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PAGE 10 POST-GAZE'I'rE, SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 nna qSabb?]nonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance I shouldn't do this, but now that l live in both the Boston area and southern Florida, I compare friends and acquain- tances. What I mean is that, as I have gotten to know people in Florida, I measure them up and compare them with my friends back home. I know I shouldn't do this but I can't help it. Over the years, I have put together a little family of friends to take the place of the brothers and sisters I never had. In this column, you've read about Sal Meli, Dean Saluti, John Silva, the late Bill Hurley, Joe Carter, Ed Ligon, Mike Finer and Bill Strachman. This is my inner circle of friends -- younger adopted brothers, as it were. But in Florida, even though I have new friends, I silently make comparisons with the guys back home -- and I shouldn't. I think I have adopted people due to learning from Nanna and Babbononno and my folks a generation or two ago. Both of my grandparents had people they were close to that were called paesani, compari, or amici. Most were people from Avellino, Napoli or Foggia that were in America alone. These single folks seemed out of place whenever we had a holiday gathering at my grandparents, but they were made to feel at home and part of the family. My folks did the same thing a generation later with some of the people Dad worked with. My father was with the Boston Schools during the day and a musician at night. As a result, there were friendships that developed from both profes- sions. For the most part, their wives and Morn hit it off and their kids and I would play together like siblings or cousins would. Believe it or not, most of the friends for those three generations can be classified as normal -- whatever normal means. My friends in Florida are quite different. To begin with, there is an elderly couple next door. The man has a number tat- tooed on his arm due to the fact that, as a child, he was in a Nazi death camp. In 1945, the camp was taken over by invading American soldiers and my neighbor survived. His wife tells me that sometimes at night, he relives those days of his childhood and will wake up screaming. He has never left the past behind. Stella, a dedicated wife, has never been able to help her hus- band overcome his early years. Another couple that we are friendly with has a successful business. He was from Brooklyn and she from Brookline. They live in a fashionable neighbor- hood, have two new Mercedes Benz cars and all the trappings of good living, but they fight all the time. The woman looks for mistakes in the daily operation of their business and blames her husband, coming up with contrived flaws in his being that have caused the problems. The man is low-key and relaxed, and when he is verbally attacked by his wife, just backs off and takes the abuse. He's not con- frontational, she is. Each time they call to go out to dinner, Loretta will ask, "Are they fight- ing, or is there a truce?" If there is a feud going on, we give them an excuse and choose not to be in their company. It can be nerve-wracking. Most other couples we've met have been divorced once or twice and all have stories about their earlier lives. One couple is funny. He's Irish, she's Jewish, and both are from New York. My Irish friend was married to a Sicilian lady who passed away, (He's an Italian wannabe.) His Jewish wife is divorced, and together remind me of the comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara from TV years ago. Not long ago, they told Loretta and me that they were heading back to New York for a christening and a bris. Rich, the husband, was going to attend his grandson's christening at their old parish church, and his wife Fran was going to attend the bris of her grandnephew. If you don't know what a bris is, I will tell you. As Christians and Catholics, we baptize infants as part of our cultures and tradi- tions. Jewish customs dictate that a male infant has to be circumcised, and they celebrate the event with a ceremony and a party afterward. It sounds like a Christening, only with a sharp knife included. There are several other stories I could relate, but to sum them all up, it seems that most of the people we,re met have chosen southern Florida as a place to start life over. No one has Florida roots. All are from the northeast -- New York, New Jersey or Massachusetts -- and all have sad or angry stories to tell Another couple that is only in Florida in the winter is an Italian couple from New Jersey. As I got to know the man, I discovered that he lived in Italy as a child during WWII. Some of his stories can be shock- ing, especially when his town's people had to deal with the German soldiers who were sta- tioned there. His wife, like many of us, is third generation. -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 And yet, another couple that we see, maybe, once a week for dinner divorced each other for 15 years and decided to remarry a couple of years ago. Lee is an actress and does mostly stage work during the winter season when there is work in southern Florida. Her husband, Tim, is a scenery designer and has won many awards for his imagina- tive designs. Both are originally from the midwest and have ancestries that go back to at least the Civil War. (They are probably the most normal of our friends.) At times, when Loretta and I are heading back from an eve- ning with one or more of these couples, we discuss how differ- ent our lives are from theirs. She will often make the sign of the cross and say, "Thank God we're so different." Back home in Boston, it's quite different. We have roots, as do all of our friends. Socially, we are part of an extended family, especially