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Moment of Anger Haunts Father

When Bob Chase Jr. asked his father what made him happy and sad concerning his children, he found the elder Chase still hurting from an episode when the family lived on New York's Long Island in the 1950s.

"I can tell you one of the greatest failings in my life involved you," the 88-year-old told his 59-year-old son in a StoryCorps booth in Cleveland. "Constantly in my mind is the fact that I mistreated you over a very stupid incident that occurred when you were young."

The elder Chase recalled his son not wearing a raincoat to go to a guitar lesson.

"I was for some reason incensed and I beat you," he said. "And that incident has stayed with me for the rest of my life."

The younger Chase remembered the spanking, but he urged his father not to dwell on it because it "pales" in comparison with the good.

"I know it happened 50 years ago, but the memory — I can't erase it. It's still there; it's still present in my mind," the elder Chase said.

His son responded: "I've said this to many people, if I am good in what I do, no one in the world deserves more credit than you."

Produced for Morning Editionby Katie Simon with help from Nadia Reiman. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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