One By One

I’m getting older.

One by one, people who have been part of my life at one time or another are dying.

From left: Caldaro, Mayor Willens, Visotski in 1973. Picture courtesy of Detective James McAleer, WPD ret.

Friends of my parents and  parents of my friends.

I should know this is normal  as I spent over 30 years as a funeral director and firefighter/EMT, but its different, because as you get older, you start to realize these are the coming attractions for you.

I was a nerd back in the day and some would say that I still am, but I spent more time with my dad and his male friends than I did kids my own age. Something I don’t regret it at all.

This morning I learned of the death of a man I had not seen in I can’t remember how long, but during my teen years, I was around him several times a week. It has been probably 20 years since I last spoke to him. I hope my memory is sufficient to be accurate in my story telling.

His name was Vincent J. Caldaro  and when my father started the Warren Twp. (NJ) Police Department in 1973, he was the first officer to receive his badge by Mayor Ron Willens. (see photo).

He was a jeweler, who became a police officer, who eventually went back to being a jeweler.

Both my mom and dad were Godparents to his youngest son, Kenny.

Our families went on vacations together.

When it was time to get an engagement ring for Alicia  back in 1985, “Uncle Vinnie”  was my go-to guy and he made me look good.

Our daughters got tired of my commenting on their sometimes fussy eating habits with “You will eat it, you will like it and you will smile”, which I learned from him over 45 years ago when we were away on vacation.

One by one, the men that I was around, week after week, year after year. . . are leaving.

Luckily,  their memories and influences remain.

RIP  Vince.



About Ray V.

Living between Aiken & Charleston,, South Carolina, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in aging, Uncategorized, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to One By One

  1. petespringerauthor says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Vince. I know as I’ve gotten older, I think more about mortality—not in a gruesome way but knowing that there are only so many sands in the hourglass. Not to get preachy, but I think the best way to think about it is how many lives am I influencing? I’d like to be remembered like Vince.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Borden says:

    Beautiful tribute. I read it. I liked it. I smiled.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful memories of a wonderful man. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful tribute. And nice to know their influence lives on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Live & Learn says:

    No one does tributes as meaningful as you do Ray. Sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teacher Camille says:

    I’m sure Vince would be happy because of your wonderful tribute to him. It’s always great to spend meaningful relationships with people throughout our lives. Of course, saying goodbye is sadly always a part of it –we’re only humans, after all. There’d be a time when we really have to say goodbye. Nonetheless, writings like this immortalize one’s memories of a wonderful person. So thank you for being a catalyst of these wonderful types of writing!

    Liked by 2 people

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