They were to be
married in the rectory of a small church, with just
the wedding party present. When I arrived with
Leo and Sue, there was an elderly man out front
mowing the lawn, dressed in rough clothes: work
pants and a flannel shirt; and he had a couple days'
growth of beard. On looking at him more
closely, Leo realized that it was the minister!
The cleric had forgotten about the wedding, but he
threw on a black robe, invited us in to the basement
rec-room/rectory, and did the honors. Leo was
ready to slug me because I fumbled with the ring,
but I finally dug it out of my pocket, and all was
Memories were made on trips with TZT brothers to the
Adirondacks, especially one in the '50's with
Charlie Polito, Sam Liotta, Charlie Manuele, Max
Linton, Leo and me. We 'went fishing' and
caught not much more than colds - and a lot of
laughs! Over the years, sometimes Leo and I saw each
other frequently, sometimes less often, but anytime
I needed anything, day or night, Leo was there.
In recent years, we re-connected with the "Tuesday
morning breakfast gang", and as recently as 2017,
Leo helped me re-construct an old shed in our back
yard. As usual, every cut was perfect, every
nail was countersunk, and Leo took the outer panels
home with him to stain them, to be sure I wouldn't
screw them up. Instead of a straight 'gable'
roof, this Hilton of a shed has a 'gambrel' roof,
with two different pitches. It only costs a
little more to go first class!
It wasn't just home repairs Leo helped with.
When he found out that I was still climbing on our
second-story roof to clean our gutters, he told me
to "Knock it off," and began regularly coming
by, with an extension ladder I could hardly lift by
myself, and he would muscle it around all sides of
our house by himself to get at the gutters.
Many was the time we'd come back from vacation and
discover that he had been there to clean the
gutters. One time my neighbor asked him what
he was doing, and he went over and cleaned the
Thanks for the memories, buddy. You would have
slugged me for sure if I had ever said this to your
face, but I love you.