Melissa Hyatt and Oren Hirsch

Recorded September 20, 2005 Archived September 20, 2005 25:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: GCT002069


woman remembers her father who recently passed, interviewed by boyfriend

Subject Log / Time Code

memory of father smiling in hospital although he was sick
wonders what he was thinking about the family as he died
even at the end he was still the boss of the family
he always said, “I look pretty good, don’t I?”
sad boyfriend didn’t get to meet her father
her father died worrying that she wouldn’t find a partner, he sent her this one


  • Melissa Hyatt
  • Oren Hirsch


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00:01 My name is Oren Hirsch. I'm 33 years old and the date is September 20th, 2005 or the Grand Central terminal Grand Central Terminal and

00:15 Melissa is my my girlfriend. My name is Melissa Hyatt 32 today is September 20th, 2005 where at Grand Central Terminal and Oren is my boyfriend.

00:36 Samosa, can you tell me when and where was your father born?

00:41 My father was born in Vancouver Canada, September 19th 1939.

00:50 And what did he look like?

00:55 I guess.

00:57 I'm thinking of a particular time cuz I think that aspect of my father change over the course of my life, but he was about five nine. He had a kind of a pepper colored hair black and white.

01:17 And he had a beard and a mustache and he was kind of a a medium medium build.

01:28 And he was a really good-looking white man.

01:32 What's your earliest memory of your father?

01:37 Gosh

01:41 I think I have at this is kind of weird to say but my earliest memory of my dad is probably him getting angry and frustrated with me and my little brother.

01:56 For doing what?

02:00 We were in probably tell you the story. We were in Vegas.

02:08 And

02:10 My little brother Mitchell had gone out of the room with his little buddy who we were in Vegas with and my dad came in the room looking for him. I don't remember how old I was, Mitchell's probably around 10 or follow around 13. Maybe we were both a little bit younger on my dad and then came back and my dad got really angry. So that's kind of a poignant memory.

02:43 If you describe your relationship with your father.

02:46 I think my dad and I had

02:52 A really?

02:56 Respectful relationship. I think we both respected each other a lot. My dad could be really affectionate and cute with I think that I think he adored me. I think I was his little girl and I think he was also kind of in awe of me a little bit only because of that may be in Oz and the right word but kind of really proud of me because I traveled a lot and because I was going to business school things that I think that I thought were silly but things that he didn't get a chance to do when he was growing up.

03:42 And I just really respect in my dad and he is really chill. He's just this really mellow guy and he had a lot of self-confidence and he was

03:55 Kind of he didn't talk a lot. But when he spoke usually what he said had a significant amount of meaning so

04:07 And his only daughter do you think he was overprotective of you?

04:13 I don't know. I mean, I don't remember thinking as I was growing up that he was overprotective of me suddenly we died in boys. But now I think I feel that that over protection was well warranted being that the guys that I brought home weren't that nice but in every other respect, I think my father gave me free rein to do whatever I want to do and he trusted me and he tested the circumstances that I would put myself into so I don't think he was horribly overprotective. I think at the time I did but looking back on it now.

04:59 What did your father enjoy most in life?

05:05 He did he love to golf we do it. Yeah, I think it was really good. I mean before I got sick.

05:15 He replied as much as possible. He probably playing like 3 or 4 days a week and he loved it. I can never really get it why but I don't know. I got to hang out with his buddies and got to be really good at it. And I just really enjoyed going out on the golf course.

05:35 Give me the impression that your father had a sense of humor.

05:39 You just grab a funny interaction that comes to mind when you think of him making you laugh.

05:44 I can't think I see my dad making me laugh. I mean I think

05:51 You know this probably cuz I have a picture of it in my room but

05:57 My dad was sick in the hospital. I mean it wasn't anything particularly funny that he did but he was while he was sick. He was always trying to

06:10 I don't know keep a stiff upper lip they say.

06:14 And I remember one morning and went to go work out really early and I came back. It must have been before 8 and I went straight to the hospital so that he wouldn't be alone. And so that I could see him. I think I was waiting for my mom to come.

06:27 He's so happy to see me and we were talking. I don't know what we're talking about. But I took a picture of him and he has like the biggest smile on his face ever and this picture and he wasn't doing that hot and I remember showing in the picture cuz I digital camera being like Daddy happy like

06:49 And I got Sonny. I don't know. I think it's just happy that we were together but

06:57 Can't remember anything in particular. She was making me usually is my mom that made him last night at him that meet us at

07:05 We often describe your father's having been the boss out of his presence affect people that were in the room.

07:14 I mean it depends on who the audience was what I think people were largely intimidated by him. Certainly. I mean certainly my friends suddenly my brother's friends and I think people were very much like scared.

07:28 He just had kind of a daunting presence. I mean, like I said, he was really quiet and I think when someone's like really quiet and observant it can sometimes be intimidating and like you're quite an observant too, but in a different way like you kind of have a smile on your face my dad kind of like sat there and kind of lettuce Cowell, but he wasn't inviting you kind of had to earn it with my dad. So I think people were yeah intimint kind of intimidated by him.

