" 'U quarant'ott' "!
I will always think of you as the "48", as you often said, Uncle Billy---the year when you came from war-torn Italy, at barely 17 years of age. And I remember many of your friends who joined you from there, seeking a better life---Cli Cli, Nick Apostolico, and even the Zingones. I have many more memories, too---like the two-toned 1956 Chevy that you let me drive, even though I couldn't reach the pedals yet; like the butcher shop you owned on Manhattan's upper west-side, and the secret way you went about getting rid of the bees that occasionally came in to the place (don't worry---I won't reveal your secret); or how about the crazy jokes you'd tell, like the one about where you got your hair cut; and even the times when you just had to cook up a steak dinner if I showed up for just a cup of coffee; and I still marvel at how you were able to arrange a great photo session for your little granddaughter, unannounced with the Pope, while vacationing in Italy. 'A bellezz' ! In camp'!
Yes, and I know there were times when we rubbed each other the wrong way, and you probably couldn't stand my guts. But, then I will remember you saying: "...you can't think about it all the time, or else you go nuts, Lug'!..." Hard to forget all that, and so much more. I'll just continue to say a prayer that you meet up with your old buddies up there, and that you get to be the steak chef, when Uncle Patsy says he wants to make the calamari, and my father says he's got the right wine to bring to the table. 'Til we meet again, 'U quarant'ott'; stay safe, man!
With heartfelt sympathy. We were blessed to have Uncle Billy be so much a part of our childhood. We find ourselves remembering so many happy days from the past. And we can't help but remember how much our mom loved her younger brother. We always delighted in the stories they would tell of their childhood. We will keep those memories in our heart. We love you, Uncle Billy!! Lina and Luca