“An Email to heaven”

              It’s now May 10, 2022 and nothing has changed. I still see “32” appear out of the blue, and I follow it up with “Oh,how I miss you Claire”! I know now for sure you’re watching over my life now, as you hint to me with: “Look. LOOK!! It’s another “32”!!!

Were you watching me today as I dug up a small batch of land in the back for my new garden? Why, because now I’ll have a ton of tomatoes, as I planted 5 great tomato plants with a perfect fertilizer, 4”of it surround each plant.

I don’t know if the beautiful fig tree I re-planted in front will make it, as the branches easily snap off,  meaning it is possibly dead. We’ll see in the next few weeks! So, to make sure, I’m ordering a new one and will plant it in my garden till it matures enough and then I’ll replant it somewhere in the front as well, maybe next to the one that is trying to come alive. I’ll call it Claire ne fig tree. Can you help it with your wonderful way of caring and loving? Well, that’s all the news I have today, Please stay with me and “32” me today a few times again!

Want to fall asleep easily? Try this!

Because of my travels, I learned for you to use the same position when trying to fall asleep. By laying on your left side, bringing your legs up in a position like your going up stairs, and only thinking of being warm and very comfortable, you will usually fall asleep without realizing it and wake the next morning. as the mind then too, relaxes and most times you won’t dream! My problem was when I was traveling on planes usually on 26 hour flights, I’d get some sleep on the plane, but it came always came with the same dream of my being lost without my wallet and cloths, not knowing where I am and can never finding my hotel, lost, me a world traveler. 7,000,000 miles of flying in my business lifetime and my dreams were always the same…No wallet, cloths, not knowing where I was and remember, no cell phones or computers. it works, as on Nextdoor.com some people tried it and said “It worked” and thanked me.

I had a dream!

Using talk to text:
I sometimes wonder if people who die, immediately come back as another person. Something to consider as heaven may be somewhere that is not easy to get to, if you have not done good the first time around. You’re gonna have to try the second time around and the third time around till you get it right! Whatever. However, Claire was heavenly all her life especially after we met and I was able to give all I had, mainly, my love.

So in my dream I’m somewhere just in another place, and I bump into this woman and we look at each other and we seem to like each other. We talk a little bit about nothing, but then she asked me if I would like to go out for a cup of coffee? Or was it tea? I said well OK! so we we start walking looking for a place to have coffee. We find one and go in and as we go in I find my hand go to my wallet which is not there, never is in my dreams, wow!!! I don’t have money I look at my pants pocket and and it has change, all kinds of change! I said well at least I can pay with a lot of change. I just stand there because of the excitement and not having money. I was lost as this woman could’ve been Claire!! She could’ve been her, in a new body because why would I even be interested in even looking at a woman unless she appeared to have Claire’s sense of being. Well let’s see maybe tonight I’ll finish the dream but I’m gonna make sure I have my wallet in my pocket, but how do I do that? I don’t know I don’t worry as it’s the first time I even thought of a another woman, but it was in a dream and I had no choice, as I was in the dream and you don’t tell the dream what to do. A dream does what it wants to do an all you can do is experience it. So tonight I will find out if I really am not interested in another woman I have my woman, Claire’s my woman, but maybe Claire’s come back to me in another body! I have no way to know and will see what happens! I’ll keep this thing going. OK, I got to stop here though bye!!! This was spoken to my phone happenstance!

Right after that dream I had to record the dream as I remembered it! Since Claire died I have always just been devastated and in that Dream I actually felt something for that woman! Crazy!!!

Meeting Claire for the first time, then reading a book she wrote!

ARAMIS:

This picture of my Aramis, this exact bottle I bought on the day I met her, begins the story of how I met Claire and how our lives together got closer and closer for over 26 years. I’m writing this now, as I want to put this true, wonderful life story on our site on the internet called “HandstoGod.com”!

A bottle of aftershave that changed my life! A bottle of Aramis that changed Claire Bubenday Cuni’s life! So here is the true story of my life when I was alone after my divorce. I won’t talk about the next woman in my life as it was a disaster and taught me to be careful, maybe too careful. So, living alone in a small home I bought on Fire Island, N.Y. My life consisted of seeing my sons and having a great dog called Quattro, having family and friends come to stay and enjoy the ocean, beaches, and great food that I made. All was just great now that I had all that a man can ask for… I thought!!!

Then it happened, but I didn’t know it happened, as being now a little unsure of myself I met a woman who really made my life heaven on earth. How? You ask! Well, one day I called my great and funny cousin Al, and asked him if he knew where I could buy my aftershave, ARAMIS, as I just ran out. He turned and asked his wife, Fran, and she said Macy’s is the best place for perfume and stuff. I then asked, not being from Long Island, and only knowing how to get from Manhattan to Fire Island, always with a stop at Al’s, and nothing else. So, Fran yells to the phone, I’ll take you, just come to our house, and I did and My life changed from that moment on……….Wow!
When we arrived at the perfume counter a saleswoman was just finishing another customer and turned to me saying “Can I help you”, actually looking at Fran, and not me. While this was happening, I was looking at a beautiful woman passing behind the saleslady. I turned to her and excitedly asked who is that woman? She said that she walked the department showing different perfumes to browsing customers. Again I said, Excitedly! Can I meet her? She said we’re not allowed to tell other people their names unless we ask them first! But, honestly, how can you ask about her when your wife is standing next to you. I said “She’s my cousin’s wife, and just helping me buy Aramis! So she turned to the woman and asked “Claire, This gentleman would like to know your name, can I tell him? Claire turned and looked at me undecidedly, and asked “Where is he from?” I yelled to her, I just bought a home on Fire Island and don’t know anybody. At first, she was startled for a second, and then said it was ok. This was the beginning, “The beginning of a beautiful friendship, love story, and life adventure that lasted 25 years!!
I asked if I could have her phone number, and again, she hesitated and I jumped in and said I’d just like to take you to lunch! She said we can have lunch one day at Friendly’s next door if you like… Wow! I said any time, that is, once I learn how to get here. That meeting later over lunch told me I wanted to see her more and more. Naturally, I finally got her phone number, but made a few mistakes thereafter, and here is where I would like to bring in Claire’s version on the next stage of our relationship.

This is the most precious picture of Claire as it is her, at her best! She doesn’t even like beer but here she is acting as though she loves it. This is why she always is loved by everyone because she never wants to displease

Isn’t she just beautiful in her way of just simply smiling!
After writing about my first meeting with Claire, Her friends messaged me after I wrote it and their comments about that time are interesting as it gives different points of view of the event.
Trudy, a co-worker at Macy’s:
Hi Sal, I remember that day, she told me that she just met a nice man out in Macy’s, where she sold Aramis and that he asked if she would join him for lunch in Kismet! We smiled, and I said ‘go, you have nothing to lose’! Well, Claire had a great time, she said that she really liked you, you seemed a little eccentric, but she right away felt a connection! There were many more times in Fire island,- Saltaire … and Claire started the happiest times of her life with you!

This is what my younger sister Nanette remembers of this story as she just sent it to me.
Yes, your love story is exactly how I remembered you telling me, because I came to Fire Island after your relationship was still at the “budding” stage, not yet “blooming”, as I recall. You were still “searching” and Claire had confided in me one day that she was there, as she said she cared about you a lot and wanted to be #1, but she, too, had to be sure. Not sure if I ever told you that, but she and I had that conversation when we had walked the beach with Quattro. You were busy!

Finding Claire’s Book one week after her death :

I’m reading this from a book that Claire had kept without my knowing, and in the book, it tells of her version of us meeting. Her life at that time, and so I would like to bring this book onto the site because it explains her feelings! So to begin:

Claire writing…

Now he is in California at a wedding on January 11,1997 and also to visit his mother. I just love the way he thinks. He has so much love to give. He is so loving. Just the way he looks at me. When he takes my face in his hands and holds it and kisses me. He just loves life. I am so grateful that I met him. He is the light of my life right now. I have had such a great time with him. If it rains now I would be sad, but also thankful for the great time we had together. Going to the beach, walking to the ocean, and having lunch. Him cooking for me, serving me, making chicken soup for me. Dancing with me. Introducing me to Cointreau, a beautiful drink I love, and good wine. I really could learn to love him. He is much too good to be true. He is in California then comes to Florida then to Philadelphia right now it’s one 6097 I hope he comes home today and calls me. I love to hear his voice. He is such a happy person. Even with his personal loss in 1996 when the love of his life left him, he said he was paralyzed I can’t compete with that. I just hope he heals, and learns to forget so we can be happy. I am just glad to be part of his life for a short time. He makes me feel good. Which I need desperately. He thinks I am beautiful! He says he can’t find anything wrong with me. He thinks I am great. I wish I could’ve met him years ago. It’s not his looks so much, it’s his heart. It’s now 11/7/1997, Sal called me at 9 AM he came back from California and Philadelphia he said could he come over for coffee. He stayed about an hour. It was good to see him. He wants to go to Saltaire. I said yes, but Nancy, my friend, called me and told me that her son Loni, who is a captain on the ferry. He said they canceled all ferries for the weekend because it’s too cold and the bay is frozen. I called his cell phone and left a message. I had a good day today. Sal came to see me and the girls, especially Nancy who gave me a beautiful cake and a beautiful silver heart. Nancy said because they love me, that’s why they gave me the heart, and I I thought I would just put down how I’m feeling. It’s 1996 not such a bad year financially, it could be better. I have been on my own now since 1995. It’s a great feeling. It’s nice to be by myself. Not to have to answer to anyone or check for anyone. I can eat when I want, sleep when I want and do what I want.

Well I moved from North Babylon to Bayshore New York because my daughter Angela wanted to move in with her boyfriend( husband now) in North Babylon they could not have Cody, their dog, with them. So, I moved here. I hate it here! So now I am looking for another place to live. Hopefully, I can find one. Right one which allows dogs. It’s June 1997 I also changed jobs from Macy’s makeup, to South Bay OB/GYN. Then to Hearex, on January 27, 1997. It should be great. I also have a friend. In October 1996 I met Sal Bianco, what a great guy. He is tender and caring. He has a great heart. He is so good to everyone. He has a house on Fire Island, in the town of Saltaire. I have been there many times. He is great, he cooks for me, and even massages my back. He also has a great dog called Quattro a yellow Lab. He loves his dog, and he has three sons and he loves his sons, isn’t it great. He is always traveling on business; he has an office in Connecticut. 

On 2/2/97 we did go to Saltaire after all, as Sal’s cousin Al drove us to parking Field five, and the security guard from Saltaire picked us up at five, and drove us to Sal’s home. He is such a nice young man. He is getting married in July. The weekend was great. The pipes froze and he fixed it. He cooked for us again, he made breakfast in bed, made lunch, I keep thinking it can’t be real. He is too good to me. He called me at 9 o’clock tonight. He made me feel really good. He seemed excited to talk to me. We are planning to go to the city from Saturday until Sunday to stay at the Hyatt Inn, and I can’t wait. I love just the way he touches me, the way he does, he takes his hands and holds my face. He says I am pretty even without makeup. Not that it’s true but I feel good anyway when he tells me this. He is in Connecticut tonight and tomorrow, as he is going to New Jersey to see his sons, Michael and Trey. Michael’s girlfriend left him again, for the second time, poor guy. I started my new job on Monday, January 7th, and I am excited. I go into Manhattan at 9 AM. This should be good yea! ”Yea” (she always raises her hands high when she says “Yea)
He makes me feel so good I feel like I am in heaven! (she has drawn a happy face next to it.
( And as I read it again, I saw that happy face, and I burst out crying and crying saying to her how I miss Her!)

