Sponsors: www.cailorfleming.com/ hbkcpa.com/consultants/james-dascenzo/ Lk 6: “Stop judging and you will not be judged...Forgive and you will be forgiven...”
Fernando. Fred. Freddie. Hon.
Dad. Foh-pa. Bop. Grandpa Marinucci. Honorary big brother.
Mr. Marinucci. Marinuch.
My Father was called many different names by a myriad of folks. I simply called him Pop. I was pretty much the only one who referred to him that way; I think that’s why I loved calling him it so much?
Pop wore many hats. Most of them knit with a big fluffy tassel on the top. My favorite is the red, green and white one with the holly pin he always wore a Natale. That’s “at Christmas” to the average non-Italian bear.
Indeed my Pop was so many things. He was the hardest worker I’ve ever known, sometimes holding down three jobs at a time to provide for all of us. He was a black belt in karate, a first-aid responder, a master gardener.
He was a scuba diver, a swim instructor, and a lifeguard. He was the most patriotic American EVER. If you didn’t vote—even if the candidates were unopposed and no issues were on a primary ballot; you didn’t tell Pop because voting’s a right and privilege he took VERY seriously.
Pop was a serial teaser and a voracious reader who enjoyed a cup of Joe with his NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and local papers every Sunday. He seemed partial to a columnist in the Life section.
But then, who doesn’t love Burt Cole?
Yes, Pop liked that. He also liked to advise and would often toss out his famous “Lemme give you a little speech” line before launching into what can only be described as a monologue of the SALIENT POINTS of a matter. Know what? He was always spot on.
Pop also really liked:
•The original “Star Trek” series; “WKRP in Cincinnati”; “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Smokey and the Bandit.”• The Steelers and THE Ohio State Buckeyes.
• The warmth of Florida in winter…and watching the sun rise any day of the week.
• WYSU/Classical Music ... especially Italian opera, of course.
• Dark chocolate…but like bitter dark.
• Burnt stuff; i.e. chips, popcorn, basically, most foodstuffs. At restaurants, he’d have the chef “slightly burn” his entrée on the RARE occasion he ordered steak (pun intended).
• ”Take me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.
• Baked apples and pears; oven-toasted almonds.
• Gruyere cheese. Mozzarella cheese. Ricotta cheese. Parmigiano cheese. Pecorino…Okay fine, the man liked his cheese.
• Big, seven-course, whole-family dinners with everyone crammed around the table eating, debating, laughing.
“That makes my heart smile,” he’d say.
And Pop liked reminding us: “If you’re ever in trouble, just dial M for Marinucci and I’ll be right there.”
He always was.
I’m not really sure what to dial now that he’s up there, so far out of my area code. Man, his baby girl misses him tons already.
One thing I do know as I’m navigating my new normal of a world? Pop felt fortunate.
Not one for PDA or really mushy fuss of any kind, he repeatedly told me how lucky he was to have found such a wonderful partner to walk through his journey with him; how blessed he was by his life with my Mom; how much he respected and adored her.
He loved his children dearly, too…but his grandkids? Let’s face it, those three musketeers kicked the original trio of us right to the curb, Capisce? They were literally the light of his life. Faith, family, and tradition were everything to him.
As for that little mini-me I birthed? That’s clearly Pop reincarnated. So even though we lost him last week; Pop’s still here –and that makes my heart smile.
I know I’ll see you later, Pop, but “not if you see me first” (like you always replied!). Love you, Pop...