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Friday, January 20, 2017

UNCLE TONY'S IN HEAVEN (MAYBE)

Uncle Tony is the two men on your right!
Every kid of Italian heritage has or should have an Uncle Tony or an Uncle Joe! All my cousins did, and so did I. My Uncle Tony was actually my Dad's sister's husband. Uncle Tony was a mild meek gentleman who spoke broken English and really loved his booze. Married to my Aunt Angie made him that way. She was a take-charge woman, and a take charge attitude, just your average wife. (Only kidding)

Uncle Tony loved his booze so much that my aunt would hide the booze on him. Meek as Uncle Tony was, he wasn't stupid. He would arrange to play hide and seek with his kids, and would find the booze where it was hidden!

One of his favorite past times was barbecuing at any time of the year, including during a blizzard. Old Uncle Tony would announce around supper time "I make a nice a fire!" Out he would go and make the fire and cook for my aunt.

One year it was graduation time and my aunt lived in a duplex with my father's brother Joe. Uncle Tony and Uncle Joe never got along and on the rare occasion that they did, something would always happen. Both Uncle Joe who had a son graduating high school and my aunt had a daughter who was also graduating this one day. My Aunt Angie was visiting with my Uncle Joe's wife, (who happened to be my Mother's sister, two brothers married two sisters) and Uncle Tony came home from work, and goes over to my Uncle Joe's house looking for Aunt Angie who says to him "Tony, go upstairs and get dressed for the graduation tonight" Of course she meant upstairs next door. So off goes Uncle Tony. Uncle Joe comes home and is told his clothes are all laid out for him on the bed upstairs. Just as he is ready to go up, who comes down but Uncle Tony, all dressed up, and ready to go, in Uncle Joe's suit, shirt, tie, socks, and shoes!

Once, Uncle Joe and Uncle Tony went fishing in a local lake. They were sitting in a rented rowboat when all of a sudden Uncle Joe asked Uncle Tony to give him more bait, Uncle Tony decides to stand up and as he does, falls out of the boat! "Helpa, hime gonna drrrown, I can'ta swim!" thrashing about in the water. He was sitting in the water, the water up to his chest. Uncle Joe looks at him and says: You &$%@$(&! %^@$*&&^, STAND UP, AND GET BACK IN THE DAMNED BOAT! ITS ONLY UP TO YOUR KNEES!

When my Dad was dying, Uncle Tony was living in Florida and was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and somehow found out about my father who was dying here in New York. He loved my father who sponsored him in a late confirmation, goes to my Aunt while shaving: "Shine a my shoes I'm a gonna visit, Tony."

Not too much later Uncle Tony passed on from a heart attack, and when he did, I thought: "I wonder if he's playing hide and seek up there?" I missed both uncles, they help build my life of happy memories!

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