On 2/8/97 I started my new job and went to Riverhead instead of Manhattan. Today I went to Islandia. I got to use the computer, to address the patients, answer the phone and use the copier, and it was one of the bosses who said that I did a great job.

Sal and I went to Manhattan on Saturday to eat in a little Italian restaurant. ( Il Cortille)The meal was wonderful. From there we went to the Hyatt hotel to register and then we went to the World Trade Center. To the windows of the world, on top looking over everything, but it was very foggy so we could not see anything. But we had a great time anyway. I tried sushi. Sal fixed it for me and then I tried raw oysters. They were great and Sal fixed it for me. He is so good to me and spoils me.
From there we walked to Broadway Times Square, to see if we could get tickets. We got tickets for Miss Saigon. It was good, but it made me a little sad. Because of the war situation.(Don’t forget she was 2 when it started in Europe and Bomb holes were where she played into its water!)From there we walked back but it was real cold so we stopped to eat at a great place called Limoncello’s Italian place. It was great. Then we went to the hotel. He is great. In the morning we had breakfast on the floor then, we went home. We went to Fran’s house. They are such a nice couple. Then Sal took me to Château La Mer in Lindenhurst. We had such a good time. Fran and I talked a lot. She told Sal that I am the best for him because she likes me. A great wonderful weekend thank you Sal.

Thank you God! 3/4/1997 I just talked to Sal. He called me back from last night. I called him last night. He never called me back so he called me to apologize for not calling me back. He knows I am going into surgery. He had plans to go to China so he is going on Friday the seventh or on Monday the 10th. He will be back in 10 to 15 days so it will be the end of the month.

We were talking and all of a sudden he said well don’t expect me to be there this weekend. He gets me angry sometimes when he says that. I always get the feeling that he pulls away. When he goes to Connecticut or on a trip I didn’t know why. He makes me feel bad

5/19/ 97 I called Sal in the morning to wish you a good day. I have been seeing Sal every week and weekend. It has been great! I had my surgery on 14 March. Robert took me and 8 AM to the house. He is my son. My daughter Angela came and picked me up at 3 o’clock. She stayed with me all night. Sal came and picked me up in the morning at 9:30 AM to go to Saltaire, he was great, he took care of me.

3/30/97-Happy Easter!
I spent Saturday on Fire Island with Sal. He made a leg of lamb and it was great! I went to Robert’s for Easter, Angela and Perry too. It was OK. I went to Fire Island last weekend too. I think I feel kind of sad right now. Gloria, my friend, told me that Fran’s friend is Carol Malone’s sister, and that Sal has a girlfriend in New Mexico called Susan. I don’t know about her. She has two kids, and he told me about her. He likes her and says he doesn’t love her. I am trying to be very cool about this one. I like him and he is very good to me and good for me. I know he doesn’t love me and I don’t love him. But I could love him easily if I let myself. Good friends more than good friends, but it still hurts me to know that he still talks to her and has her phone number and work number on his phone but I keep thinking I have been seeing him since October 20 and has been the happiest time of my life. We had a great time together. We laugh all the time, we are good for each other. I get scared and don’t know what to do. PS, it was such a great weekend
April 15, 1997 it has been almost 6 months since Sal and I met. Has been great. We had a long serious talk. I told him about Susan and what Gloria told me about her being his girlfriend. He said he saw her five times over the summer and in January once!. He said he liked her but he is not in love with her. He told her not to call anymore so I feel much better.
May 1, 1997 well we had to put Cody to sleep! I was very sad and trumatic that day. It broke my heart. To see her run down the stairs to the car. If she only knew what we were doing. She almost seemed to perk up when she was feeling better, but she was really sick, poor thing. At the Vets, she got out of her collar twice like she wanted to run. God! That broke my heart. At least she’s at peace now. It was awful for her in this apartment at 62 West Oakdale, Bayshore Please Cody, forgive me. I hope that you enjoyed the beach on fire Island tap. You had a good time there every weekend, so did i. I love you Cody, rest in peace. {Here I, Sal, started crying, as she drew a heart.}

10/19/1997 I haven’t written for a while. It’s been a whole year since we met and started dating. Things are good and bad. I don’t know what to do. But I think about it. if I didn’t have him I would be sitting home alone. So I guess it’s OK. I wish for someone that would love me, and would want to be with me. I guess it’s not meant to be that way. Sal’s sister is here from California (Nanette). It was Sal’s birthday on October 15. We celebrated it on Saturday, October 11 at Franny’s house. I bought a cake and 2 dungaree shirts and Aramis shampoo from Quattro. He loved it all! We were on fire Island on Sunday and came back on Monday early, because Mr. Yeung, who is Sal’s worker that Sal has been taking care of, bought him a new house in Brooklyn. Mr. Yeung came from Connecticut with his wife. We showed him around Bayshore. I took his wife and Sal’s sister, Annette, shopping. She said some harsh things about Sal. I don’t know if I can trust her.(note here: Nanette was told by my X that Claire was not good for me and other stuff that Annette believed until recently I told her what was really was the truth.)

Today is 10/19/97
On Sunday, I did not hear from him. I talked to him on Friday a.m. the last time. I don’t understand why he can’t call me! But his sister is still here and he has someone he has to do stuff with. I guess I am good enough when no one’s around?

10/19/97
Well I quit Hear X, July 24. I received unemployment. That was a surprise, $201.00 dollars a week. Thank God. I was off for two months. It was a great summer. Except for not having a job, I was supposed to work for Dr Mastrogramis, but the hospital did not want to hire a second person, so I went back to Macy’s on Friday and got a counter manager job for Christian Dior. It’s OK, I did not want to stand eight hours again. But I had to take it. $11.00 an hour plus 5% commission +1% override. Well, I hope it works for me!

1/24/98
Well I have not written for a while. I have been very busy. I am seeing Sal a lot. He is getting much better.
He is such a great guy. He is getting closer. Yet pulling away at the same time. He always makes it clear that he can’t love me because he feels nothing but the loss of his soul. When Elaine left she (had an affair). Sometimes I feel that I should not see him. But then I feel that he is so good to me. He treats me very well. He even said that he loves me in a different way. But he loves me. I just take one day at a time” and thank God for all the good things that happened to me. I have had a great year since I met Sal, and I am thankful for every day.

5/17/1998
I have not written for a long time. I’ve been very busy. There are a lot of changes in my life, big changes! Sal and I have been seeing a lot of each other. We went to Florida in January, met Al and Fran there, and also went to see Annmarie, who became a friend of mine. We had a great time. That was my first flight and it was great. He took me on vacation to Saint Thomas. It was fantastic! We ate, we danced, we went sightseeing. He bought me a beautiful pearl necklace and a bracelet in silver. We both had a great time.

I also quit Macy’s and I’m getting Social Security and unemployment now. It is very strange but great! Sal is in Fresno right now buying a Peterbilt truck, /He left Wednesday and is coming back on Monday the 18th. I went to Fire Island by myself, as Sal was away, on Monday and came back today. Sunday, the dogs got out. Kevin found them and put them in the house, Thank God they were found!
6/18/98 Monday.
Here I am again. I came off the island on Monday with Sal. He had to go to Connecticut to fix one of his houses where he is staying until Wednesday night or Thursday.
He came back Wednesday night and went straight to fire Island. I was a little hurt. He did not call, I called him and he was already there. I don’t like when he does that.
It almost seems cold. Then he said he is going to Trey’s house to help with the fence. Almost like I am going to be busy. I’m not going to see you. Kind of brushing me off. That hurts. Next week he is going to Chicago for business. I have to say last week I was with him almost all week. So maybe he feels he needs a break.

I should be grateful for all the good things that have come my way. Because of him I guess sometimes I want a little more of his love. Which I don’t think it’s ever going to be. But I thank God for all I have. The wonderful days at the beach, and the great meals he cooks for me.
Sal is now looking into buying a store as a florist in Sayville New York and I love that town.

6/19/98 Today is Friday night 12:10 in the evening. I am watching TV. I went to see Doctor today I was having some problems with my back. Kind of where my kidneys are. Sort of an ache every now and then the doctor said it could be kidney stones, so I have to go get a sonogram. So we’ll see what happens. I left there and picked Sal up at the ferry and the dogs. He went to see Mr. Young’s house in Brooklyn and then he left to go to Treys for the weekend. They are going to put up a fence and it’s Father’s Day, so it’s good he is with his sons.

6/20/98 I just get a funny feeling about Sal and me. Like he does not want to be around anymore. I will just have to see when he comes back. it may be just me. But I wish I could feel better about him. Sometimes he can be rude and a little cold and inconsiderate. Why can I find someone that wants me and loves me? I guess it’s not meant to be. To talk about happier things. My daughter Angela is getting married in May 28, of 1999. She had already chosen a wedding gown. Sal is going to pay for it and the head piece. ( Here I cried and Cried, telling her I’m sorry as I should have told how much I loved her)

7/17/98 Well here I am at home. The weather is kind of grey. Just like the mood I’m in. I should be happy, but I’m not. Because I guess I would like more. But he told me from the start,(actually after about a month of dating) that he doesn’t know what he wants and that he has no feelings and no soul. My luck, I could not find someone that loves me. He is a good person. He is good to me. But he cannot love me. Too bad, it would be great! Because I could fall in love with him.

Angela’s wedding plans are going great; her gown is ordered and paid for. she has her shoes, we have to order the veil. she has to call the photographer, the video. It’s going great!

7/31/98 Well things keep changing. He definitely wants to be friends only!. So I am going to have to live with it. I think I can. I seem to have the ability to adjust to almost anything. I’ll adjust myself, my way of thinking. Thank God I can do this. So, on we go., on to something else.

So Sal is getting me into a florist. He made an offer to the owner of the store for $180,000. The owner asked him for 199,000.00, 8.5% in 30 years. Now he wants 185 8.5% in 10 years. So Sal is trying to see what can be done. So I hope it happens. I am going to throw all my energy into this. Good luck!

8/14/98
Well it’s really happening! “Yea”( with her hands flinging in the air.) We put a binder on it on Thursday 8/13/98. I went to the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wed. 8/12/98. It went great. I felt so good! Very positive, very confident with myself. I met “Rick Lazio”, the Congressman. All in all it was a great day!
“Claire the great”
Ha! Ha! Thank you, God! And thank you, Sal!

Angela and I are so happy to be able to work together! Sal sold his house in Connecticut. ($299,000.00). He also sold his house in Connecticut; he has one more to sell.
I also want to say here I had all my checkups with doctors and I am perfectly healthy! Thank God! How very lucky I am!!!!
!!!!!!! (THE END)!!!!!!
All this was written by her when we first met and I’m here now thinking after reading it, if she is here, I hope, seeing what I now write to her memory!

