I’m madder than old Ebenezer Scrooge when those three ghosts crashed an otherwise perfectly fine long-winter’s nap over the fact that I’m spending more time this holiday season seeing people off than sitting down and enjoying a nice hot meal with them.
Look, you all know that the ol’Screecher isn’t getting any younger, and it seems the older I get, the more often I find myself calling up the Access-A-Ride to get me to a funeral home so I can pay respects to an old friend.
This week, I headed over to the Dahill Funeral home to say goodbye to Gladinoro Russo, a longtime Brooklyn resident who died at the age of 95 on Dec. 28.
I met Gladinoro years ago, and I remember it, because it was the first time I came across the name “Gladinoro” — a beautiful, mellifluous name. And I haven’t heard it since. But it didn’t matter much, because everybody called him the less mellifluous “Glen.”
The Russos have been in Bensonhurst a long, long time, so it isn’t strange that our paths should cross eventually, especially since Glen was my first cousin’s uncle and I knew his brothers Trent and Paul. The Russos were always an asset to Bensonhurst.
In 1937, his love of country led him to volunteer for the National Guard. During World War II, he served a parachute instructor in the U.S. Army Air Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant.
Glen was very active in charitable causes. He was instrumental in founding and participating in a Catholic War Veterans Post (Russo-DeMarco Post) to honor his brother Alfred, whose plane was shot down in the Big One. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; his daughters Assunta, Anna, and Mary; son Alfred; eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
The Screecher once again sends his sincerest condolences to his wife and family.
Now’s the point in the column where I fill you in on all the stuff my editor mistakenly left out of last week’s column.
Regular readers of this column know I got an unwelcome Christmas present: a screw in my tire causing a flat. In our three-hour quest to find a tire repair shop so we could bring our grandchildren their Christmas presents in Long Island, we came across two cops on 86th Street and Bay Parkway.
Sharon ran to see if they knew where my tire might get fixed. These Finest not only heard our dilemma, but each took out their personal cellphones to contact other police officers, friends, and whoever knew where the flat could be fixed. But to no available, outside of the privilege of meeting two great cops, we returned home to call AAA and Hyndai Road service to see what they could do.
After calling each, we were promised to get service within 45 minute and 30 minutes respectively. While in the elevator and before we could get down to the car, we received a call from the service asking where we was. Boy, talk about fast service! His station wagon was by my car waiting. I thought that he would have a portable air compressor to inflate the low tire, but that was not his job. His job was to put the “donut” on, but advised us not to use it, because the trip way out to Long Island on a donut wasn’t advisble.
All this talk of donuts got me hungry, so we went and got the tire filled, and I was only 30 minutes late for my daugher-in-law Lori’s 3 o’clock Christmas feast. Apparently, a lot of Christmas Angels were working for us that Christmas Day. Thank you, God!
Now, back to those we lost.
Father Vincent J. Termine, pastor emeritus of Most Precious Blood Parish in Brooklyn, and beloved brother and uncle, died Dec. 26. He was 93. He served God for 69 years as a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and is survived by many whose lives he touched.
We the Vento, Zazzali and Santa Maria families were blessed to have Father Termine as an integral part of our lives ever since he came to our church in 1967. So much so, that our love for this precious unique man could fill volumes re-telling the antidotes, feats, tales, stories, and accomplishments he did in his selfless service to God.
Going through his bio, I learned stuff I never knew before nor realizing he was a driving force even in my youth. For example, in my teens, my friends and I would come from Little Italy to the confraternity dances at Saint Rocco’s. One of my friends eventually married the girl he met there.
A great Opera enthusiast, he developed a close relationship with Prima Donna Soprano Licia Albanese of the Metropolitan Opera. My close friends the Tom Tirros we discovered by looking at their wedding album were married by Father Termine, who all shared a great love for the opera.
Did you know that there was once a military tuberculosis hospital in Manhattan Beach? Well Father Termine use to serve mass there on Sundays. There are so many things we could mention and I was happy to see that the youth center he built on Harway and Bay 47th bears his name and that he was alive to see it.
Father Termine you won’t be missed, because you will remain in our hearts forever.
Rest in peace !
Screech at you next week!