Angela was at all the Buffalo Bills' home games in 1965, before she was born. Doctor Jim Hurley, who delivered her on January 7, 1966, sat in front of us for those games at War Memorial Stadium. When she was born, I thought she looked just like my mother-in-law, Mary Lanza Bongiovanni. I had never realized how beautiful my mother-in-law was!
She never crawled. One day, about a year old, she just started walking.
When she was about 18 months old, she insisted on sliding (alone) into our cousin Tom Lo Presti's swimming pool, with "that look" on her face. As a toddler, she would suck her thumb so much it turned red and raw at the joint. One thumb would be in her mouth, while the middle finger of the other hand was in her navel!
Climbing the stairs at 438 Maynard Drive with her brother Angelo, who would announce, like a circus barker, "INTRO-DUCING: the Crawwwl-ing Brothers - Crunch and Climb!"
Sitting at the table, "killing" her french-fries before she ate them, smashing them with her thumb and chanting, "muunyia-muunyia"
Marching in the "Flag Day Parade Day" at Windemere Boulevard Elementary School. Telling her Aunt Mary Sowa "I'm not trying anything on!" Her first grade teacher at Windermere, Mrs. Krauss, recalls that even then, Angela was determined to be a hockey goalie. But that didn't stop her from playing the violin, like her grandpa Sam Bongiovanni. He used to take her and Angelo for ice cream at "Pats", where she'd always convince Grandpa to buy "seconds".
Fishing with her brother for sunfish in Dayton, Ohio, when visiting our friends the Liottas. Sleeping on an ironing board on the floor of our Dodge Dart on our way to Disney World in 1974. Helping with the Lafayette High School Class of '54 twentieth reunion in 1974, and Lafayette's Diamond Jubilee in 1978. Singing 'fifties songs. She'd say: "Didn't I go to Lafayette with you guys?" Singing accompaniment to Frank Sinatra's I've got you .. ("Ching - ching") .. under my skin .. ("Jack!!").
Chubby cheeks. Skinny legs. Her inseparable stuffed toy, Monstro the Whale. Her "Lite-Brite" set. Her "Mousetrap" game. One of her favorite books, "Cheese, Peas and Chocolate Pudding", by Caroline Bauer. Watching her as she watched Malificent, the witch in "Sleeping Beauty", from under the theatre seat. Looking under her bed for witches before getting in. Singing "Five Little Pumpkins" at Hallowe'en.
Checking the ice floes every time we went over the Niagara River, helping me do my job. "Looks like 50% coverage, Dad." (Even in July.) When we passed by the Ferry Street lift bridge along the river, she'd call it the "funny" bridge. Now, that's our special name for the bridge.
Angela hiding in her room, or Angelo's, when I'd play "monster" and thump up the stairs to scare them. Angela watching fireworks at Bassett Park on the Fourth of July, and making believe she really thought I was a bear growling in the woods.
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