Hi! I’m Sal and can only say that I’ve never seen or read this till a week after Claire died 3/15/21, and now only because of the rings on her hand that were always on her hand, and now left in her drawer. So, I want Her three children to have these beautiful rings as they were always on her hand, and on a copy of her hand made by Michael 15 years ago. It’s hard for me to read this little book as we never held anything from each other. So I cannot understand why?
Actually, I think Claire felt so bad about some things about me that she wrote, she was now sorry for writing them, and didn’t want me to ever see them.
Actually, I understand why she wrote them because I truly was going through a shock myself(stupidly)! Me being dumped! Impossible! But it happened and I was 68/9, still me but fooled by what I could bring to the table.
I will cherish this book as long as I live and hope to show the world how truly wonderful a woman she was! I will get this and our other writings published, watch and see!! Says me, who? Why Sal Bianco Jr.!
9/13/21 I just finished editing it for my mistakes while transferring it from a book into this Claire’s real story of life. The book is real and I keep it by my side as I go to sleep, but only before I tell how I love her, kiss it and then go to sleep!

I think she felt it was all a mistake, cause as she learned of me, she truly fell in love! Me, like a ding dong was in love with her the moment I laid eyes on here, but didn’t know it. Please understand she went through a tough childhood, then a life in N.Y. without speaking English all by herself, and then a marriage that was hell as her in laws treated her poorly not allowing her mother into their home. then we met and both began a life of paradise, yes, truly paradise

Who was your best friends in high school and what were they like?

We’ll, because I went to a Catholic high school on 73rd street in Manhattan, called De La Salle Institute, with all French Christian Bothers as teachers, it was hard for me to make friends as all the students attending were Irish and from Riverdale, N Y, a very rich community!! However, having to take the subway and elevated trains daily, I noticed a boy like myself get off the train at the same station and walk to my same school as I walked! One day as we walked to school, I stopped him and told him that we both went to the same High school and got on at the same train
station, that maybe we could do it together! From that day on we became close friends! His advantage was he was Irish, and as I was the only Italian in the school it was hard for me to make friends. His name was Henry, but I can’t remember his last! I helped him in the French class, as I was able relate many words I learned in Italian from my grandparents! Actually, my math was unbelievable just like my fathers, so during recess, I would have a group of boys that needed help in math! Henry and I did everything together in school, but never socially! At that age, 14/15/16, I was under 5’ and about 70 Lbs., not good for a Italian boy in an Irish school! However, I was left handed and never ever lost a fight no matter how big another boy might be! My reputation was eventually learned by the Brothers and they would have me meet them in The park about a mile away from school alongside the Hudson River! Then proceeded to try to beat me up! They did it for fun, but they learned it was not so much fun, cause as big as they were, they could never put me down! Henry and I graduated together when I was only 17! But the next year
when we went to the second annual graduation party, I was 6’2” tall.

Our changing world, it keeps changing!

I wrote this a few weeks ago, after realizing how my world has been changing!
What happened to companies like A&P stores and F.W.Woolworths?

HI: My family had a trucking business that handled all A&P meat deliveries to all their warehouses. I knew many many people from the A&P and it was a very honest and reliable company. My father who ran our little trucking company, Bianco Bros trucking, knew most of the executives of the company and they gave our little company a chance to grow. Like all companies at that time they had to face new companies that had new ways to shop. “MALLS”. In malls where people now went to shop, because you were able to shop for all your needs at one time in one place… even on Sunday. So Companies like A&P, F.W. Woolworths had to change their strategies. The financial men in these companies realized that it was the real estate where all their stores were located, that had become very valuable for another reason, it was the growing population and the value of the land properties they had was worth more in value and by just closing the stores and selling off the properties there was more to gain than what the stores produced, and so, that’s what most old companies did. Both A&P and Woolworths closed all their stories and used the money in different ways, like opening new little chains that sold one product, like shoe stores, or clothing stores and so they created profits in a new way. The end of an era! Now, in 2020, it’s the shopping malls that are closing all over America, as there is a new way to shop, and it’s online shopping that has now taken over, and Companies like Amazon have become the giants in the field.
Has anyone noticed that no longer do you see American English names on products? China has now said that Americans will use what we sell, as they have no other place to buy products of any kind. Sorry to have to go in another direction, but America is no longer the greatest country in the world, but China and Asian countries are supplying the world with products they produce and know that now they have control on how all is being done.

