Saturday, March 19, 2016


When I was a wee one back in Brooklyn, St Joseph’s Day was a big deal in the Italian/American neighborhood, and if you were named Joseph, better yet. People, mostly adult Italians would see you and say: “Giuseppe!” give you the two finger squeeze of the cheek and laugh. Some would give you a dime, and even a dollar if they were really happy.

Having THE name, meant that crème puffs were coming your way too. You got the first and fattest crème puff there was, and just ask for a little more sugar and you got it. Zeppoli and sfinge, was worth all the cheek pecks there were that day.

If I saw my grandmother that day, she would clasp her hands in a prayer like shake and repeat my name in Italian, of course. One would think they closed down Italy for the day so people could eat the bakery goods.

This of course was not a day of rejoicing for my sibs, since they had pedantic feelings about the whole scene, and me in particular. But it was no matter, after the dessert came the nice meal that mom would prepare, whatever I wanted that day, which usually ended up being Rigatoni my favorite macaroni with meatballs. Life was good.

Then one day I did something stupid, I grew up, and when I did, there were no more crème puffs, unless I went to the bakery. Married to an Irish wife, there was little if no recognition for the big day.

But as Dad (Tony) used to say: “St. Joseph’s Day, ha! Everyday is St. Anthony’s Day”


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