TwitLonger

someone wanted to know about my Early Life... yes, I was born in 1975 in parma (ohio, not Italia!) to Joseph John and Marie Barbara Papp (previously Danek). My only sibling is my brother David, who's four years younger than me but who got all of the family's athletic genes (he was a star soccer and baseball player)! My mom's ethnic heritage is Czech, and she grew-up as a native speaker (my grandparents owned a Czech bakery in Cleveland), but my dad forbade her from teaching us the language b/c he didn't want us sounding like a couple of "hunkies," I guess. My dad's father was from Hungary, you see, and he abandoned my Irish-immigrant grandmother and her four kids, so I kinda understand my dad's prejudice -- except for the fact that he married a Slav, not one of the Finno-Ugric peoples!

We grew-up in Seven Hills, OH until October 1983, when we moved (the day before Halloween) to Bethel Park, Pennsylvania (suburb of Pgh, just like 7hills = suburb of Cleveland) b/c my dad's employer transferred him.

JJP was a business systems analyst for Fisher Body, which was a historic automotive coachworks that became part of General Motors. During his 'short' professional life, my dad really only worked for two companies after his military service (he was US Army vet, along with both of his brothers): N&W railroad (where he met my mom) and, after he graduated from business school at Cleveland State University (going at night to Nance College of Business while working at the railroad full-time!), GM. My dad died of cancer on May 24, 1989 - he was only 51.

My dad's passing devastated our family (and it crushed me personally), but it also was the catalyst for me to finally get into cycling (although I'd always been "bike-crazy" from my earliest days). I'll write more about my start in cycling later...

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