The young life of my wonderful wife

I’m sending this to all our friends as a tribute to my wife Claire Bianco who died on 3/16/2021 it was sudden and imposible for all to believe, but read this it’s beautiful!!! I started to correct the grammar Claire had made, until I realized this was truly how she wrote, not ever going to school and only learned English on her own, using her refrigerator to write one new word a day! Enjoy this as I have done, many times I, Clara Bubendey Cuni Bianco, would like to tell you about my young life as I slowly remember it today. I was born on December 14- 1934 in Brooklyn New York. My Mother is Erna Wulf Bubendey. My Father is Herman Bubendey. My Brother Herman Bubendey was born November 28- 1931. In 1939 my maternal Grandfather (Opa ) August, was very ill and had Terminal Stomach Cancer. So my Mother made the decision to travel to Germany to be with her dying father. She had to think very carefully about going over there at this time, as World War Two was about to start. She was torn but made the decision to go, and took my Brother Herman who was then 7 years old and I, who was 4 years old. It was very exciting, and I can remember a very small portion of that trip. I remember getting a desert of Vanilla Pudding and I did not like it. They had Games and Music and party’s, and the adults had beautiful dinner dances. My Mother said the food was delicious. And the weather was good. I don’t remember much more than that, don’t forget, I was only 4 years old. So now we arrived in Germany at the city of Hamburg and went to visit my other Grandmother ( my Fathers Mother ), and his sister as well. They were not very nice to us, went through our Luggage and stole some things, so we only stayed overnight, and then we took a train to my mothers hometown, Hagenburg. When we arrived, they were all so happy to see us, and I met my Grandmother, Grandfather, my Tante Clara, for the first time. The sad part was that Opa,(Grandfather), was so sick he was dying with stomach cancer. We stayed in my Grandmother’s House, and my Opa was at his sister’s house which was much bigger, and right next door. We would hear him mooning and crying, actually, screaming . There was nothing anyone could do. I’m sorry to say he died soon after we arrived. I did not know him that well, but my Mother told me that while at the Burial site, that I cried and wanted to jump in the Grave. They had to take me home, but please don’t forget I was only 4 years old. So life goes on. My Grandmother( Oma ) was lame . She could not move her. Legs or arms she had Rheumatoid Arthritis. I remember her vividly laying on a chaise lounge and her Cat laying on her lap. She was a Beautiful Lady with long grey hair tied in a ponytail flowing down her back. She always smiled and never complained. My Mother did not want to leave but it was time to make a decision, but It was hard for her. She had left her Husband in America and she had her Mother and Sister and other Relatives in Germany. So she hesitated and heard rumors that the War had started and no one would be allowed to leave,but had one last chance . We had to go to the American Consulate to get permission to leave. As faith would allow, my Mother was told that if we leave at this time, my Brother and I would go on to America because we were American Citizens, but she was told that if we all leave at this time, she being a German Citizen would be removed from the Ship and may never be seen again. So she had to make a choice and of course we stayed in Germany. Now our new life begins! We were able to stay with my Grandmother and my Aunt Clara for a short while. The House was a little Cottage it had a Kitchen, a living room , an upstairs bedroom , a tiny bedroom in the front of the house, and a hall entrance so it was a little tight to say the least. The bedroom in the front had just enough room for a single bed and a night stand with a wash basin on it, as there was no running water in the house. The Kitchen had a couple of cabinets and a very large round copper tub, that was used for Laundry, for Baths, and for making Sugar Beets to make Sirup, It certainly had a lot of uses. also on the wall was a tall tile stove that heated the house, with a pipe coming out of it that went into the ceiling to heat the bedroom. In the living room, there was a couch, a big kitchen Table ( Stube), on the wall was all our pictures so our Oma could see them and remember her family. She also had this beautiful old wall clock that chimed beautifully and I always loved to listen to it chime counting the bell strokes. (It’s now finally in my home after many years of it being stored, awaiting for me to come get it.). My Aunt, Tante Clara, was a very good seamstress so she made everyone’s clothes especially mine. Now our new life began of course School for my Brother Herman and myself. We did not speak German so it was difficult. My Brother adjusted, but I found it frightening. I cried a lot and did not like the male teacher. I think it took a couple of weeks before I settled in and little bye, I became acclimated to my new life. So our Daily life began. My Mother is looking for a Job while we are in School. Then my Mother was looking for an apartment to rent, it was too small for my Grandmothers. It was not fair to my Oma and my Aunt as they were so generous. My Mother looked and looked and found a place for us to live until the War is over, as then we could go back to America and to my Father. The House with the Apartment is an old Farm house and it had several apartments in it. Ours had a living room, Kitchen combination, a Bedroom upstairs, and a Bathroom that was in the Barn. There was another nice Family in the other apartment and they had a Daughter and a son. The Daughter was about 16- or 18, the Boy was my age. Living close to Oma I had made a Friend, her name is Hildegard and believe it or not, we are still friends writing to each other after 76 years. Hildegard never left our hometown in Hagenburg, Germany, in a simple easy life, but I came back to America when I turned 16, not knowing or speaking English with no real formal education to begin a new life, with no help from anyone. The years past and the War came closer and closer. We heard horrible stories about so many young men and older men never coming home again. My Mother got a job in the Bomb Factory, where all the locals had to work. The Bomb Factory and my Mother is at the red “x” The Bombs were being especially made for this big Cannon nearby, called BIG BURTHER, that was located in Wunstorf, two Towns away from our Town. Every time that they would shoot BIG BURTHER, we could hear it go off, followed by a high pitch whistle that would follow, so we had to throw ourselves on the ground, cover our ears, or our lungs would burst as the sound wave passed us distroying many things as it passed. This cannon was wheeled out on a track… shoot… then back into a small mountain It just couldn’t be hit by the daily bombers that came to destroy it, dropping tons of bombs throughout the entire area, but hitting only the things that were the people and their homes. Much later, a British RAF pilot had an idea that he tried, and that was to use torpedoes taken from a submarine and put on his plane, then flying very low, he dropped it like a person throwing a flat rock to skim across a lake. He did the same and it did what none of all the bombing could, they bounced and bounced till one went into the mountain and destroyed BIG BURTHER, and all inside. My Mother went to work and we went to School. The War was getting closer each day and it was a scary time for all of us. My Brother and I would wait for our Mother to come Home and be very relieved when she arrived. Now we had a lot of bombings in Town, and we were always afraid for our Mother. One Day she did not come home her usual time and my Brother and I thought that she got killed. Luckily, she was OK, and was at her friends house on the next block which had been bombed, so she went to see if they were OK, and maybe needed help. We did not know what she had done, so we thought the worse. When she came home we were crying. She said that she wasn’t thinking, and was worried about her friend and family. We thanked God that she was alright, when she told us that she was sorry. One time she was coming home on her bike, and went right into the little Lake across from our house. You see, no lights were allowed at night, so it was very dark, so when she walked into the house she was very wet. Lucky the shore of the lake is not very deep as It gradually descents as you enter it. Now, the war was getting really close, and we had very little food. My Mother asked me to go to the Farm houses and ask them for some bread, milk, potatoes or anything for us to eat. The farmers did not like us. Sometimes they would send the dogs after me, so I sure ran fast to get away. My Mother sent me because she thought that they would give to a little child rather than a grown up. Sometimes the farmers would allow us to go out in the fields and pick over the ground for potatoes that they missed or carrots or whatever was planted. It must have been so difficult for my Mother not to have anything to eat for her children. Again the War was getting closer and closer. We kept hearing that if the Russians got to us first they would rape all the Woman and girls and do unspeakable things. We were all so scared so we were praying that the British troops would get here first. My Grandmother was petrified that the Russians would get to her and torture her because she was not able to move. She decided to get her children together to have a serious talk, was very difficult for her and her children, my Aunt, Tante Clara, my Uncle August, and my mother, Erna. She said to them, if you know that the Russians are really, really close, I want you to give me the pills that will put me to sleep, because I cannot defend myself against them, and you all must promise me you will take care of me that way. Well can you imagine your Mother asking you to kill her. It must have been like a nightmare for them. Well, the Russians were two towns away, and her children and she decided it was time, can you imagine how they felt. I was to young and did not know what was happening as they did not tell us. My Mother told us a long time later, when we were old enough. It was very sad for my Mother, my Tante Clara, and my Onkel August, but that was her wish, as afterwards, it was just tragic, that the Russians did not get to us first, but the British did. It was a time now that a lot of the German Soldiers and Officers were retreating from the front lines and coming our way to avoid the Russians. They would come into private homes to hide out, and we did not have a choice, they would just move in as they still had their guns. When we heard the British coming down the road with big Tanks, we got really nervous and we did not know what to expect. We were also concerned about the German soldiers being in the house. It turns out, which we found out later, that one of the German Officers was out in the front of the house and saw the British approaching with the Tanks so he ran inside and closed the door. So the British, seeing him as well, did not know what to make of it, and decided to surround our house and started shooting. We were all inside and went to the back side of the house where the Garden was. The house was on a corner of two streets, so they situated their Tanks only on three sides, and just kept shooting. There were 9 of us altogether, 3 were Children, I was 10, my brother was 13, and the other boy was 9. It was very scary bullets flying all over the place we were all in one small bedroom on the second floor. The whole room was white with smoke and dust . I had to use the potty, and as I sat on it, a bullet went right through it. Needless to say I was very lucky. It still amazes me, that no one got shot with all the bullets flying. One more thing, my Mother’s friend was there with us and he was a German soldier still with his uniform on. The other adults there decided that he better change. They found some pants and a shirt he put them on. My Mother took his uniform and hid it in the bed. The shooting finally stopped, and we did not know what would happen next. The German soldiers were still in the house. We saw movement outside in the garden. It looked like the German soldiers, as they must have found some clothes in the barn, put them on, took a shovel or a rake and walked away. Now we heard the British soldiers come in. We are all very scared. My Mother decided that she would talk to them because she spoke English. The soldiers pushed the door open with their rifles . We were so scared but they looked just as scared as us. They were so young, sweat running down their face. My Mother took the opportunity to talk to them at that time, and said “I speak English”, and they said, shut up. The next thing they asked us where the German soldiers were, we said we did not know. They did not believe us, and one of them said if they found them here we would all be shot. We were really scared we did not know if some of them were still in the house. They got dogs to look for them, luckily they never found them. It was a pretty frightening day and we did not know what was going to happen to us. The British Soldiers finally left the house after hours of interrogating us about the German soldiers . We really did not know where they went. We were just very happy that they left, and headed north to where all the fighting was still going on. Now as the first group of British soldiers left our area, the next group came, and they were much nicer to us. They were the ones that would stay in our area . So, slowly, we got to know them pretty well, they were very kind to us when they realized that we were just caught up in the war and had no part in it.. We saw all their food trucks come through and we were so very hungry. One of the soldiers befriended us and would give us some canned food, which was very generous of him. One day a truck was driving by and wound up in a ditch and tipped over on its side. It was full of hard candy. Well you can imagine how excited all the children were. The soldiers allowed us to pick up all the candy that fell out of the truck. Oh my God, we were in heaven and we had not had candy in years. By now these soldiers were settling in as much as they could. In our town was a old Castle with a family still living there who were a Prince, his wife and children, and when the war came closer, they moved to a safer place, up North. So the British Officers and their soldiers decided to move in, and made it their headquarters. We had big gigantic bomb craters all around the town, and children being children we would play in them. Pretending that they where swimming pools. They were wherever the bombs would fall. Still, at least now we did not have to listen for planes dropping bombs or Big Bertha’s whistle, and then having to lay on the ground. Thank God that was all over. We still had our problems, as my poor mother had been saving as much money as she could that was to be our money to go back to America, but by the end of the war the money was worthless, so poor thing, had to start all over again. My uncle August lived in a city called, Celle, near Hanover, and he was part of the black market were he lived, so he was able to get things that we needed, like some sugar, flour, or other useful things. He would come on weekends and bring us whatever he could. My uncle August was the one who before the war got so close to us, would come and take me and my brother and my friends into the forest and teach us all about the different trees, birds, mushrooms and flowers of the area. As we walked he would have a branch and carve with his knife to make a toy for us. Then on our back home he would take another, bigger piece of wood and shape it in a plate with holes around it’s edge and then put little birds that he had carved before, and put strings through the holes and attach the birds, then you could make them move, such fun for us children. One beautiful memory from when I was 5 Or 6 years old . The anticipation of Christmas and Santa Clause was very exciting. First came St Nicklaus Day, on December 6th. The night before we had to put our shoes on the window sill so St Nicklaus could deliver the presents. It was told to us that if we were good we would get a nice surprise, but if we were bad we would get charcoal . So as you can imagine we tried very hard to be good, at least I did but my brother not so much. Now came Christmas cookie baking time, and oh what fun with Tante Clara, Oma, mama and my brother, Sonny, as we called him. We made Sugar cookies, Butter Cookies, and Gingerbread cookies. We would roll them out in different shapes, put them on cookie sheets, and then bring them to the town bakery, because we did not have the right kind of oven. We would have to make an appointment for our time to use their oven, bring them there then wait for them to be done. Wow, they were delicious. Now came Christmas Eve we would all go to Church at 6:00 o clock ( one of the adults would stay behind with some kind of excuse. Church would take 2 hours with Sermons and prayers and all the children singing in the chorus. Different ages sang at different times. The Church had been decorated beautifully, and the children would act out the nativity. After the services, everyone would start to go home, and as we walked we could see everyones Christmas trees in there Windows. The person that stayed home had decorated ours, as it was never done before Christmas Eve. As we walked home we could see Santa Clause (weinachtsman) all the way down on Main Street, running from house to house and his sleigh was in the street. As a small child of 6 it was very realistic and exciting. When I was I guess about 7, or 8, my Brother Sonny ( Hermann) decided to teach me how to ride a bike, but my Brother always played tricks on me, so i should not have Trusted him. It started very nice And smooth, and He told me: “i am not going to let go”. There was a shed in the back yard, and he let go of me so I went right into that shed. I did learn how to ride the bike, eventually. Another time while I was walking to school, as I passed a yard that had large geese, they came running after me, Honking and honking, trying to bite me. I had to run real fast to outrun them. In the summer time, as I walked along that road each day, I would pass apple trees, and pear trees, and plum trees and I would grap a piece of fruit and enjoy it… D-E-E-liscious. Also in our yard was a cesspool in back,where we always played, and one day we were running around it, when I slipped and fell right into it. Thank God only up to my waist, afterwards my mother always said that’s why I grew so tall. Life goes on and now my mother had a boyfriend, called Willy, cause she was very lonely. At the time, he seemed to be very nice, and eventually, my mother became pregnant with his child. It was very embarrassing for her and us, as in those days there was no way to end a pregnancy safely. My mother was married and her husband was in America, and he was not a good husband, cause he had declared us dead, and then remarried. But still even with the people in our town knowing this, did not treat my mother very nice. One lady kicked my mother in her stomach, and it was scary cause we thought she would loose the baby. When I would see the midwife in town I would ask her what the baby would be, she would smile and say there is only one left, and it’s a girl with red hair. In Germany, at least in my part, no one liked red hair. My little sister was born November 5th 1945 and guess what? She had red hair. Since she was 11 years younger than me, she was more like my child than my sister, since my mother worked, so after school, she was my responsibility, and I thought it was great. I could dress her up, fix her hair, and play with her, it was so much fun for me. I did everything with her just like a mom. We all tried our best to make things work, but one day we got a little bit of bad news, because the owners came back now that it was safe in our area with the British in Charge and wanted to move back into the apartment we were living in, and we had no were to go. We did not know what to do, but they suggested to us that they could move us into the barn, and could put temporary walls up to give us privacy. My mother said, yes, please and thank you, and we moved in soon thereafter. It was difficult to move in there but we had no choice, and it was kind of weird at night, cause I could hear the mice running around above the ceiling. I was not afraid of them, it was just annoying when you were trying to sleep. By now “uncle” Willy moved in with us, and I did not like him and he did not like me. He is the father of my little sister, Renate (I gave her that name), so I tried to get along with him. Sometimes, I would just stay by Tante Clara and