The day Angela made her First Communion, we went to the Carriage House Restaurant for dinner. Among other things, Angela ate quite a few black olives. She got a terrible stomach- ache, and we rushed her to the hospital. It turned out that she had to have kidney surgery, which had nothing to do with the olives. But she blamed it on them, and wouldn't eat black olives for years afterwards. While she was in the hospital our friend Bill Dunham sent her a music box topped by a cage with a mechanical bird that swung back and forth. It played "The Shadow of Your Smile". It's broken now, but every once in a while, unexpectedly, it rings out a single, sweet note, as though it were Angela, saying "Hi, Dad!"
Words and phrases Angela would use, like the "Oregano Song" that she made up and would sing:
"Oh-leg-a-nu, oh-leg-a-nu, oh-leg-a-nu you,
oh-leg-a-nu, oh-leg-a-nu, oh-leg-a-nu me!"
"Autocrate", a word she coined, for when something didn't make sense, as in: "That doesn't autocrate." "Instairs" - wherever she was, wasn't upstairs or downstairs, it was "instairs." Telling her mom that was a "nice outfin" she was wearing.
"Pickshburgh, Pennsylvania" ... "Shock igsorbers." ... "Pay toll to the troll" (at Thruway tolls) ... "Thank you for your patroneeage." ... "Sshhhbequiet!" ... "Earmuffins"
(Watching "Hockey Night in Canada") "La-pointe, Le-maire, La-peri-erri-ere!" She'd watch the Rangers' Walt Tkachuk, and say his name like a sneeze: "Kaa-choo-k".
Imitating a cardinal's distinctive chirp, she'd call it a "Coochie-coochie" bird.
"Good reeddance!" ... "We be gone." ... "Ee-uw, si-ick." ... "If it's not one thing, then it's another thing!" ... "I'm so incited!"... (At aunt Mary's) "Mmmm, what smells so good?"
"Fat is your friend (frey-yund)." ... "I have a stummy-ache." ... "elbones"
Songs that will forever bring her to mind. Any song by Carole King, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Karen Carpenter, or by Diana Ross. "Windy"; "Celebrate"; "Hitchin' a Ride"; "Sooner or Later" (She used to sing "Soon-it or Late-it"). "You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings"; "Sing, Sing a Song"; "On Eagle's Wings"; "I Will"; "Starry, Starry Night"; "Anticipation"; "The Shadow of Your Smile"; "Doctor, My Eyes"; "Guantanamera"; "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feelin' Again"; ... and a thousand more.
Her treasured friendships with "the neighbor kids": Eric and Pam Jauch, Lynn Warlick, and Susie Orr.
Cesar Maniago of the Minnesota Northstars, her favorite player. Yellow and green, the Northstars' colors. Watching Daryle Lamonica throw "the bomb" on TV, saying "It looks like a rainbow, Dad!"
When Angelo started playing hockey, he'd stand at the curb and shoot the puck at a net in front of the garage. If he would miss and hit the garage door, we'd yell at him, so he got Angela (about seven years old) to "stop the puck." A goalie was born.
Angelo remembers once, when playing street hockey one-on-one with Angela, she passed him the puck from across the street. In the time it took him to wind up and shoot, she flew across the street, dived head over heels into the net, and made the save. When he asked if she was hurt, knowing that she had skinned a few spots, she insisted, "I'm all right!" Angelo says he never would have been as good as he was playing hockey, if it hadn't been for Angela's tough competition.