His name was Ernie Pellegrino. He was always dressed in white. If he had a sense of humor, you could’ve fooled me. He presided over “Ernie’s,” the barber shop at Manoa Road Shopping Center. He was a glowering presence, the yin to the yang and sunny disposition of the guy who owned the hardware storeContinue reading “Over Manoa Road”
Category Archives: My Most Unforgettable Character
Madeline and Her Sisters
Believe me, I have thought a great deal about this one. I wasn’t really sure I could even write it, even though I’ve written about lot of others in my family, including my Dad. Yeah, it’s, as the cliche goes, complicated. Writing about my Mom was never going to be easy because in her ownContinue reading “Madeline and Her Sisters”
Aunt Frances to You, But Grandmom to Me
“Weren’t there any women in your family?” No. Italians reproduce asexually. At least married ones. Look, there were some people in my family who were too good to be true. My maternal grandmother was one of them. So if you are as cynical as I am, you will stop right here. But that doesn’t changeContinue reading “Aunt Frances to You, But Grandmom to Me”
In the 1940 Census, he is listed as the head of household at 912 Tree Street, Lower Moyamensing, Philadelphia PA. His wife, Frances, was a bit younger. Both were born in Italy (my Mother, Maddelena Villari, seemingly did not know her Mother was not born here, because she told me otherwise); Joseph in 1895, FrancesContinue reading “Joe Villari”
Dick, This is Woodrow. Did I Wake You?
(The following is a text written 21 years ago on the occasion of a commemoration of Woodrow Borah, the Shepherd Professor, Emeritus, at Berkeley. I didn’t go, but someone–who knows, delivered it. It is verbatim. Borah once called me on a Saturday morning at 10:00 A.M. The title was his memorable opening sally. I hadContinue reading “Dick, This is Woodrow. Did I Wake You?”
“Are you always that conventional?” Oh, man, what a line. My Dad, Louis Richard Salvucci, used it on a cute chick he saw on the 31 trolley in West Philly. I’m not sure how he got her number, but he asked her out. By phone. Party line–and you gotta be ancient to know what thatContinue reading “Lou Larkins”
Hello, Dick. What’s Up?
Earlier this year, I published an In Memoriam for my thesis supervisor, Stanley J. Stein, who died at 99. It was not easy to write. All the difficulties of graduate education, and they range from personal to professional, come back to you when you are asked to write a memorial. And there is one youContinue reading “Hello, Dick. What’s Up?”
Stan the Man
“A car is a weapon. Weapons kill. They have killed and will kill. When you get into a car, remember, you are using a weapon.” That was a great moment in driver’s ed, old school style. Not exactly Montessori, huh. My “instructor” was a World War II veteran of the First Army, the Big RedContinue reading “Stan the Man”