she would protect me from him. One time he was drunk and threw a concrete dog dish at me, thankfully, it missed my head by inches. There were other incidents, my Tante Clara would let me stay with her from time to time. She did not like Willy and she did not like that the Town was gossiping about her sister. By this time I had a paper route so I was able to help my mother a little bit. My Tante Clara was a fantastic seamstress she would take something old and make something new for me. She made a skirt from one of my mothers dresses. I remember it had butterfly’s on it it was so pretty. We befriended this very gentle man from Scotland that was a British soldier helping us as much as he could. He gave us food when he could and cloths for us kids. He had a family in Scotland and when his time was up, he went back to his home. He did not forget us, as he wrote to us frequently, and sent us care packages, and things for the baby. He was a very caring man. In the house that we were in was another family, and their mother’s name was Charlotte, who had 3 children, a girl who was around 19 or 20, a boy 14 and another boy that was 10. A very nice family but the 10 year old was sick all the time and died, so, it was very sad for me, as I would play with him all the time. Years went by so fast now, and Tante Henny, my mother’s sister who was living in Glendale, Queens, New York, sent us our first care package. It had coffee for Mamma, and all kind of can foods, and even Crisco. My Mother was so happy for her coffee, because she had not had coffee for a long time. She had tried to make something like coffee with wheat, and would put it in a frying pan to brown it and then pour hot water over it in a cup, and drink it, so you can see why she was so happy. Also she would use the Crisco by toasting bread on the stove, then put Crisco on the bread. When your hungry you will eat anything, but she did sprinkled salt on it for flavor. By now we had some chickens, and one day my mother sent me into the yard to get a chicken for dinner. She said to me “Just twist the neck and that will do it, just like you see when I do it” I did not want to do it but she said “If you want to eat, bring me that chicken.” I was now getting older and started to work, and my first job was to take care of a small child for a the family who owned a small delicatessen and the lady of the house ran it. They were a very nice couple who had “money”, and a car, and used to go to the opera. It would be a dream for me to be able to go in a car and then even to the opera. After this job I worked in a Restaurant, and helped to make ice cream, set the tables, and put the day’s news paper on a hanger so the restaurant guests could read it. I would take the daily newspaper and place it between 2 sticks that held it at the ends, so people could read it for free, and then leave it for the next customers. I was now at the age to go to High school, but I could not go because we could not afford it, so after 8th grade I worked full time, or I could have gone to trade school to learn how to run a house. Tante Clara who was never married because she was the caretaker of my Grandmother but later met a very nice man, who was called Karl Spreier and soon thereafter, they were married. We were so happy for her, because now finally she had a life too. When we were able to afford better meals and bake again, it was so great. Tante Clara, Mama, and me would make delicious butter cookies, sugar cookies and Butter Kuchen Zucker Kuchen so much fun and all was delicious . We did not have an oven so we would make an appointment at the local Bakery and bring the shaped cookies cakes and breads there To be baked. My friend Hildegard and I made friends in school, and on weekends we would all get together, and go dancing . There was a Restaurant and Bar in town called Habelas that had a barn in the back of the restaurant that they made into a ballroom . We could go there on the weekend and we had a great time. We could just to go by bike into neighboring towns. There was one place called Conditory in a town called Steinhude that was about 45 minutes to an hours ride by bike . It had the most delicious Pastries, cakes and ice cream, that I can still taste it. Or, we would go to the lake itself (Steinhuder Meer) where they had little booths set up, that you could have a sandwich, a drink, pastries, or ice cream and gifts. So I would get a Herring sandwich aaaawwwwsum it was sooo good! (Later when I went back with Sal it was one of our important stops.) We also had a great time in the winter at the lake. We would ice skate and ice-sail with our little sail boat. Can you imagine with a high wind, how fast we could go. To get to the lake we had to go on a path that went to the Cassel, (Castle) . The walk was lined on either side with huge Rhododendron bushes that had a beautiful color of deep purples. absolutely gorgeous. We would pass the Castle on our right and then go to a stream where we would put our little sailboat into the water and sail to the Lake itself. It would be my brother Hermann, me, Hildegard, and her brother Wilhelm, and sometimes, Hildegard’s other sisters, Irmchen , Gerdtrud or Dorchen. Now as more time passed, things were changing. Uncle Willy, (Mamma’s friend and Renate’s father), began starting to drink a lot. He also decided to bring his other family that we did not even know about, to live in our town, he had a wife and four children. Can you imagine what nerve? But by then, my mother had already kicked him out, as he was drinking way to much. One day, since he did not like me, he threw a concrete doggy dish at me, barely missing my head. So good riddance. He became the town drunk and was always walking it’s streets swaying, and could hardly walk. My mother was starting to think about us going back to America. My brother was turning 16, so she thought it would be a good time to send him to his father. The sad part is that our father had already decided to declare us all dead, because after 7 years, with the war on, if you did not hear from a person you can declare them dead, and get on with your life. The only flaw with that was, we were communicating with him during that time, and we had proof. So, he remarried in the mean time as he was never concerned about us. My Brother left 1948 or 1949 for America, as my father said it was Ok for him to come. I don’t know my brothers story when he arrived there, and thereafter. After my Brother left, my mother decided that I should learn English. She knew this man, I don’t remember if he was British or American, and he was living with Farmers close by. So I started going to him for lessons. The first couple of times it was OK, but then suddenly he started saying things to me that made me very uncomfortable. Then one time he tried to kiss me and he was grabbing me very tight. I was really scared, and pushed him away from me, and ran away from him, and never went back. When I told my mother, she went to talk to him, but he was already gone and we never saw him again. When we were still in the house part of the apartment, before we moved into the Barn, and I was 11 years old, there was a male tenant living in one of the other rooms, so my mother asked him to keep an eye on me when she at work. One morning he came into our apartment while I was still sleeping, and scared me to death, and then started touching me. I screamed and screamed, until our nice neighbor came in and chased him out. He had also tried something before that, when I was in a hallway, he pushed himself up against me and I felt something wet. Again I screamed, and ran out to our neighbor. He was then asked to leave , and being only 11, I had no clue what he was after. When I was about 15, my Tante Clara started to make cloths for me, and once she took me shopping and bought me shoes, under wear, stockings, a dress and a coat. It was a wonderful experience since I had never been to the city of Wonstorf. We had a fantastic lunch, and afterwards she showed me around the city. It felt like I was in wonderland and it was so exciting. I had never eaten at a Restaurant. I had also never had new cloths always hand me downs. My Aunt was such a good person to me. Riding bikes with Hildegard just before I left for America in 1951 We had beautiful trees in the back of the house . Apple , Pear, Peach , and Plum. And Raspberry ,Blackberry , Blueberry and Gooseberry bushes. Plus a great vegetable Garden. This of course was there long before the War destroyed most of it. We had a beautiful Holiday around Harvest time. All the Farmers would bring the best of there crop of fruit and vegetables to the Church and to the Alter for Blessing. . The church choir would sing, first it was the adults and then the children. My girlfriend Hildegard (my best Friends ) and i would Ride Our Bikes to Steinhuder Meer, where we would get a Herring Sandwich-hm! hm! Sooooo good. We would then go into Town to The Konditorei And get Ice cream or a delicious Pastry , After all These years I can still taste it. This is The Time When Things were geting better for us. Well I’m trying to remember all but I’m sure I have forgotten some thing, but when I remember I will then add it in. Now comes the time when its time for me to think about leaving to go to America. I do not want to go . I am scared and don’t know what the future has in store for me. But my mother wants me to go as she says the opportunity will be much better for me in America, as I was an American citizen. The Man ( my Father ) who I did not know what he looked like, was to pick me up at The Pier. So my adventure began. My Tante Clara took me shopping in Hanover. She was so generous. Her and I had a special bond. She always took care of me. After years of being alone and even while she took care of her Mom ( my Grandmother Oma). When my Oma died she only had herself to care for and me . Then she met a wonderful man named Karl Spreier, and eventually they were married and we’re happy . He used to make his own Liquor in our kitchens big copper tub. I haited the smell, but it was wonderful to see Tante Clara so happy, as she deserved Happiness. When Tante Clara and I went shopping she bought me Shoes stockings a dress and a winter coat and other nessesary items. We also went out to eat I had never been out to eat at a Restaurant . It was quite an exsperiance for me. So now I was ready . My Mother and I had to get all the paperwork for the trip. Then it was time for me to go. It was very emotional and sad to leave my family and friends. Just emagine I had to leave my Mother and little sister who was just 5 years old. And very attached to me. Because I took care of her when my mom worked. She was like a Daughter to me. We did a lot of crying. My Tante Clara came part of the way with us but my Mom and my sister went all the way to Bremerhaven to the pier. I was going on a Freighter, cause we could not afford a fancy Cruise liner. We all went on the Ship, and were introduced to the other passengers, I think there weren’t more about 8 of us. My Mom asked the nice two older women who were sisters, to keep an eye on me, and they were really nice to me.(pictured below) Now came the time for them to leave the Ship, and I was able to walk back to the bus that was waiting for my Mom and sister. Oh my God, it was Heart breaking. They got on the Bus and my little sister did not know that I was not going with them . She started to cry and then scream and banging on the window. I had to walk away crying my eyes out . The bus pulled away and I was all alone for the first time in my life. I wanted to run after the bus but could not. My Mother told me the bus driver felt so bad he went a bought a doll and a doll carriage for my sister to make her stop crying. Me, my mother, little sister Renata, with two other passengers on the boat just before I was leaving Germany. So now I am truly on my Own and can’t believe I’m leaving a very small Town in Germany, to go to the biggest City in The world, New York City. I am so scared, but also very very excited . On the ship the accommodations were limited because it is a small freighter. The Captain tried his best to make us all comfortable, so we all had our meals at “The Captain’s Table” and all got to know each other. One of The passengers was a Young man about my age. I don’t recall his name but he was nice. I did not know tha we were going to make a stop. It turned out that we stopped in Antwerp Belgian . One of the passengers was getting off. It was in the morning so we stayed for the day and left the need morning. Some of the passengers ask if I wanted to go and see the City. It was great we saw beautiful Churches and ate lunch there. And later a few of us went to see a movie. I was so impressed it was so exciting for me. The next morning we were on our way.The Captain allowed us a certain amount of money to spend in Belgian . This is a letter that I wrote to my Mutti ( mother ) when I was on the ship to America which was a Freighter ( no, not a luxury liner or Cruse ship, but was a small ship) called Adolf Finnen. I am now translating the letter from German to English, and it was written on the ship on May 28th 1951, 72 years ago. My dear loving Mutti and my little sister Renatchen. Hope are you at Home, did you arrive safely? We left Bremen sunday at 1:10 lunch time . It was a funny feeling all alone without you by my side all the time. Frau ( Mrs) Gotz, and I went on the back of the boat together. She is traveling with us, and Mutti, she was the lady you asked to keep an eye on me. She is a very nice lady, and she treated me like a Mother. She give me cfhocolates and other goodies, and also let me use her Bathrobe because the bathroom is down the hall and I don’t have one, so she does not want me to walk down the hall without one. Dearest Mutti, enough for today as we are ready to eat dinner, and I will write more tomorrow. Dearest Mutti I will now continue writing. I woke up at 8:30 AM, and washed and got dressed, and then went to the Dining Room to eat Breakfast. They had a feast ready for us. Mrs Gotz and I went together everyone else was there already. We had Cornflakes with cold milk,sunny side up eggs with potatoes, rolls with butter, and bread with Wurst and Ham and cheese, also Marmalade. It is now a 1/4 to 11 in the AM. Last night we arrived at 9:15 pm in Antwerpen it’s a port for Belgium, and it’s a very big Port. A young man of 17 who I had met, was blind, and was getting off in Antwerpen. He departed on May 30th . Yesterday afternoon I went with some of the Passengers, and a Mr Hollweg, into the City of Antwerpen. We went to the post office first, and then explored a City in the morning, which was a small town near the port. We went to a Movie Theater that was showing a English speaking Film, and I was able to follow the story. Dearest Mutti send my loving regards to Weillers, Reinhards’, Rabens, Shaers’, Krauses, Edelers,Rubores, Ziemers, Siefried and Hildegard. I can’t wait until we are together again. Give a big hug and kisses to my little sweet sister Renatchen also regards to her Papa. And the biggest Hug for you sweet Mutti and lots of kisses Auf baldiges Wiedersehen. Your Loving Daughter Clarachen We all had a great time and then it was time to go back to the ship. The next morning we were on our way. The Ocean was so big and for 2 weeks we saw nothing else. It was interesting to see the different Fish. It was also strange not to see land. For me it was the greatest adventure of my life. The food was good the people were all so nice to me including the Capitan .it certainly was a long trip 2 weeks and nothing but water all around us. We played games and red books. I also wrote to my mama and every one back home. I missed them so. I was a little nervous about what to expect when I got to New York. I did not know anyone they were all strangers to me. Even though they were family, I did not know them. The Days went on and we got closer to New York. At one point we started to see birds and the Captain said when you see birds, land is near. We were all excited, as we were getting closer to our destination. I was so excited to be going to AMERICA !!!! I don’t remember to much about the trip, but one incident stands out. The weather turned bad, and I was just fine as the Ocean was getting really rough. Some of the passengers and crew were getting sea sick, but to me it was so exciting. The waves were getting higher and splashing on into the ship, and the ship was going from side to side and really rolling. I, being 16 years old, had no clue just how bad it really was, until I saw the sailors starting to pour oil over the sides into the Ocean. I said to myself, I think I should be worried, so I went down into my cabin which I shared with a very nice older woman, and she was not feeling to well. The rest of the trip was good once the sea calmed down, so I spent most of my time on deck watching the sea, the flying Fish, and other sea creatures. As we got closer to land we could see birds and knew we were getting close. The last night, the Captain gave us a farewell party. a nice dinner and desert and drinks. I had not had an alcoholic drink before, but they all convinced me to try just a little bit. So I did it, and it was called Gold Wasser. It was not bad, as it had little Gold flex in it, but being I had never had alcohol before, i got sick and threw up !!!! I did not get sick when the weather was so bad, but the drink I had on that last night on the Ship I got really sick. Claire’s ship going to the America, on a rough day When we actually arrived in New York harbour, it was at night, so we could not dock at the port until the next morning. So I stayed up all night, because I just was to excited to sleep, and as I was looking over the right side of the ship, leaning on the railing, I saw The Statue of Liberty. Oh my God! I could not stop looking at it. I was finally here in America, in New York City where “The Streets are Paved with Gold”. Here we all are on the ship after it docked with everyone getting ready to disembark. All my fellow passengers had family to greet them, pick them up, and take them to their home. I, in the meantime, was waiting as well, but no one came, as my Tante Henny and Uncle Karl were supposed to come get me. Hours went by and no one came. I’m so scared as I don’t speak English I don’t have any information, no address or phone #. The Captain saw how worried I was and reassured me not to worry he would let me stay aboard as long as I had to. He said someone will come. After several hours they came, but it was not my Tante Henny or Uncle Karl, it was my Father and his new wife Elsie. Since I had not met them before, I was confused. What I did not know was that my Uncle Karl had a heart attack in the 2 weeks that I traveled and had since died. So my Tante Henny was in no shape to pick me up, and I was so sad because I was so looking forward to meeting them as the first persons for me to see in America. My tante Henny and uncle Karl had 2 children, a boy Fritzy 14, and a girl Helenne that was 5. Well my Father acted like a jerk, big shot, and they decided to take me out to eat for lunch. He ordered me a steak. I had no clue what a steak was, not having a lot of choices of food while living in Germany. so I could not eat it and they were not too happy about it. My Father had a car, and I had never been in a car before, so that was a new experience. I did not like the gas smell when he got gas at a gas station, and it made me nauseous, and we then drove to Glendale Queens to my Tante ( aunt ) Henny’s House. I did not know what to expect on what I would find there, because I was told by my father that while on my way over, aboard the ship, my Onkel (Uncle ) Karl had died. So what was supposed to be a happy event for all of us, turned out to be very sad one. It was good to see my Aunt and my cousins, Fritzy 15, and Helene 7 years old, but everything was so different than what I was used to. After my Father left, I started to settle in, and they had a Tv, something I had not seen before. It was so strange for me to see people talking, and moving around, and cartoons, that was a whole new mystery to me. After a week or so, my Tante Henny had gotten me a job, and it was working in a private home, as a live-in nanny, taking care of a 10 year old Boy, and a little baby girl who was 1 year old, as well was taking care of the laundry and taking the children down to the playground. They were Jewish family and lived in a high rise apartment, and I was German girl who had just come from Germany, so I don’t think I was in the best situation. I had a bed in the baby’s room and got one day off a week, but a lot of times the lady of the house would make me stay, with one excuse or another. The man of the house owned a factory that made Ladies cloths. Little by little, I made friends while I was down in the playground with the children, with some of the other Nannies, and we talked