It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...


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The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL + + + But please be sure to season that with the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?

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Pork chops, veal cutlets, and London broil were the rule, not the exception, when neither spaghetti nor lasagna were served for dinner. Or five default chicken recipes from Uncle Willy, the Maitre'd at the Waldorf Astoria.

In 1944, he was the best man at my parents' wedding. He was the only German married to an Oliverio. There were seven married Oliverio siblings plus one priest.

Uncle Willy was married to my Godmother, my unforgetable Aunt Kay. He also introduced my father to the restaurant business.

In 1961, Sam Oliverio managed a Long Island country club.

He would routinely order five hundred pounds of prime cut meat and our family lived twelve miles away from the club. 

Fifty pounds of Thank You prime were delivered to our home by the meat salesman.

"My wife," said Sam 
to the salesman
"is jail bait."

Sam said nothing about
his twelve-year-old son.  

My mother and I were
playing Scrabble when 
a strange man walked up
our driveway carrying
two heavy bags.

She walked outside
and I heard a flustering voice
explaining why he was there.

But I had a seven letter word to play.
Infinite was worth 78 points.

And then I walked out onto the patio,
standing next to the woman, who was 
looking at the man standing 
at the bottom of the stairs.

He was still holding the bags,
hoping to be invited up the stairs.

"You're husband was right," he said,
"You are jail bait."

But then he saw a twelve-year-old boy
with the eyes of Don Corleone.

He had said, "You're husband was right."

Then he was full of fright
without my saying
a word.

My eyes did all the talking.

"I'll just leave the bags here."

In a kneeling gesture,
fifty pounds of prime meat
were set down on the ground.

Like a cartoon rabbit,
the salesman turned around
and made a whoosh of an exit. 

I walked down the stairs and
carried the bags to the kitchen.

My mother refrigerated all the meat
then we finished the game of Scrabble.

I had never before heard the expression  
"jail bait" but those were the last two words
my Mother played and she won
the game.

But I got to choose what she would cook for dinner.
We had veal cutlet parmigiana.

Fifty six years after that day,
when I am standing in the shadows,
I can still taste veal cutlets.


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Footnotes
The story is the copyrighted property of LCSoL.

But the title is the soundtrack.
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