fall, at a Marine gathering (these guys get together all the time to drink, plan fundraisers for Christmas toys-for-tots, and to swap war stories), someone started telling gay jokes.

Now my dad is a joker and loves a good laugh, but something struck him. He stood up to full height (okay he’s only 5 feet tall, an oversized hobbit really) and said, “Cut that shit out. My son is gay and he is a great kid.”

Pete, the joker. Pete, the marine. Pete, the funny bread man. My dad, he stood up for me, for all of us.

Queer allies come in all shapes and sizes.

This post has 13 Comments

  1. Anonymous on August 4, 2005 at 1:15 am Reply

    Amazing job on your Blog! I’ll definatly be coming back. If interested, my site is on the new psp tutorials.

  2. bethany on August 4, 2005 at 1:45 am Reply

    i just randomly came across your blog by hitting “next blog” several times from my friend’s blog. anyway, i’m glad i did. what a cool guy your dad is. love the bread generosity and the terrific one-liners. you’re a lucky son. 🙂

  3. Zaira on August 4, 2005 at 1:55 am Reply

    unbelievable story! amazing!

  4. Anvilcloud on August 4, 2005 at 2:29 am Reply

    I like to think that I would stand up and be counted just like your Dad.

  5. Scott on August 4, 2005 at 3:15 am Reply

    Your Dad is a great man! I am lucky that I have got to meet him. I’ll never forget the time we went out to eat and him telling jokes. I don’t really remember the jokes he told, but I remember our laughter! Great man and a great son! Love ya, Peterson.

  6. abbyladybug on August 4, 2005 at 5:41 am Reply

    Rock out, Daddy! “Ally” is the one word I added to the Wikipedia. They only had the World War II definition, not the “straight but not narrow definition.”

  7. Willie Hewes on August 4, 2005 at 6:56 am Reply

    Great story. Good way to start my day. 🙂

  8. Mark on August 4, 2005 at 11:57 am Reply

    Great recollections. My bio dad was a Korean war Marine vet too. (random connection). Love your dad’s sense of humour 🙂

  9. Jennifer on August 4, 2005 at 12:46 pm Reply

    WOW! After all that you have been through with your dad he sticks up for you. That is amazing! See you at NEYM on Saturday.

  10. Contemplative Activist on August 4, 2005 at 2:05 pm Reply

    Cool – I like your dad, what a character :)!

  11. Peterson Toscano on August 5, 2005 at 3:55 pm Reply

    This just in from my mom, “Dad says if people
    had more love in their heart and less hate, the world would be a better place.”

    Out of the mouths of dads…

  12. mike(intoronto) on August 6, 2005 at 6:50 pm Reply

    What an awesome dad you have! 😀 I love the photo.

  13. Quev on August 11, 2005 at 2:06 am Reply

    Your dad sounds like a tremendous guy. (And a real character!) Thanks for letting your readers get to know him a little.

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