about what we were paid and how many days we had off. They were very surprised when I told them what I was getting paid and that I only got 1/2 a day off on Thursdays. They said that was not fair I should do something about it. I was there 6 months and by that time it was Christmas. Them being Jewish, they naturally did not celebrate Christmas, but they were very generous to me they gave me a beautiful navy blue Suit. So I had a very nice Christmas with ny family, as my Mother and little sister had just arrived in November. So after Christmas, I told the woman that I was quitting. When I went back to get my things everything was thrown in the hallway they did not talk to me and she took the suit she gave me, back. Now I had no Job!!!! S0 now we all moved in with my Aunt Henny and my 2 cousins. My Aunts house was very small, all she had was a living room, a front enclosed porch, a small kitchen, a upstairs back porch, one very small bedroom and one master bedroom. I can’t recall where she put all of us, but I do remember sleeping on the back porch. As soon as my mother could, she got a job cleaning houses, and of course, I too got a job cleaning houses. My aunt was able to get us the jobs because that is what she herself did. I really did not like doing it, so I looked and found a job working as a waitress in a small place called Middle Village Dinette. I stayed there for a little while until I heard that there was a better job opening at a big Diner at Woodhaven and Queens boulevards, and that was actually very famous. I applied and got the job, and I got paid 29 dollars a week plus tips. The funny part was that I made great tips. I think all the guys liked me because I did not speak very much English. So they would talk to me and I did not understand most of it, so I just smiled a lot and they loved it . I made around a hundred dollars a week in tips. That was a lot of money in 1952, and it was really a lot of fun for me. The other girls that worked at the Diner did not like me, as all the Guys wanted to sit at my tables because I was only 17 and they all gave me the good tips. This is what I looked like at 17 in the back yard on my Tante’s house dressed for work! I did not care about the other girls because we needed the money so my mama and I could pay our bills, and take care of my little sister who was just six years old. We both worked very hard to make a go of it, especially my Mama and together we did. My brother had his own problems so we did not see much of him, except when he lost his job and then would always come around, and move into my bedroom, and I would get so mad. My sweet Mama found us an apartment in Brooklyn, NY and it just happened to be in the exact same building that we lived in when we left to go to Germany. The apartment was a nice size but it was a railroad flat, and when you walked into the 4 storey building and into the main hall, there was one entrance on the right in front, and also one where you walked all the way down the hall to the last door on the right and then into our Kitchen. Once you entered into the kitchen and walking along the right wallthere was the living room, and then down the hall was the first bedroom, and then further down the hall in the front was the second bedroom . The bathroom was in the hall with just a toilet and it was also shared by the tenants next door. We had a big bathtub in the kitchen with a white metal cover on it, and a small fireplace that heated the whole apartment, as it was a “cold water” flat. One day I got home before my mama and as I opened the door, there was a mouse sitting on the kitchen floor. I went “choo,!! choo”!! “Get out of here”, but it just looked at me, but when I got really close to it, it finely left. After that we got a cat, and did not see the mouse again. We also had a very nice neighbor that took care of my sister when she came home from school, because my mama and I both worked. I was always the one that came home first. When I first went to see the apartment, it needed to be cleaned and painted, so when I went to help with my mom, I walked in and when I saw all the Cockroaches I started to cry. My mama said don’t you worry I will get it all clean, and once we paint, they will all leave. Sure enough they all left, but we did have some once in awhile, and my mama would spray and it was fine again. So little by little we got furniture from friends of my Aunts, which was really nice of them. We started with nothing and really not much money. so we slowly got beds, then a couch, a kitchen set, and other things as time passed and we settled in. My little sister was enrolled in school but we had a problem because she did not speak English, and it took a little while for her to learn, as it did me. This is a letter that I wrote to my Mutti ( mother ) while I was on the ship to America, which was a Freighter (no, not a luxury liner or, Cruse ship, but a small ship called Adolf Finnen. I have had to translate the letter from German to English, and it was written on May 28th 1951, 66 years ago. My dear loving Mutti and my little sister Renatchen. Hope are you at Home, did you arrive safely? We left Bremen sunday at 1:10 lunch time . It was a funny feeling all alone without you by my side all the time. Frau ( Mrs) Gotz, and I went on the back of the boat together. She is traveling with us, and Mutti, she was the lady you asked to keep an eye on me. She is a very nice lady, and she treated me like a Mother. She give me chocolates and other goodies, and also let me use her Bathrobe because the bathroom is down the hall and I don’t have one, so she does not want me to walk down the hall without one. Dearest Mutti, enough for today as we are ready to eat dinner, and I will write more tomorrow. Dearest Mutti I will now continue writing. I woke up at 8:30 AM, and washed and got dressed, and then went to the Dining Room to eat Breakfast. They had a feast ready for us. Mrs Gotz and I went together everyone else was there already. We had Cornflakes with cold milk,sunny side up eggs with potatoes, rolls with butter, and bread with Wurst and Ham and cheese, also Marmalade. It is now a 1/4 to 11 in the AM. Last night we arrived at 9:15 pm in Antwerpen it’s a port for Belgium, and it’s a very big Port. A young man of 17 who I had met, who was blind, was getting off in Antwerpen. He departed on May 30 th . Yesterday afternoon I went with one of the Passengers, a Mr Hollweg, into the City of Antwerpen . We went to the post office first and then explored the City in the morning, and where in a small town near the port. We saw a Movie Theater that was showing a English speaking Film, and I was able to fallow the story. Dearest Mutti send my loving regards to Weillers, Reinhards’, Rabens, Shaers’, Krauses, Edelers,Rubores, Ziemers, Siefried and Hildegard. I can’t wait until we are together again. Give a big hug and kisses to my little sweet sister Renatchen also regards to her Papa. And the biggest Hug for you sweet Mutti and lots of kisses Auf baldiges Wiedersehen. This was the very first time I was away from my family . And from a very small home town One hour by car away from Hannover . So it was very frightening and also exciting . It took two weeks to get to New York it was a long journey . We hit a very rough sea in the Kk of the journey . The ship was bouncing around like a toy. The waves came over the ship. But silly me I found it very exciting. I stayed on the deck and watched the waves hitting the deck and me until the sailors told me to go below. I went as soon I saw that the sailors were worried . T.hey were pouring oil into the sea to calm it down. I thought to myself if they are worried maybe I should be too. So I proceeded to go to my cabin. Almost everyone was sea sick not me I don’t know why. 7-6-2017 The bad storm lasted for a few days. After that the weather was nice. We started to see all different kind of Fish one kind was the flying fish it was interesting to see. The people that were on board with me were very nice. I was the youngest person on board . There was one passenger he was about 19 or 20 years old. Thought the end of the trip he befriended me. On the last evening of the trip everyone was celebrating our arrival to New York were there is gold in the streets. And everyone’s dreams can come true. And FEDOM !!!! The Capitan served all a drink my new friend invited me to have a drink called gold Wasser it looked gold and it had gold specks in it . Here I was 16 years old I had not had a drink before . It was powerful I did not drink the whole glass just a little but it still affected me. I did not get sea sick when we had the rough sea but I got sick when I had the drink. They all felt bad bit it was just for a little while. The next day we arrived in the. New York Harbor it was so very exciting. We arrived in the evening so we could not dock. We had to wait until the morning. So I went up on deck . And what do I see The STATUE OF LIBERTY !!!!! Oh my God it was a site to behold. I could not believe I it I am in AMERICA !!!! So begins a new journey . Everyone departed and met with there family’s. It was a little sad we had spend two weeks together. We all say our goodbyes and hugged and wished each other well. Now they are all gone and I’m still waiting for my Tante Henny and Uncle Karl to meet me and take me to there home. I wait and wait and no one comes. I’m scared . I don’t know anyone I don’t know were to go. The Captain so me and came over to me and ask me what’s wrong I told him and he said don’t worry you can stay as long as you have to . Someone will come to get you. About four hours later my FATHER and his WIFE came strolling in like nothing was wrong. ( if you remember he had declared us all dead ) so I was not so happy to see him. I asked what happened to my aunt and uncle ? They proceeded to tell me that my uncle Karl had died of a heart attack a week ago. That was a chock for me. I was so looking forward to meeting him. My mama had told me what a wonderful man he was. It was a very sad beginning for me. Well back to my Father they proceeded to give me my first ride in a car ( a Cadillac ) that was fun. Then they took me out to eat. They ordered me steak I had not had a steak before . I could not eat it. I don’t think that his wife Elsie liked that . Not a good start. We then went to Tante Hennys house were I met my cousins Fritzy and Hellene . He was 15 she was 6 years old . And of course Tante Henny who was very very sad . But she greeted me with love. I also got to see my first TV wow what is that. People are moving and talking and singing. There were a lot of first that I got to enjoy. Tante Hennys house was very small but she let me stay with he until I went to my first job as a nanny. I think I stayed with Tante Henny for one week and then started my job at the Jewish family inForest Hills NY . It was a family of four. Mother father one son 11 and a daughter 1-1/2 . I was to take care of them the boy was in school so I mostly took care of the baby . I also had to do laundry and feed the children. 7-8 2017 So life went on . I was taking the Baby down on the playground which had swings and monkey bars . As I went down every day except when it rained . I was able ti meet other Nannys. We started to talk to each other. So I found out that I was under paid and also they did not give me the time off that was due me. I only got Thursday afternoons off and sometimes she would ask me to stay then too. It was after Christmass when I decided to quit . I was at my Tante Hennys house for Christmas. The Wife of my employer was not happy that I quit. She had given me a beautiful navy blue suit for Christmas . When I went back to get my belongings she had put it all in the hallway and taken away the.suit my Tante Henny got me a job cleaning houses, this is what she did. I did not like it . I did it for a little while . Somehow I don’t remember how I got a job working in a small Dinnett . Which I liked a lot. By now my Mom and sister arrived. My Brother Sonny and I went to Baltimore by the dock that where they arrived on the ship from Germany. We went by Train. It was a very happy day. To finely be back together as a family. But my poor Tante Henny hardly had another spot for two more people. I was on the coded in back porch . She gave my sister and my mom one of the cuz ins room. She was very generous It was a tight fit. But we all made due. My cousin Fritzy took me to my first Movie ( singing in the rain Debbie Renolds and Gene Kelly ) it was wonderful . He had a big collection of fish tanks in the basement. And he loved Opera. Now my Mutti started to look for work and an apartment for us. She started with house cleaning at first. Then she got a good job at a knitting mill doing piece -work so that was a good start. Now next was finding an apartment for us. She went back to the old neighborhood that we lived in one before, and guess what, she found the very same apartment that we had when we left for Germany in 1939 and now it’s 1951, 12 years later , with the same landlady . My mama was so excited and wanted me to see it. So we went together. The address was 412 Grove street Brooklyn N Y . Well she was so happy that she found it. We walked in and the first thing I saw was cockroaches, and I said ( me being a little brat ) no way am I staying here. My poor mom didn’t need to hear that and she said to me, that in a few days once I clean and we paint it will be fine. The roaches will disappear when you paint, as they don’t like the smell. So in a week all was done we could now move in. But we did not have any furniture. So my Tante Henny and her friends started to give us stuff. Like beds, then a kitchen table and chairs, then a couch and so on. The people were so good to us. We now had our own home. It felt really good. Cockroaches poked their heads out every now and then but my mom had it pretty much under control. My Mama was a very special person. She had to start her life over 4 times. She was never angry about it just pulled herself together and did what she had to do. So my Mama and I put our money together to make a comfortable life for her and my 6 year old sister and me. We did ok and sent my sister to dance class, bought her nice clothes and just made her life happy, as it was our pleasure to please her. I was working at the Knitting Mill by now and made a few nice friends . One day we won free dance lessons at Arthur Murray’s dance studio and we were so excited. The show was on TV called The Arthur Murray Show . So 4 of us went and it was so much fun that I decided to take a few lessons. When I was finished with the lessons, the people running the studio asked me to stay and begin teaching. So I did but just at night and on weekends. I still had my job during the day I would not quit that . (At this time I worked in the knitting mill. I loved The Dance studio, as we went to different Clubs with all the dance teachers and performed on stage. I loved it as we did the Tango , Mambo , Cha Cha , Waltz , Merengue, Polka, Foxtrot, Lindy, and the Bossa Nova and it was so exciting. I felt like a star, but besides that, I enjoyed every minute of it as I made lots of friends . My Mama was not happy because I stayed out so late andshe was worried , but I was 19 years old. I would leave our home at 8:30 pm and would dance until around 12:00 12:30 then have to travel home by subway, so she had good reason to be worried. I was young and did not think about danger. The clubs we went to were the Orchid room, The Boulevard and we would go into Manhattan to the Roseland, where one time Pupe’ Canto was there, and another time Cuchi Cuchi the Wife of Xavier Cugat. I went dancing every weekend and sometimes during the week . One time I went to a club and met a nice couple, Rita Aprahamian and Tony Genovese who were with a and a friend of theirs called Tony Cuni . Afterwards, we started dating, and at that time he was always fun telling jokes and besides he had a good voice, kind of like Perry Como. We had met in 1955 and then was married 21st of October 1956. Rita’s boyfriend Tony did not dance, so Rita would dance with other guys, which was ok as all we did was dance as it was just what we liked to do. Rita and Tony got married in September 1956, and we have been friends for 61 years, a really good and lasting friendship. Tony passed away last year, but me and Rita are still strong friends. While going to dances, I won 7 first place trophies in each of their dance contests with my teacher as my partner. I wish I could remember all the clubs we danced at: Add when you remember I don’t want to forget my little sister Renate Charlotte Gisela . She was very much a part of my life, as my mama and I did everything for her that we could. We pooled our money together for our food and rent. And then we put her in dance School for lessons . She had tap and acrobatics she loved it she was very good at it. I use to take her to Arthur Murrays sometimes and we would practice all the dances that I knew so we had such a good time. I also loved buying her pretty dresses , as there was an expensive store that had such beautiful things for her. It was on Martel Ave in Ridgewood Queens. I took her everywhere as she was my little companion but I don’t know if she remembers as she was only 6 or 7 years old. Ask her! When I came to America I did not speak. much English. I was not able to go to School as I had to go to work, so I could send the money I made to my mama in Germany . This way she could get her American Visa to come back to America . . I missed her very much as this was the very first time I was away from my mama . In order for me to learn English I took the German / English dictionary and would take a new word that day and write out the spelling – the meaning- and leave it on the refrigerator until I remembered and understood it. Then I started to read children’s books . I did know the English alphabet and phrases like “Thank you”, “Please”, and “Hello”, so that helped a little ha ha ! It was ok I thought myself, as I was courteous and people accepted me. It took a while to learn, but it got better as I went along. We were really close with Tante Henny and her children, Fritzy and Helene, so the days went by quickly. My dancing with Arthur Murray’s crew was so enjoyable that I just loved it. Little by Little, Tony and I were seeing each other a lot and we double dated with Rita Aprahamian and Tony Genovese all through 1955. They decided to get married in September 1956 and we got married the same year in October. 21st A new life started for me and at first it was very rocky because my new husband,Tony, said that we would have to live with his parents for a while until we could have a house built. His parents lived in Babylon out on Long Island. I was not too happy about it, but I gave in and it turned out to be a big mistake. In the beginning I was still working in Queens and my boss said that I could continue out on Long Island in Belmont and worked there till I became pregnant with my son Perry. The Doctor who was very old fashioned said I could not work any longer, so I stopped. It was the worst choice I could have made, as his parents were not very nice to me. I could not do anything right in their eyes, as I was German and didn’t know about Italian cooking or their ways. On top of that I was Lutheran, so that too was wrong in their eyes, as they were Italian and Catholic, and how dare I to marry their son! Tony was no help and didn’t stand beside me or protect me from their meanness. I should have left at that time but really did not know what to do… I was not world savvy and grew up in the middle of World War two and had no schooling there or here. I tolerated their meanest . They were always talking in Italian so i could not understand them. Well it was months later in September 8 That my beautiful boy Perry Anthony was born 8 lbs 4 once’s I was berry happy. I had a few problems before he was born. I was in the Hospital two weeks I had albums poisoning and they were going to induce labor they waited for Two weeks . Finely Perry decided to come into this World by himself. He was a healthy boy thank God ! Now my life began with my new baby boy . Only my in-laws felt that I knew nothing about raising a baby which was true, but instead of helping me they just criticized , it was awful I did a lot of crying. It just got worse and worse. I took all their abuse until Perry was almost two years old . Tony finely build a house . It was a ranch style in West Islip New York . I never lived in a house it was always an apartment. It was MY HOUSE a beautiful house it had three bedrooms two bathrooms a kitchen, dining room, and living room. I’m now in our own house all for ourselves, and no one to criticize or tell me what to do.
34 years later she divorced her husband and met me Sal A. Bianco Jr to then change her life around to one of complete happiness for both of us, until she died on me in 3/15/2021, and I’ve cried ever since!

