I’m getting older.
One by one, people who have been part of my life at one time or another are dying.
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.