Well, the very best sound I heard most of my young life was that of my mother, calling me for some reason or kiddingly yelling at me for being naughty(Bad). it stayed as my favorite till she died at 97 in 2002. As for the sound of Music, it was strictly “JAZZ” ( Hey! Maybe I can use that “Sound of Music” to maybe make a movie) Or was it done before??? I learned that music was great to dance to, so it became my best sound growing up from when I was 13 as then my 2 older sisters used me as a dance partner while they learned how to dance new dance steps that were just coming into being. From then on music had been one of my best sounds, making me want to ask a girl, any girl “Lets Dance”! Hey! Maybe I could write a great song with that title! nnnnah It’s too Boyee-ish !!! next next sounds that came into my life was the crying of babies… my 2 little sons wanting something or other but why would I like the sound of crying you might ask? Well it meant I had two sons, two sons that I could teach to be better than me in life, as I taught them all that I knew and have used in my life, which was fun for me in doing. Their crying stopped early as they saw how great it was in just “DOING”! Now 60 some odd years later they now “Watch over me”. Dag-nab-it!!! Again another song title I could have made a fortune writing, but I made it another way and it was the “sound” of laughter from thousand of Philippinoes I gave to opportunity to use their hands to make things I designed, and then for them to make money they never had before. They would call to me all together as I passed: Here comes “THE ONE AND ONLY” which became another sound I loved, as it was said in Philippino, which already has a melody as its spoken! Another time 20 years later when I was retired and made my own motorhome on a 1990 Peterbilt tractor, I was traveling south through West Virginia on I46 and didn’t realize I had a serious oil leak from a pipe I and my brother had installed. Well, The engine ran out of oil and began to lock and did, destroying the engine, and as I rolled to a stop I wound up exactly on milemarker 232. Claire saw it and remarked “Sal look 232”!!! My lucky number “32”, and I thought but sadly, not this time! So calling, AAA they said to call the local towing truck. When he arrived, he asked what was wrong and I proceeded to tell him I lost all my oil and the engine froze. Well, he turned to me and said I can take you to a Peterbilt about 25 North of here, or , I can take you to my farm and I’ll rebuild the engine for you. At Peterbilt it may take a month or more to rebuild, but I promise I can do it in two weeks at half the price. Looking at him, I said to myself I like how honest he is and well, to him: Ok! Take me home. He did so, and we became instant friends. I told Claire that I would drive her to her daughters, and come back here to help in anyway I could. So, I drove her home and came back to be part of the engine rebuild. Hey! Where are you going with this as there actually no sound that could be my favorite here in fact the beautiful sound of my engine running no longer exists! so, living in my Motorhome for two weeks was going to be my new life, and no sound to boot. Wrong! very wrong!! On the second night there, Larry asked if I would like to go with him to his friends barn. Me, being a New Yorker, didn’t know about barns, so I said Ok, thinking I was going to do some work in a barn. Well, we arrived and from out side I heard music and thought some family was listening to the radio or TV. well, Larry opened the door for us to enter and a blast of sound came out, no, not sound but the most exciting music, not like anything I every heard. Entering, I was like a boy hearing music for the first time. Music that made you want to dance, but nothing like a dance I was used to, fast, faster than a jitter-bug, one that made you want to stamp your feet and fly around the room! Looking at these different kind guitars, but not guitars exactly cause they had a different sound, a twangy sound! I’ve heard the sound before but not be in the same room, no not room but a big area with a smell of horse manure and hay. Wow! I yelled to Larry as I was listening Wow! Again I was shocked also by the people playing the music and the sounds the music made. Why they were farmers, in farmers cloths, just having a great time together playing the music of their fathers. I naturally had to ask: Larry how can they do this and not be great on TV? He said: “They are farmers and this has been their TV all their lives! There was one sound that stood out and I again asked Larry “What is making that twangy sound?” He replied: “Why that’s the Banjo! Wow, I said I love it, and want to learn to play one. Well. the night went on and I learned to dance a different kind of dance. What a thing for me to learn to play, and so I went out and bought a Banjo. This was 20 years ago and I have a beautiful one, but still can’t play it! But I did hear another sound and it was when I yelled “WOW- It’s the “Sound Of “Banjo-V” ! ah! Come on I must be the first to use this title???
On every day I lived in my life, I was affected by where i lived at the time. To begin with, I and my family lived in lower Manhattan on Mulberry Street, an Italian American Community. Because of where we lived, I and all who lived there were protected by each other. older people treated the young as though they are family, so although it stopped a lot of fun for kids, but also, we felt safe by it. Even the police realized to stay off the street and there was no crime because of the local men who enforced peace and calm organized by their social clubs each located on each cross street. so, my growing up there was wonderful and safe in a city that was not safe. So it actually was a place within a place, that can have a positive effect on life.
