Saturday, October 09, 2010

happy birthday aunt rose

My Aunt Rose was always proud that she shared her birthday with John Lennon. She was beautiful, brash and funny as hell. She wouldn't take crap from anyone. And even though her husband, my uncle John Massimo, was considered the family storyteller, Rose could tell a great story too. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting across her Long Island kitchen table and she telling me the "real dope" on some of our family history.

My father adored her, and was probably always a bit jealous of his older brother and his good fortune. When I was in college at Parsons in New York City, so far away from my family in south Jersey I really got to know Aunt Rose, who insisted that I come visit any weekend that I didn't have something else to do or was going home to Jersey. And I did. Uncle John would pick me up at the L.I.R.R. station, and as soon as I crossed the threshold of their home a plate of food would come my way and the stories would start. "You look so thin! Want a tomato sandwich? What? Your mother never made you a tomato sandwich?!"

We would sit at that table for hours shooting the breeze until Uncle John would get restive and come in and take over. I wish I could sit across that table or any table now and watch her whip up a tomato sandwich and some old scandal. I miss you, Aunt Rose.

Uncle John, Aunt Rose, Unknown, Dad

Wedding photo, L-R: John Massimo Periale, Rose Anzalone Periale, Unknown Bridesmaid, Joseph Francis Periale.
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