Courtesy Charlie Rizzo
Charlie Rizzo, age 29, poses with his father, Matt Rizzo, then 65, in 1978.
As Father's Day approaches, Charlie Rizzo shares the story of his lifelong journey with his father. Matt Rizzo died in 1986, but he remains a constant presence in Charlie's life.
As a very young boy, Charlie'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 years old, was sent back to Chicago to live with his father, who was blind.
As Charlie tells independent producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister, learning the story of just how his father became blind helped him grow closer to the old man, who spent much of his life absorbed in philosophical writings.
The only time that his father would take a break from his writing was when he would walk out into the yard, Charlie says.
"So 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."