through the Italian-American organizations we belong to. Life is sweet, life is comfortable, and life is normal. I would like to change the subject at this point. I have written a book that is coming out this fall. It is a series of 18 short stories about growing up in East Boston and attending English High School in the mid- 1950s. If anyone is interested, I will be having a book signing at some point in the fall. I don't know where yet, but I will keep you informed as to location, dates and times. YOU and this column have been the inspira- tion for the book. I have to thank Babbononno and my father for prodding me to write the stories I had heard as a child growing up in Eastie, going to high school in town, and meeting people from the rest of the world. If anyone would like to con- tact me, my small address is beagsleyl~fcn, com. Until I hear from you, may GOD BLESS AMERICAI The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. Please call 617-22 7-8929 News Briefs (Continued from Page I) should be asked and wouldn't be if these reporters had any common sense or compassion. Well, MSNBC got its head chewed off when a reporter asked a woman clinging to her little boy how she felt and the woman unloaded on her. It was so good to see some- one say what she said. She may have been a victim of Hurrican Harvey but she was not defeated and questioned why the reporter needed to know how she felt. The woman knew the reporter didn't give a BLANK about her. It was just an interview for MSNBC to show on the air. The woman, after screaming at the reporter for being so insensitive, stormed away with child in hand and I was clapping as I watched it all unfold in front of me on the TV screen. Someone finally told the Fake Media off and did it so well. That woman is a survivor and some- one who really knows what's important and it isn't the Fake News purveyors. Orwell's Warning Still Rings of Truth Look at all the political tur- moil going on in this country as radicals on both the Left and Right are trying to take control of it all to gain fame and fortune. Liberals in this country have a moral challenge in front of them with both Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Both of these groups are outlaws in our society and culture. They are fascists and enemies of the state. Then, look over on the Right; the same moral challenge faces conser- vatives with the Nazis and the Klan. All of these groups are nothing more than America's Stalinists and enemies of our democratic republic and our Bill of Rights. They are leeches trying to attach themselves to anything that sticks, but they are really nothing more than cancerous tumors on the body politic and unless the body politic challenges them, all our freedoms will continue to be endangered. As I think of all this, I remem- ber a great Orwell quote that goes, "Serious sport has noth- ing to do with fair play, it is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence." He may have been talking about sports, but it reminds me of these two extremes competing out there. Then there's another quote from Orwell's novel 1984 where one of the book's characters states, "every book has been rewrit- ten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building renamed and every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by min- ute until History is stopped." As terrible as I thought the period from 1968 to 1972 was in many respects, this stuff we are witnessing today is far worse. Pelosi Hits Home Run Kudos to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for coming out in the strongest terms on the recent violence perpetrated by the radical Anitifa thugs who attacked peaceful protesters in Berkeley, CA. She actually sounded like a Democratic leader. Where was U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Berkeley? Why has she been so silent on these thugs? How about Governor Terry McAuliffe of VA, Chuck U. Schumer in the U.S. Senate or Tommy Perez? You ask who is he? No, he isn't a former base- ball player with the Reds whose first name was Tony. Tommy is the current chair of the Demo- cratic National Committee who believes all moderates and conservatives must be banished from party ranks. Is Pelosi the only leader in the Democratic Party who was able to put her hypocrisy aside and face the truth about Antifa's fascist ways? Endquots "Money can't buy friends but it can get you a better class of enemies." -- Spike Milligan Boxing Ringside (Continued stressed the importance of the left jab to me. He would say, "Kid, keep hitting 'em with the left, and every once in a while toss in a right so they don't get bored.~ He also stressed to me to always fight fair. He told me, "Even if the other guy pulls stuff on you, never sink to his level.~ There is a sign at the corner of Bowdoin and Cambridge Streets in Boston that names it "Anthony Sciucco Square." There are two things wrong with this sign. One, it is a Gold Star sign that is meant to remember from Page 12) a fallen soldier. Two, it should read Anthony "Tony Shucco" Sciucco Square, and have a pair of boxing gloves on it. Maybe some politician will read this and correct that oversight. Tony Schucco passed away on February 26, 1983. I feel honored to have known Tony Shucco and I know his family is very proud of him. It is time Boston rediscovers him. He was one of its greatest athletes, and a man who always fought fair even though he wasn't treated that way. f Boston Harborside Home Joseph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. - Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 www'bstnharbrsidehme'cm M Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. Fitzgibbons A Service Family Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 Winter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454