“My Cousin Vinnie”

 

I’ve just heard that a little boy that I knew when I was a little boy called “Vincyboy”, has died on January 25th/2019. Because he was a big part of my young life, I’d like to tell how I remember him, even though, I haven’t seen him these past 40 years.

When I was about 9 or 10, my Aunt Florence, Vince’s Mother, moved close to our street, 205th, in the Bronx. She had left her husband, Nick, and wanted to be near her sister, my mother, Anita. As it turned out she did it mainly to drop Vincyboy at our house and be gone for days at a time, sometimes even weeks. Even though we were just a year or two apart, he was treated more like a little kid, as he had health problems and wore some kind of bag at his waist. When we would go out and play other kids would tease him as he was very shy. So, I would always protect him. Yelling at the kids to either leave him alone or be beaten up by me. Since I was a pretty rough guy and loved to fight, they would leave him be.

Every summer when school was over, my father would drive us all to Harvey’s Lake in Pennsylvania. Aunt Florence would drive out as well, and after a day or two take off and leave Vincy with us. Staying all together was Aunt Mary’s sons, Freddie, Joseph, Carmen, and Anthony (Bonsey), and Lewis. Then, Aunt Alice who would stay with us to help Mom, and she had Vince and Mondo(Armando) and Lilian. Finally our family who were My oldest sister, Elizabeth, then Jeannie, then my older brother, Al (Aniello), and me, Sal, (Junior), and little sister Marie and last but not least, Aunt Florence’s son, Vincyboy.  I would just like to mention here that it was because of my Mother oldest Brother, Louis, that the home was available us. he became rich finding and owning a large coal company, called Knox Coal Company.

Our lives while there was just a bunch of fun with so many boys, teasing the girls, and getting into mischief, but all of us loving and watching over Vincyboy. He was gentle and was always smiling, cause all he wanted to do was fish. We, would bring him to his special place where he loved to be fishing all day, then we would jump into the lake and fight and play as boys together will do. One day when we were all jumping off the porch that was actually in the lake water, my brother Al didn’t jump out far enough, and went into the water head first. BAM, HE hit his head straight onto a rock laying on the lake floor. He actually was knocked out by it, and as we all watched, he came to the surface with his head still under the water. The older boys, either Fred, Joseph, or Carmine jumped in and carried him out with blood coming down his face and a big cut on his forehead. He came around slowly, and usually we would all be laughing, but we all just stared at Al. As always whenever  we stopped swimming, we would go get Vincyboy and bring him home for supper. Up to now I never mentioned the girls, they help the women, but they too would be part of our daily swimming and fishing. Marie had a round inflatable tube she just fit into and would float and kick her way around. The same things happened everyday, with food being the big problem. Yes, we always had tons of fresh homemade bread my mother made constantly, and many days that was the whole meal, served with Olive oil spread on top, as we couldn’t afford butter. It was better when Freddy,Joseph and Carmine were old enough, as they worked in the bowling Alley across the lake. They turned in their salary to my mom who then would go shopping, no, not for vegetables, but things like milk and eggs. Vegetables were growing in the garden out in the front. As the years past, we each in turn would work at the Bowling Alley. Freddie and Joseph went into the service and the war that followed, Joseph died in an Army truck that turned over. Freddie was wounded at Anzio Beachhead, losing his big toe. Eventually the summer would come to an end and we all headed to Yatesville, Pa, where all my Mom’s family lived, and where my father first accidentally met my Mother. Another Great story that’s now in my Blog…www.whiteknightadventures.org.

At this point Aunt Florence went to work as a “Rosie the Riveter” somewhere in upstate New York, where she met her second husband. Not sure exactly, as I was 16/17 and getting ready for College. I think Vincy then went to live with his father’s family and I lost contact with Vincyboy for a while, keeping in touch, but not as often as when we were young. Vince met a Charming very pretty Irish girl and they one day set the date of their Wedding, which I became part of, there is a picture somewhere.

Our lives moved apart more and more and we eventually lost close touch. He and his family moved, and I , got married and we moved to Fresno , California, where most of my family lived.

Published by

Sal Bianco Jr

Born in a fifth floor cold water apartment on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, NY, Have 3 very successful sons, Created a business called White Knight Ad Ventures LLC that had offices in Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Bangkok, Canton, China. Formed a Company called "Made in America" traveled 300,000 miles in a RV I made myself on a Peterbilt truck. Fly a powered parachute,and planning reaching 100. .

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