I am one of Jack’s daughters, Jaclyn, or as one of the deacons in his graduating class liked to call me, Jack junior. At the time, I gave that deacon a look of horror for calling me that, but in hindsight, it’s not too bad being named after my father. There are sooo many interesting and funny stories I could share about my father, but I will limit it to some of my favorites.
My father introduced me to hockey and as a child and young adult; I attended several games with him and my mother. I took to hockey quickly because let’s face it, it’s indoors, cool, and the players beat one another up. What’s not to like about that. Since hockey was a sport we both liked, I ended up learning a great deal of the rules and how the game worked which I ended up thanking him for as it helped me correctly answer all of the NHL questions in a trivia game a play online with my friends, Trivia Crack. Even though I have never been a huge fan of baseball since I loathe the heat especially during the summer in Texas, I have a very fond memory of watching the Yankees in the World Series. It was the first time my entire house hold (mom, dad, and I) were all screaming at the TV and really getting into the game. It was during that time that my mom introduced me to Derek Jeter who is not only a good player, but more importantly in my book, easy on the eyes. I follow his fan page on Facebook as a result.
My father and I also shared a love for playing sports together, not the outdoor active sports that require heat and running, but the indoor sports such as bowling and shooting pool. When we first moved to Texas, I joined a bowling league and it was something that he and I shared. We practiced together often and it was always an amazing feeling when I could actually beat him at a game since he was much better than I. When I began shooting pool, my dad took an interest to that as well. He used to shoot with friends when he was younger and agreed to shoot with me without hesitation. He was always very proud of the patches, plaques, and other achievements I earned.
When I was younger, I have three very distinct memories of my dad and vacations we had. First of all, my dad was very organized and would make spreadsheets and itineraries for any road trips we took. Although I’m certain that traveling with three females who exceeded his allotted bathroom breaks, he remained calm and reminded us all that we were on a schedule. There was never any question about where we were or what we had planned when traveling with dad. Another memory is that my dad snored like a freight train and at a younger age, it was unbearable since we shared rooms on our trips. I used to wear a headset and listen to CDs at night to drown out the snoring. On one particular night in Williamsburg Virginia, the batteries on my CD player died and I woke up because I had wrapped the cord around my throat in a desperate attempt to escape the noise. After waking up and saying some colorful words and phrases, I quickly took my pillows and blanket into the bathroom to sleep in the tub until the next day when additional batteries could be purchased. My dad and I shared a love for roller coasters and on one trip to Six Flags Great Adventure I became completely addicted to riding the Great American Scream Machine which included 7 loops. My dad was always right by my side on them even when I made him ride the same roller coasters over and over again. After riding the Scream Machine multiple times, I decided to be brave and sit in the first car. My dad was right by my side of course. After a loop or two, we both heard a loud popping noise and after we got off of the ride, we realized that the force of the ride had ripped the button off of the front of his shorts. We all had a good laugh and my mother found a way to safety pin his shorts closed so we could continue to enjoy our day at the amusement park without his pants falling down around his knees which was a good thing for all of us since some things you just cannot unsee.
Although my father and I did not always have a perfect relationship and is true with every parent – child relationship, I could always count on my dad to be there to support me when it truly counted. He would try to stand back and let me make my own choices even if he thought they weren’t the best. When it turned out that he was right and that the choices I made did not go well, I could always count on him for support in spite of it all. Once when my choices didn’t work out as planned, my dad was by my side and was a true turning point in our relationship. For a time following that, he and I met for lunch weekly at the Black-eyed Pea by his office in Richardson and would then leave and get coffee at a local Starbucks. Starbucks coffee was an addiction we both shared which pleased him on some level as he had always wanted someone in the family to drink coffee too. One thing that I miss the most is staying at my parent’s house on a weekend and going for our Starbucks in the morning. It seems sooo strange not to order his coffee with mine.
With Easter around the corner, it reminds me of how each and every year I would dye eggs, making sure the shells were cracked enough for the dye to get into them, then make him multicolored egg salad which he took to work for lunches. He never complained about how colorful his lunch was because I had made it for him. This Easter I will continue that tradition of making multicolored egg salad and might actually eat some of it myself for once despite the texture.
The final story about my father I really want to share is that my dad had an unusual habit of tasting perfume all of the time. It always seemed the worse at restaurants, but the family was always careful to go easy of the perfume when getting in a car or too close to dad. Without fail, he would make a smacking noise with his mouth and say “does anyone else taste perfume. I do and its sooo strong”. Of course we all laughed and joked about this because it was hilarious how he would go on about it and how adamant he was that he could taste it when none of us could really even spell it. Ironically, the last cruise he took, one of the excursions was to make perfume. Dad made his own unique fragrance on that trip and I have to wonder how many hours after that he could still taste it.
I want to thank all of his coworkers, former employees, friends, and the overwhelming amount of the St. Elizabeth Anne Seton congregations who have attended his vigil and funeral as well as written many wonderful comments and memories both on his page through Allen Family Funeral Options as well as the web page created for him, www.deaconjackgulino.com. It is truly touching to see how loved and respected he was and still is by all that knew him. I know that although his body may be gone, his memory will live on in sooo many people. He will be missed by all that knew him and were touched by his love and kindness.