Monday, November 06, 2017


Itza not him
One day in sunny Naples, someone said or did something to old Joe that kind of upset him, and rather than go through the formalities of asking for an apology, he killed the man with his bare hands in self-defense! OK, maybe he was a little touchy, but then had his antagonist spoken to him in some other language and hadn't threatened him, he wouldn't have had such a speedy end to his life.

Of course, this did not sit well with the Dipartimento di Polizia Locale di Neopolitan, and rather than book a passage to America, Grandpa Joe stowed away, saving his skin and boat fare. It is my guess that all he packed for his voyage was a long salami and provolone, with maybe a flask of vino to soothe his guilty soul for killing a man, stowing away, and causing all that overtime at the Dipartimento di Polizia Locale di Neopolitan.

There is only one photo I ever saw of my grandpa Joe. It sat on a wall of my grandmother's cellar where she canned and made wine. He is dressed in a tuxedo, with a finely trimmed pencil mustache and a look of severity. Grandpa Joe died at a young age from pneumonia as a victim of Spanish influenza.

Today is his birthday, he would have been about 130-years old. What makes his birthday notable to me is not the age he would have been but the date. November 6, is his birthday, April 6 is my son's birthday, July 6 is my birthday! A coincidence, none-the-less.

Grandpa was a crusty guy who fought in WWI, started a business that he left for my grandmother to prosper from and truly loved his children.

When Grandpa was mustered out of the army, he was the victim of the Spanish Influenza and was hospitalized in Brooklyn. Laying in the hospital bed he yearned to see his wife and children who he missed throughout the war. His son Anthony and daughter Angelina were waiting at home and grandma had another on the way.

One day a very large and severe snowstorm was raging outside his second-floor room. There were snowdrifts very high and things were pretty much closed down throughout Brooklyn. Grandpa Joe decided that this was to be his opportunity to escape the hospital and go home to see his kids, so he did what any maniac would do for his kids, he climbs out the second-floor window down into the snow and took off for home.

Grandpa Joe arrived home in one piece, but the task was taxing, giving him pneumonia with the flu and he died a few days later.

But in his short time in America when he arrived in 1915, he married, had two kids, started a business and fought for his new country. Too bad he didn't live longer, God knows what he could have accomplished.


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