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Monday, November 07, 2016

HIS NAME WAS JOSEPH IN ENGLISH


Yesterday was my grandfather's birthday. If grandpa had taken better care of himself, he would have been 120-years old yesterday!

Grandpa was a tough old guy who was always in the midst of adapting to life here in America. He started a business that my grandmother took over when he died. When WWI came along, so did he, joining the American cavalry and communications unit. He along with his best friend Ralph, joined up together.

There are many legends about the man, his strength, and combativeness being some of them, a quick-tempered man who wouldn't deal with nonsense no matter where it was quartered. He was infatuated with my grandmother, a beautiful red head from Naples and together they formed a union that lasted only a short time.

When the war was over, grandpa was shipped home from Europe with Spanish Influenza. They slapped him in a hospital and asked him to kindly stay there. But no, Giuseppe refused to stay down. He was home- sick for his three children. In February of 1920, a snow storm hit the New York Area, a perfect time for grandpa to check up on his family.

Let alone in his room, in the midst of a blizzard of 17.5" of white stuff, he climbed out of his hospital room on the second floor and went home, trudging through the snow. I don't know if he had any clothes on but he did make it home to see his bambinos. Come Father's Day he would have been owed big-time, instead, he never made it past the following week when he died of pneumonia!

The house he died in is still standing!
He left Grandma with three children, and the hospital bills which she paid and the beginnings of a successful career for Grandma who parlayed that into a grocery store, restaurant and a few apartment buildings in Brooklyn. He children helped her with her English and she was able to thrive through the Great Depression.

But it was Grandpa nad his spirit to love and be with his children that I think is most remarkable.

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