07:59 At his friends interact with them and what they describe him.

08:02 Can I have two really interesting question?

08:07 I don't know. I mean like I think my dad was really sweet to his friends and he had a really good sense of humor.

08:16 And is really sarcastic which I'm sure you're not surprised about cuz I think I'm really sarcastic as well. So, you know, they probably said he was like a pain in the ass sometimes he's Moody. I think I'm Moody to I think I get that from him. It's not a wonderful quality and

08:39 I think they probably thought he was always up for a good time and

08:50 Kind of love life my dad. I think always really live in the moment, which is a good thing. And now we know it's boo doing bad thing to but yeah, he kind of live for the moment.

09:02 What's your most vivid memory father?

09:08 That's really hard because I think you know, I'm fortunately my most vivid memory of my father now.

09:15 Is you know him being a little bit ill?

09:23 I don't know. I remember when he was sick, but not really sick and he came to New York.

09:29 And he was working on this deal to buy his business back. I was just really happy and

09:37 Kind of thought he was like the man and you know the man about town. I remember sitting at Rosa Mexicana with him right now my apartment on the upper west side of me and my mom and

09:52 And a couple of guys that my dad was doing business with and my dad and he was just like really happy kind of, you know, like you said the boss. I don't know you I was just felt like my dad was kind of in control. So I think that that's awesome.

10:10 That's like an what do I want to say irrelevant memory because I felt like he was really in control then.

10:18 Which was a comforting feeling.

10:24 You have a dream about your father.

10:28 I do I do about my dad. I know I know I can't remember. I told you that dream. I told you a dream that what was that dream was like yeah, he was like boss. I can't remember do you remember?

10:47 I can't remember either something about him telling me to go get coffee, which I think is funny because he used it. She asked me what my most Vivid memories when we were growing up my day. So I stood on the couch in the den waiting for my mom to finish dinner for door to finish dinner and after dinner, he'd go back in the couch.

11:09 And we be talking to him and he'd be like for reading the paper and watching TV and we be like Dad. How can you read the paper and watch TV at the same time? And he's like I hear you. I know you're saying and that he is a multi-talented but that I think you know him asking me for coffee. It's like that whole thing was like being the boss and he'd be like, oh, can you go get me this? I be like, what are you doing for yourself? But it was always in like a really kind of jovial. Like I always I think I always found him. We have that relationship, but it was in a light-hearted getting my

11:46 Did your father have any special talents?

11:50 My father have any special talents.

11:54 It's a really good golfer think he's really good at his profession. I don't think he had any secret talents per se.

12:06 Are there any jokes that come to mind or phrases that you always used to use it?

12:12 I mean the only phrases that come to mind or you know nickname said he called us a girl. Are you call your brother?

12:28 Figment

12:34 Bham, because I'm damn she's kind of a double entendre of course, but yeah.

12:41 Was there anything that you and your father disagreed about our experience in Conflict them out?

12:52 I think the only big point of contention between my father and I was in regards to

13:04 The only two relationships that I had before you I think besides that my father and I pretty much saw and I and of course, you know.

13:14 I think that my dad was right.

13:17 But I didn't know that then.

13:20 Everything that you wonder about your father.

13:27 I think

13:30 I wonder alot about how he felt before he died.

13:34 About how he felt about leaving us.

13:39 And

13:42 Leaving us in the situation that he left us anymore my mom than us, but

13:49 Yeah, I have nots what I want to know something. Like I know that he loved us but I think it was really hard for him. Especially with regards to me and Mitchell and of course my mom but like you couldn't even talk about it with me and Mitchell.

14:04 I'm telling you know, I told you at the end which

14:08 You know, I felt like he was asking for for at least my permission to let go but yeah, I just kind of wondering, you know know knowing that we found out so much after he passed away. I guess I kind of wonder how how he thought we were going to deal with it after we were going to feel about what we didn't know and I just kind of wanted to stop by says that he went through.

14:34 What's your happiest memory of your father?

14:38 Driving my happiest memory of my dad, I think.

14:43 Was when my parents came to visit me and Italy

14:46 Doing my junior year of school.

14:49 And we traveled around and Alia Bhatt together and then we went to Spain but I just remember being a Natalie and like, you know, I here I was speaking Italian, which I don't really think was that big of a deal.

15:02 But I just remember my dad being like so tickled.

15:09 By that and I remember being in Rome and being in some restaurant and my dad be most definitely wasn't a bragging or anything like that, but I can just see I mean it was embarrassing cuz you can see like how excited he was so that to me is like a really really happy memory.

15:32 What qualities do you think you inherited from your father? Is that his moodiness? I told you that I don't know. I mean, I think my sense of adventure my desire to travel. I think my

15:51 I think my demeanor is largely on mimic after my father and I think that

16:02 You know, I think that people are intimidated by me sometimes when they meet me depending on the situation and I think that that's you know, of course ridiculous, but I think that if I can pay some sort of attitude like that, but a largely comes from whatever disposition my father had

16:21 What else do I think that I don't know? I think I'm a I think I'm a tough ass and I think that I just think that that's totally like my dad's personality. You know, I think that Mitchell's largely my mom's personality and I always think that like, I'm really lucky cuz my dad

16:38 Had a bad temper.