I just found a little true story of my daring stupidity!

Hey guys I just found a little true story of my daring stupidity! Although my life has been very exciting, there have been ACCIDENTAL incidences that I have had happen to me in my lifetime that we’re serious at times, but funny thinking about them now:
Stick in the eye: when I was about 11 or so, my friends and I would play like we were in King Arthur’s Army and made our own bow and arrows. We made them from a weedy bush that had branches with offshoot that would easily snap off and that end rounded and was used the part that was attached to the bow. There were bigger branches we were able to cut with my mother’s knife. These we fashioned into a bow. We then would play by shooting arrows at each other. They didn’t go far or straight, but it was fun anyway. One day playing with them, I was shot at and instead of hitting me in my body it hit my eye, but not the eyeball but just beside it going into the socket. Wow It hurt but I grabbed the arrow and pulled it out. For the next two weeks my eye was black and blue as well as my butt, after my Mom got through with me!
Tongue cut almost completely off: When I was 12 or 13, now living on 205th me and all the boys on our street, in the Bronx started playing street hockey, but following our own rules as we really didn’t know the professional ones. Besides, we had to adapt due to the cars parked at the curb on either side, as Mulberry as a one way street. At any rate the hockey sticks we used were made from Wooden Orange crates. What we used for skates were our roller skates. Since we had no rocks to use as a puck, we would step on a soda can and flatten it to be our puck…. Noisy as heck, but it worked just fine. We would “choose up sides” and begin. Being the only left handed I always had the advantage! So when I had the puck, I would always be on the left side of the boys who were trying to steal the puck from me, by coming around my right to try. One time a guy, can’t remember who, swung in an attempt to hit it from my right side, and me turning and laughing to look at him as he swung too high, brought his stick under my chin. At that time I had my tongue sticking out as you do sometimes while concentrating on the play. His stick came up and hit me under my chin and POW my jaw closed and bit my tongue. Next I then realized blood is splashing over my face, pain was killing me from my mouth! Stopping dead in my tracks, I felt my mouth and my tongue was sticking out. All the players nearby looked amazed! I then realized what had just happened!!! What to do? Go home? No! Luckily there was a doctors home and office directly in front of me, as he had set it up for the rich people living in the apartment buildings alongside. I rushed to his door, rang the bell and finally the doctor himself came out. This story is told in my blog, with all the details hereafter! Go to Www.whiteKnightadventures.org to read it!
When I was 18 and working nights at Phelps Dodge, a trans-Atlantic cable manufacturing company. My job was testing a 30 foot section of cable that I put 10 to 50 thousands volts of electricity through them. I was being trained to become an Electrical Engineer. One night the cable blew after only about two hour. I then became bored just sitting there (it was 1950 and no iPhones yet) and decided to walk through the deserted factory at about 9:00pm. In doing so I came across a very large window high up and decided to look out of it to see what the factory looked like at night. Seeing a platform to climb onto and look out, I did so and stepped onto a piece of cardboard laying flat on the floor to look out. As I placed my right foot onto it and raised my body onto the platform, it gave way and my leg went down into it , while my left slid along side and proceeded to stop on a sharp steel ring onto its edge, it was a 4’round air conditioning shaft being repaired! Thankfully it smashed into me along side of my tesicles but caught one and proceeded to cut it in half, but not the sack itself. What happened next was wild! My testicle sack began to fill with blood from one vein that was also cut and it didn’t stop until it was the size of a football stretching as much as possible. At the emergency ward, Two doctors after examining my condition decided after not knowing what else to do, to just let it stay as it was and sent me to the maternity ward as there they had sitz baths to relieve the pain and swelling that I was now experiencing. It lasted for over a month.
When I was 40, when my sons were 16, 15 and 2, and we were celebrating Easter at my in-laws basement, as we did at all holidays. A table was set up in a corner of the room to be able to sit everyone there. Being agile, I said that I would sit back in the corner seat. Since there was no other way to get into the seat, I had to jump over the table using one foot on the chair alongside me. With my hand on the table, I jumped and both my feet went into the place where I was going to sit. Boom, I landed on a Indian brass bell that was a sharp letter opener at its handle which proceeded to go up into my groin and stopping at the bell. Shocked by the pain, I grabbed the bell and pulled it out of my groin and as i did it I stood up pushing the table over in front of me. Blood came flushing out of me as I tried to stop it pulling off my pants. My son Trey saw what was happening helped me to our car and drove me to a local hospital, actually the same one as the one from my last accident. As my body reacted, it began to swell closing the gap and again the sack filled to the size of a football. Once settled in an emergency, I lay awake not believing that it happened again to me, when all of a sudden they rolled in another bed next mine. I looked and saw it was my son Trey who had fainted from the shock of all that happened, thinking he was loosing his father! Me, I had once again, my football between my legs!
In 2002 after I built my 40 foot RV, And I began to fly my powered parachute. Starting to learn with the man I bought it from. Being near my son Trey home, I brought it there trying to take off from there thinking there was plenty of space to take off. However, every time I tried, I had to stop because I could see I could not make it over the trees. My two sons and I agreed that a little down the road from Trey’s was a long wide field and we would try there. Going there and setting the plane up to fly, I judged the length that was available to fly, I said to the boys, I can make it!!! Starting it up I had Michael go halfway down the field and Trey a little further. I began my run down the field and as I reach Michael he yells that I should go. Go, Go and I did coming up to Trey he too followed yelling go Dad!!! That’s exactly what I did and pulled hard on the parachutes reins forcing it to pull me up, up and away. As I cleared and went over the top we all yelled, I made it. One second after I went above the top edge of the trees, one wild branch was facing me 20 feet in front of me. I hit it, but it caught my wheel and stopped me dead in my tracks. The front wheel pointed down and down I went along side that branch. As it was happening, I was remembering Jurassic Park, the movie where the car went over a wall straight down smashing into branches until it stopped. Well that actually happened to me with branches slowing me and the plane down as some branches were hitting me in the face. The plane hit the ground and being strapped in I just remained in my seat. I unsnapped my harness and stepped out as I heard screaming from both my sons as they grappled through the woods to me. Yelling Dad!!! Dad!!!, As they got to me, I raised my hand and said ”Hi boys… I’m alright”, and I was with only a few scratches on my face. As we looked up we estimated the drop to be about 75’, well just another adventure, but the plane and parachute really were destroyed as it helped to take the brunt of the fall.
As winter was turning to spring, I began to start my garden in the back yard where we were living in a cottage that I built at Claire’s daughter’s home. Looking at the same place I had made the garden years before, I noticed that the sun was no longer clearing the branches of the tree in front of the garden and I knew they had to go. I had a 18’ ladder that I had bought to build the cottage and proceeded to get it and place it under the branch. Up I went with everyone watching. I reached the top but it still wasn’t high enough unless I went up to the very top. Dangerous as I now had no place to hold onto, but me, being me, I proceeded to reach out with my 5’ extended chain saw. I began to cut to the branch but because the branch kept moving, the saw cut and jammed into the branch. I began pulling, and pulling hoping I could make the branch break. As I pulled and pulled the ladder began to sway. My last pull was too much for the ladder and it swayed, twisted and I proceeded to fall down in front of me letting go of the saw. But too late as it kept me to fall with my knees heading for the ground. Sure enough, I landed on my left knee, then flipped over hitting my face on the ground. Well, Bianco you did it again! It took over a month to be able to walk properly! However, I did get the garden finished, and I had tomatoes to kill for and I almost did.
In 2003, I had my Peterbilt motorhome and had it parked a Smiths Point on eastren long Island on fire Island. I was beginning to pull out of my spot to attach my car and then proceed to pick up Claire where she was at the Daughter home. As I was attaching the car, I had to take the bar that was being held on by a spring attached to the roof. In trying to pull the line free, the spring that was attached to the car came loose, and the hook that was at the end came loose and snapped up, winding up going into the palm of my left hand and into the meat of my palm. OOPS! Well, what to do as I began to bleed more and more. I cut the hook loose from the RV and jumped into my car and headed for Good Samaritan Catholic Hospital. My cousin Michael the Doctor worked there and I called him as I drove and told him my problem! He said come and leave your car in the emergency entrance. When I got there a bed on wheels was waiting. They put me on it and there were two surgeons awaiting. They were laughing and couldn’t believe what they saw. Michael did too and in a matter of a few minutes they got the hook out stitched up the wound. It took about two week before they were able to take out the stitches. Just another day in my exciting accident-prone life!!!
Yesterday while trying out a new slicing box that really worked well on my first try, I decided to use it to slice onions after finishing slicing cucumbers very very thin. In doing so, I tried the first onion and it came out beautiful, so I began a second and as I came to the onion getting close to the blade I used a holder to finish. Dumb me saw a very small end left and in trying to use the holder, the needles used to hold the onion kept hitting the blade, so using my thumb and index finger I held it gentle and push it through to the blade, but there was a green route that was in the middle and in trying to force it through, I sliced a piece of my thumb off. Not much but enough for all the layers of skin plus a little deeper. Big time blood, got black electrical tape and wound it tightly below the wound, the part below the knuckle. It stopped the blood, then the circulation, then the pain began. Oh oh where to go? Can’t go out with the coronavirus all over the place, but I gotta do something! I remembered an Urgent Care facility that we had gone to before this and told Claire to stay home. It wasn’t far and into it I went, they had all my info already in the computer and took me to a room that was sparkling clean. As a nurse looked at my thumb then proceeded to stop the bleeding and then applied a cloth-like material that she said would absorb the blood and turn it into a seal, and that I should wait for 24 hours, then when I was taking off the bandage that portion would have sealed the wound to stay and that was that. I went home, took off all my clothes, washed them immediately, took a shower and relaxed for the night with my thumb held high till the 24 hours were met. When the time came, off came the bandage and sure enough the bleeding stopped, but to look at the hole that was created, was unbelievable. There was only one problem now… I’m left-handed and you can do nothing without that hand using your thumb, so now my nose has to do the job in its place. Here is the picture I took.
Hey! Guess what I did it again??? Last night April 7,2020 I made a berry pie from MARIE CALENDAR and when checking to see it was done, by sticking my pointed knife in to it, licked the berry juice off the knife… great, needs to cool for an hour or so. Went into den and began watching TV, till I noticed blood was on my finger from rubbing it! Went to a mirror and saw what the knife did without me feeling it…take a look but don’t if you’re wimpy. Now because of the Coronavirus it’s impossible to just go to any medical facility. So, after many attempts, I just went to bed with a bunch of ice cubes and with my forcing my tongue to my upper palate! Woke up this morning with a 1”round scar in the middle of my mouth but seemingly better!!! Again “LEFTY”, The one and only, The White Knight, beat the odds, or did I?

