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An Air Hug For Dad, And A Final Farewell? The Sequel.

On March 16 — just 4 days after COVID closed Westport schools, as the reality of the pandemic swept across America — I posted an astonishing story.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton had written a heart-wrenching story about the coronavirus’ effect on her life. She had just moved her 93-year-old father into a memory care unit. He was also in the late stages of Parkinson’s. Now she could not even visit him.

Her father was Bob Bohen. He raised her as a single parent in Westport, in the late 1970s and ’80s. He worked 2 jobs, but was always there when she got home after school. She graduated from Staples High in 1982.

“He let me have huge sleepovers and was beloved among my friends,” Leonora wrote. “He took me out to eat. Every night.”

Click here to read her moving account of what she feared might be the last time she ever saw him.

Leonora LaPeter Anton and her dad, Bob Bohen.

More than half a year has passed. Once again Leonora — who shared a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, as part of a Tampa Bay Times/Sarasota Herald-Tribune team exploring violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals — has written about her dad.

Father and daughter were separated for months. In July, he got COVID. His battle with the disease forms the basis of her most recent story.

I won’t tell you what happened. You need to read it yourself; just click here.

It’s an astonishing story, told beautifully and with love by a talented Staples High School grad.

It’s also just one of millions such tales, in our America today.

(Hat tip: Suzanne Braley)

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