When I was 10, in 1942, we then moved to the Bronx and rented the first floor of a two family private home on 205th street. The street had mostly privates homes on it but at each end were a 10 story apartment buildings. So now my life went into a different faze, as we were new and had to fit in. I and my brother were finally in our own bedroom and our sisters had there bedroom, but now i had to prove that i was not to be hassled by the boys my age on the street. New boys on the block had to learn to fit in, so it was a question for me to prove it. At the time I never met any boy who was left handed like myself, so i was never noticed of being different. It was natural that there would be confrontations with boys thinking a small little boy would be a pushover. So, one by one i had to prove just who I was and i never lost and boys around my age realized that i was not to be pushed around, and once I was accepted, everything became great for both my brother and myself. it became fun living there and now my friends and began a “Victory Garden” in an empty field on the street below us called 204th St. because the second World War was going strong and the garden planted with vegetable of all sorts. i was gear to do and made us closer together at a time when there was nothing else to do. TV was only available to the very rich! All my friends went to public school, but our mom insisted we go to the local Catholic school, and because we did, i began to have another set of friends and other interests. so now my interests hold a lot more religion and my faith became very strong. this created a new how I received a new name, I was called by my friends on 205th St. “The Saint”! So here again where I lived had a very large influence on my life, and the direction of where my life and desires was going. Didn’t like girls because they were always taking my friends away to do stupid things, at least that’s what I thought. i knew that i liked leading and like finding new things to do and as I got older I knew i Wanted to do things, and the next place we moved was where i learned to do everything I wanted to do and try.
In 1947 we moved again, but this time into our own home. It was further north and west near 138th St. in the Bronx, near the city of Mount Vernon in Westchester County. The house was heaven to live in with a big back yard and a garden that I helped my mother to make, and a young Tulip tree at the edge of the little grass we had. My Mom grew up on a small farm in Yatesville, Pennsylvania and knew all that was needed to make a beautiful garden, and at the same time she taught me all that she knew and as I was to learn, I was going to do things for her to make our home even beautiful again, almost like new, as it needed a lot of work on the outside. So to work onto the roof to put new shingles where they were needed. Then my Mother said we need to replace all the outside walls with a new product just invented. they were asbestos Board with one side smooth black and the other that would show, red brick design that actually looked like a finished brick house. later on in my life I would a similar thing to a very old house, but it’s another story i’ll eventually get to as it’s about me and my boys. Well let’s get back to what my Mom wanted next: Junior: We need to call Ludovigo and have him build a garage and you can learn how be his helper as I used to be laying bricks. Ludovigo was a man who loved my mother and actually wanted to marry her, but was refused as my mom thought of him as a brother. My mom hadn’t met the man of her dreams yet, My father, here again is a story in it’s self and I wrote a while ago look for it! so Ludovigo came and we began. first My job was to clear the back property line of all bushed and fencing. we then began laying concrete blocks until a wall was created and it became the back wall of the garage. but as it was being built we added blocks that would form the side walls. then we finished the side walls . we then stopped to put a roof on top to protect the floor we then made. it was going to be a three car garage and used for big parties. Well, the next portion was to put a front of solid bricks and then a door to finish it. hen it came to put a top around on the roof of the garage, Ludovigo said he would use a new product he designed. When my Mom saw it, she said we needed to have a large patio added onto the back of the house with a porch with steps leading from the kitchen to the patio. Well, we did it and Ludovico’s new patio tiles of 18”x 18’ was used to finish it. wow ! what a great house now, one to be proud of, and it was, cause I would have all my friends from 205th St and others to come every weekend to work on our cars, with my father bar-b-queuing great meat along with my mothers pasta, and cakes. Later when my oldest sister, Elizabeth, was going to get married to Domenici Guerrerio, we used that Garage to hold her engagement party. The family from all over was there and I’ll find the pictures to go with it. At that time I was 17 and working as a carpenter with two friends of Ludovico’s living in the Bronx. We were building new homes in Harrison, New York, and I loved it, making real money and with it to buy a car from Dominick’s brother “CherryNose”, or Cherraaze in Broken Italian.
Today I finally was able to complete a task I’ve been trying to accomplish for weeks now. Every day Bella and I cover pretty much 2 to 3 miles after walking throughout our complex. She always pulls me along to a new adventure she has smelled! But there is one place I make sure we stop at, and it’s on the grass in a field where a small tree stump has been cut. It has a height of 10” and is 8”round with a flat top where it was cut by a saw. Each day I would try to put one foot on top of it and try to squeeze the other as well, but I no longer have the balance of the stud I once was! But like “JOHN PAUL JONES ”, I won’t give up the ship!!! But each time I try this feat, I lose my balance and after 3 or 4 attempts, with Bella barking, saying Come-on, I have a lot of smelling to do yet!!! So, I continue our walk. But today as I reached the area, I said “today is the day”… First, the first foot, then squeezing the second next to it, I stood up straight, with a lot of swaying, but less and less and there I stood and then I yelled:: “ON TOP OF THE WORLD… MA!!!” and from everyday thereafter I would end with yelling:
“TOP OF THE WORLD …. MA!”