16:40 And that I I mean, I don't have as bad of a temper, but I think the one redeeming I'm like you like I'm a girl like I just figured like I my dad's by Temper, but like it's Temper by the fact that I'm a woman and so I don't come across has.

16:57 Harshly as he did.

17:00 Can you give some examples how your dad was adventurous?

17:05 Yeah, I mean, I think my dad, you know, I told you when

17:10 My Mom married my dad my dad had a boat and then he we want to go skiing and my dad didn't know if I'm like any of these these things like, you know, my grandpa was a painter and my grandma was a tailor and or seem stressed and they you know, I don't think you ever laugh or anyting but he certainly wasn't privileged as they say and I think when he got older, you know, he went on to snow ski, and he learned that it well you wasn't sailing but had a motorboat and it started traveling everywhere my mom and him went to Hawaii on their honeymoon. Just like a big deal back in the day.

18:00 And

18:04 So he started his own business and in the end, he started multiple businesses at a certain point. I don't think he had a whole lot of fear. I think he had a high tolerance for risk, which is something that I don't have.

18:28 What do you miss the most about your father?

18:32 I think I just miss.

18:37 I don't know his his ability to make decisions and tell us what to do. And when you decide to have this feeling that

18:51 Whatever. He told me it was the right thing to do. I don't know. I just kind of had this.

18:56 Resolve about

18:59 What he told told you I don't know you can all I do is call him be like Daddy I want to do this. So I don't do that or you know, my what should I do about this and he just he had an answer and it was kind of like

19:13 That was it was the law and now I look to for that.

19:21 But that is something I mean, that's something that I miss and I think we all miss I think Mitchell mess is it I think my my mom s is it he was definitely the patriarchy and like the boss what he said, you know, I remember and tell her I mean, I've said it like five times that I remember him telling me like

19:43 I remember asking my dad shortly before he died. Like I need you to tell me what to do is in regard something with my older brother on my who's the boss is he or you and he's like I'm still here.

19:58 I was just at so I you know kind of The Guiding Light and that's just kind of missing.

20:08 What physical image of your father persist in your mind?

20:18 You know, I think.

20:22 Of him being healthy cuz he wasn't sick for that long.

20:28 I'm wearing like some Debonair outfit and he always used to say like how cool it was like he'd be wearing like these fashionable GNC be like, I like pretty good. I always said that you always say that I pretty good.

20:44 And he said it when he before he got sick and then he said while he was sick if you just always had that and I did look pretty good. But piano wearing jeans and like a collared shirt and

21:02 He had those Pumas does black from what I have now. I don't know if a guy really cool looking.

21:11 Sophisticated fashionable

21:20 What important life lesson did you learn from your father?

21:23 Gosh, I mean I think.

21:26 Seize the day is one, you know kind of take advantage of what you have I think.

21:35 Yeah, I mean, I think my father.

21:38 Believe don't like taking risks and doing what you want to do and not kind of going against convention. If if that was what you wanted to do, you know, I mean

21:49 We talked about traveling and taking you some time off and I think that

21:56 My father would think that that was a great idea, you know.

22:07 Everything else you want to say?

22:11 Calling Sam. I think the only thing that I kind of want to say.

22:18 Is that

22:21 Yeah, the one thing that I'm sad about is that my dad doesn't get to meet you and that you didn't get to meet my dad. That's the only thing I think that's

22:34 You know, I don't know I think about.

22:42 I do not the only thing out of everything that is most important to me with regards to getting it on record is the fact that before my dad died. Then how the nurses said to me, you know your dad thinks you're great. But he's really worried about you meeting somebody cuz I think he thought I was so tough that

23:03 Hyena, I push people away.

23:06 But

23:09 You know, I feel like you're a gift and I feel that my dad found you.

23:16 I do that's how I feel.

23:19 IMAX that's the only thing that makes me sad cuz I don't know how you guys would have been erected. I mean, I can't imagine that even of like you or something that's like but it would have been interesting to see your two personalities together because my dad never liked anybody and I brought home, but I might not like I bought that many guys out but you know

23:45 And I know he would have liked you and I think it would have loved you. So that's the only thing that is kind of major unfinished business.

23:55 Finding it to me and my kind of feel like I know him through you.

24:07 What do you mean by that?

24:12 I just feel that my dad died.

24:17 On November 1st last year and that he was worried about me and I'm at Warren on New Year's.

24:29 And like I mean, it's hard to talk about how I feel about 1 but

24:37 We have such an amazing relationship.

24:43 And I'm so happy and I think he's so happy.

24:47 I think that my dad found him and I think he brought us together. I mean, it's so cheesy, but like I don't know it like occurred to me shortly after we met that like, oh my gosh, this is so it and this is what my dad would have wanted and I just felt like he brought us together.

25:17 Can you laugh?

25:22 Closing words

25:27 I want to see you tonight.