Dad Tales and Reflections
By Anthony Buccino
Your snippets of family history need not be formally recorded and typed out on the latest fancy computer. It is not, after all, a history assignment. But some day you'll thank yourself for making the time when you pull out that old videotape and find how cherished those rambling tales have become.
It’s obvious that money talks – and he’s been silenced by decisions made light years above the clouds in penthouses by men unlike himself who he’s never met and most probably never will.
Why did I decide I had to count a hundred screwdrivers and two dozen hammers, every size plane ever made, and toolboxes up the kazoo? Dad, how many hammers are enough?
Enjoy the proud days, come what may, of “That's my dad!” Before you know it, you'll hear, “Who? Him? I don't know him.”
I interrupted my sister as she tried to do homework. "Need to buy some shoes? You got to have shoes to go to school. It could be a long winter without a good pair of shoes. . ." She just chuckled from behind her thick school books.
Invoking his 40 years of woodwork, windows and framing, I channeled a sliver of Dad's ingenuity and got that door open. "Cancel the 9-1-1 call, Honey," I called, "I'm out!"
When Mom was on the phone with Grandma it was a good time to ask for stuff she would tell me no to if she weren’t distracted. ... 6:15 to 6:30 was a good time to ask, “Can I have a pony?”
'It was so bountiful and grandma was so loving and treated us real good,' my cousin Marie remembers. In those days, there was only one other house on Gless Avenue.
The coal miners' kids were appreciative to get an orange for Christmas. When the Salvation Army showed up with a basket of food, that was the miracle of Christmas.
I want you to have the great big box of crayons, the ones with the sharpener built right in to the box. Before you get married, I will surprise you with it...
Antonio Buccino's collection about growing up Italian American in New Jersey and discovering the roots of his ancestors.
But these decades later I find
Seeing a father through a grown son's eyes. The son of a WW2 veteran looks at the 20-plus years they had together, the missteps, the missed opportunities and the things that remain.
Essays, photography, military history, more
New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards.
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PO Box 110252 Nutley NJ 07110
'... I wasn't more than five years old the night my father grabbed me with his vise-like hands on his jackhammer arms and swung me over the banister of our second story back porch.
Swinging me side to side 20 feet in the air above the concrete sidewalk, Dad and I were having fun. I was safe, safe from the world in his strong hands. Mother's screams of terror stilled my shrieks of joy.
That night, Dad and I bonded, though neither of us knew the lexicon. The image of that night dangles daily in the bittersweet memories my father left me.
After nearly 30 years, I can still feel the strength with which he safely held me over the precipice. Little did I know then there was more to a father's place.
Now, I have my own daughter, and though I don't tempt fate from a second floor porch, I realize how much there is to this father business. ...'
WW2 Letters Home from the South Pacific by Angelo Buccino is one GI’s view of the war amid the heat, bugs, carnage and noise in an artillery battalion supporting First Marine Division at Guadalcanal and other islands that never get mentioned.
Buccino wrote these long-lost letters to his best friend back in the states asking about the old gang.
They turned up nearly sixty years after they were mailed, censored, read by his buddy and then found again in a forgotten footlocker in his old friend’s attic.
Along with a stack of Angelo’s photos from training and across the ocean, we’ve put together this collection in time for his 100th birthday.
The war aged him, and he passed in his sixth decade. Here is a way to remember him, his sense of duty, his sense of humor, and the years he spent on hot bug-infested islands defending all he left at home.