Today I awoke to my phone buzzing as I’m in Fresno California, 3 hours early than you all! But when I looked at my phone, there were 572 replies on Nextdoor to my story of “Top of the world… Ma! I was so thrilled to have so many people reacting to it! “WOW” what more could anyone ask for! Thank you all for your wonderful replies!!! I’ve writing my life adventures here but what this morning was the same thrill I used to get years ago!
When I was young and 20, around 1955, I was in Macy’s Jewelry department on 34th St. in Manhattan, NY, looking for an engagement ring. I was waiting for the salesman to bring me a black velvet covered board with 6 beautiful engagement rings that were fitted into slots to hold them firmly in place.. As I waited, from the corner of my eye I noticed that a woman came and stood alongside me, also waiting for the salesman to help her with something she was holding in her hand. When he came back, he told her that he would be with her shortly and began telling me about each ring pointing to it saying what each cost and the size of it in carats. As he did so, I picked each one up and looked at it like I knew what I was doing, but actually I didn’t have a clue. The woman alongside me saw my indecision and said to me… “Don’t look at the ring because of price or carat size, but look at each and decide which one you like best, and the one you would be proud to give.” I turned and looked at her and realized she was someone I recognized as special. She was Angela Lansbury and as pleasant as could be, so I smiled a big smile and thanked her and I did as she suggested, and bought a one carat perfect gem. It was much more than I could afford, but it was the one I really liked, and handed it back to the salesman. He then said he now needed the size that would fit my girlfriend. I again looked shocked as I had no idea what it was. Again, Angela Lansbury smiled at me and said “Just buy the ring, and give it to her, then afterwards you both can come down here and get it sized properly”. Wow, she was so smart and very beautiful, even more than in the Movies. I thanked her with a big smile and she smiled and turned her attention to the salesman. It was 20 years later that I visited that Department to buy a 3 carat ring to give to my wife who was now a very different person than the one I loved at first, but that’s another story for another time. What triggered this story for me was for a mili-second, I saw Angela Lansbury on TV as she is today, and it brought back my first meeting of her. Naturally I’ve seen her over the years, and should have contacted her to tell her I am no longer an innocent young man but very successful in my way of life, as she was in hers! But she has always been part of my memories as special.
I wrote this 3 years ago but it still applies!!!
I’m just turning 87, I know age is not truly measured by the years that pass, but by that person’s attitude and how he or she lives! Mine has always been to take each day and “run” with it. My living in a 50+ community proves my point, cause as I walk through it, I find that my body is truly younger in “actions“, than most I pass. Most are in their 50’s and sixties and each seems older than myself as they pass. I pop along with my Black Lab pulling me to another of her adventures! They pass me with a look of “What’s that old guy doing?” Again I say it’s the attitude you have in living your daily life! If you accept life as it’s given to you without your own input into the direction it’s going, you do age in mind and body. Up until I was 80 my life was exciting, and adventurous because I made it that way moving in the direction in life that I chose, no matter what!!! Then BOOM!!! I’m hit with colon cancer, followed by a triple bypass and 5 months of being totally paralyzed! While in that condition, all I could do was see, moving my eyes back and forth and I knew then, I had to fight back and I did, step by step… That is literally as each motion I made was forced and forced till it became easier and easier. My goal was to get out of the rehab center I was in, and to do that I had to walk alone for 100 steps! A goal that set me moving faster and better each time… I’m out-ter here! So, don’t tell me you have to take the direction that life gives you! Move it in your direction, without age to stop you, or hold you back. Hey you, who are reading this listen to an experienced life traveler… Attitude, not years, is what you should count on! Oh! By the way! Have a good. Err! day.. err! year.. era! lifetime.. I am.
By Sal Bianco Jr on March 11, 2022.
There have been a few different times where a foreign soldier put a machine gun to my stomach, and once having a pistol put to my forehead and being demanded to remove my American flag jacket. Once machine gun bullets whizzed over my head, but I never feared for my life, even when I got out of my car and stood down a company of soldiers who were in training in Budapest. I’ve crashed a powered parachute falling 75′ and again never feared for my life! I was pronounced dead in a hospital, but never feared for my life, just came back to tell my life adventures. Is it necessary that I tell you of each incident? Boring!!! I’d rather tell you about being a CIA under cover agent, but again I didn’t fear for my life.
Sal Bianco Jr, March 11, 2022
The story of each incident above, I’ll put in here slowly! They were exciting, challenging but never fearful! And at great places over the world!