This is a true story about my father Sal A. Bianco
Well, first off my father never really spoke to me, we drove cross-country together and I don’t think he said 10 words to me. Well, I didn’t care as I loved him more than you can imagine! If you think that unusual, he was loved by everyone who met him. He was a gentle-man as well as a gentleman, and I’ve seen friends who destroy anyone who would abuse him in any way. Before he was gentle however, he was a true Gay-Blade. Going to Broadway shows nightly and driving a Duesenberg car. His friends loved his true friendliness and all wanted to be with him as he spent money like water. His father thought he was everything you could imagine in a son, and he proved it many times. In other stories that I wrote about my father, all this was brought out, so I’ll not go in that direction. Instead, I want to talk about my experiences with him. While he was getting older 63, he had 5 businesses to run that he had started over the years. First running the family trucking business, then at Easter, he went to the south and bought Spring lambs from farmers to fulfill all local Italians’ desire for it at Easter. From the time his father brought a cousin over from Italy, and sent him to California to handle grapes so Italians in the New York area could make wine, and have his son selling them here. So, my father had to fulfill that wish of his father and began selling grapes in a railroad yard in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson river from Manhattan, and he also had to make wine thereafter from the grapes he could not sell, after thanksgiving day! The other railroad yards were in Manhattan on 37th street, where our families trucking business went to pick up meat sent from Chicago, which they delivered to all wholesalers locally. So the yards in New Jersey were where my father, solely, sold and shipped the grapes that arrived from Fresno, California.., and why this story is all abou
While I was young, maybe 14, it was my turn to go with him in the summer to those same yards, as my Brother Al had done in his tour before me. Loving every second, starting early every morning we headed to Jersey City, opened the three railroad cars and prepared for the day ahead. He may have said by then, maybe 5 words! Oh! Oh! I forgot one of the most important events!!! When we were ready to leave our house, my father would go into the kitchen and get his 4 Italian cigars (Stogies) that had been soaking overnight in scotch whiskey. ( His last bottle he used, I still have and have kept to remember these days)
Then we were off to work, actually not work, but fun and excitement, at least what a young 14 year old boy thought. So as the light of the day got brighter, finally a small truck, (in those days there were no “pickups” they came 40 years later.) would back into the opening where we stood, and the Italian man would got out and yell “Ahllow Sally, I need 40 boxes today, but I no got the money yetta!”, so my father would smile the most wonderful smile, as I looked at him and then would say “It’s ok Benny, you can pay me later”, and then another little truck would arrive as Benny was pulling away. I’d here a shout from the new driver to him. “Hey Bennuchio is no come on my street I kick your “aasse”!! Benny would look out his window and laugh and say “They comma to me, I no go them!” laughing, laughing as he pulled away. The new driver would then look up to my Father and say “Bon Jouno SAlly” laughing as he said it. Again, he said “50 boxes today as I gotta some of Bennie’s costume”, Laughing and laughing. OH! Oh! Sally, you give me trusto, I pay you next time, as my File yoe (BOY) needs a tooth fixed, and as usual my father would say with his slight smile “That’s OK Juonne! And the day would go on all always in fun and laughter, but my father never laughed, but rather, with a smile that could “kill” just watching him! He wasn’t just my father, he was a man who everyone around him knew, and truly loved. And he was my father, and I’d do anything to make him love me.
Well, here comes the sad part, as time went on with so many beautiful other stories about him I’ve written, it was 1964 and he was 63, and because of all the juices from his cigars that he swallowed all his life,, his body became cancerous from his throat down into his stomach, and he had a very short time to live, maybe 6 months!! I was told all this separately by his doctor, as he kept it from my mother and father, as in those days doctors were friends for dinner, as well as doctors coming to your home. I now had to make a decision, and decided that telling them would only ruin the rest of his life, so instead, I told them that it was best for them to drive to Fresno California, where the rest of their children lived as it was time anyway for him to retire at 64. So, we bought a new station wagon, and put all their possessions into it, and I told them I would sell our home of 20 years and send them the money. I wasn’t sure if I would ever see my father alive again, but it truly was the best for them to spend their time there with all their family. Goodbye Mom! Goodbye Dad !!!????
Sal Bianco Jr, March 29, 1964