“MY PASSPORT WAS STOLEN IN THAILAND”

Here is my next story “MY PASSPORT WAS STOLEN IN THAILAND”
It started when the Vietnam war was going strong and American men who left the USA to avoid the draft and wandered trying to live abroad. They claimed the war was wrong, so they just wouldn’t do there duty. However, to live abroad you needed to have a valid passport to travel, and so these same “WOL” young men, not being able to use their passport, knowing the US government would trace them and put them in prison tried to steal US passports in order to travel from place to place, or even travel back to America under a different name. A new business was started with crooked people stealing passports, and then selling them to these same young men.
This became a problem for American business travelers, because in many cases they were away from their hotel rooms just having dinner with customers, or local manufacturers. It just wasn’t smart to carry your passport with you at all times for just that reason, you were prone to being mugged, or worse. So, when I entered a country, I put my passport in a safe place in my room, and traveled with locals in each country I was in.
Thailand (SIAM) was a country with very lax laws and allowed these same young men to stay there, expecting them to spend American dollars while they remained. So, many locations in Bangkok catered to them while they had the money to do so. They couldn’t work to earn money, cause the local labor force was so cheap, they couldn’t compete.
On one trip, I brought my son Trey and he and I did my business together, and eventually travelling to a vacation city for a few days of fun. We were able to rent jet ski’s and run around with them, till I had to get back to business. Back to Bangkok to meet a manufacturer and to fly to my next country, usually Hong Kong. Some time while we did our thing, someone got into my room and stole my passport. It probably was a servant making money on the side, but no way for me to know. I complained to the manager who I knew pretty well, but he could nothing, knowing my passport was into the wind on a plane going back to America, or Canada.
So, I naturally went with Trey, who still has his passport, to the Local US consular office to tell them my problem and request a new passport. As we were entering the building we noticed a very, very large line going out into the street. Approaching the Guards at the entrance, I explained what had happened and want to enter to report my passport stolen and request a new one. They laughed as it wasn’t new to them, but they said I would have to wait on the long line. I laughed back at them and said look at my eyes and look at my son, do we look like locals. They said they couldn’t let me in and I said trey, show them your passport, which he did, and I said to trey “Am I your Father”? Naturally he laughed and said of course, we look alike, which we did. I then said This can’t be the first time you have heard of an Americans passport being stolen? With that I turned to Trey and we boldly walked into the building. he as an American and me as his father.
The problem was only just beginning, as we approached the desk, the person said I had to wait on that line. I looked at him and said listen, my passport was stolen and I need a new one, who do I speak to, or do I find a supervisor and start complaining as an American citizen who is being abused! Trey again showed his passport with his picture clearly on it, telling the man that I was his father and My passport was stolen. I was proud of the way Trey talked and finally the man sent us to another desk where we sat down told the whole story of why I was Bangkok, how we were staying at the ???? Hotel and how the manager could verify my many visits to Bangkok. I then said that I’m sure he knew of many of the same incidences happening all over the world, and could I please now get a new passport. You must remember in those days, the Internet and computers were in the future, so he said I had to fill out a long form, and I said whatever it will take, but I’m nor leaving here till I have my passport in hand. He realized I was not be played with, and knew trouble was in the wind, so He called over a Supervisor, and I met with him going through the story, but he was a man of action and knew he didn’t need bad press. Trey and I left both with passports!