Archive for the ‘Grampa’ Category

Spring Sports 2012

Posted: July 17, 2012 in Family, Grampa, Sports

While Jake made his debut with the High School spring track team AND played with the North Reading’s own Black Hornets soccer team, Josh completed his first season in the New England Premiership league with the MPS Knights. Between them, we saw a lot of fun sports…

Seemed like the High School‘s winter track team just picked up a few more people and all of a sudden became the spring track team. Jake was right back in there running the 100 and 200 meter sprints, the 4×100 relay, and even giving the long and high jump events a try! Throughout the season, Jake lowered his PRs and had a lot of fun.  Except maybe on the jumping events – those may not be his gig.

Joshua and the MPS Knights had a great season. They had to compete in the play-in rounds to get to the State Cup tournament and finished just one win short. At 7-0-1, they won their division of the NEP but were knocked out in the first round of playoffs by a lesser team that outplayed them on that day. With a couple college showcase tournaments to round out the year, there was plenty of soccer played!

Jake and the North Reading Black Hornets finished 5-0-1 to win their division of the ECYSA but also didn’t fair well in the playoffs, being knocked off in the first round. They played in the DIT again this year, but were knocked off in the semi-finals there by the eventual champions.

Maybe the best part of the spring season was having so many family members watch the play! Though this was Grampa’s last season to watch, Gramsie and even Poppa made it out for a game or two!  Thanks for all the cheers!

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Riposa in Pace Nonno

Posted: June 29, 2012 in Family, Grampa, Health

On Friday, June 29, 2012, Grampa Ralph Intorcio finished his rage against the dying of the light at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. In the end, after 30+ years fighting his heart disease, two bypass surgeries, multiple catheterizations, and countless pokes, prods, and medications, he went gentle into the good night. We love you Grampa!  Rest well.

Out of Florida

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Family, Grampa, Home, Travel

Though he’d relocated to Massachusetts, at least seasonally, last year, John’s dad this spring sold off his house in Sarasota and was ready to make things permanent. So, in mid-March, John flew down on a Friday night to help Ralph get things squared away.

Saturday was spent on visits to the bank, calls to the utilities, identifying some of the overstocked items, and even a little time at the pool.

Sunday was Ralph’s farewell visit to St. Boniface where many of his friends wished him luck in his travels. On Sunday evening, Ralph’s little red Hyundai was picked up by the car carrier for its trip north.

On Monday morning, packers from the local moving office arrived and the fun really began. John had three standard questions he asked repeatedly:

  1. When did you last use that?
  2. What are you going to use that for?
  3. Why do you need 6 or 8 or 12 of those?

John’s favorite exchange… “Pop, why do you need two kitchen timers?”  Ralph’s reply: “Well, one doesn’t work!” Many compromises were made and in the end, the (three) machetes were packed along with the busted antique tape dispenser, and the power saws were left behind for the safety of all. There was a bit of damage along the way – it was a tough day for the ceiling fan…

Ralph treated John to a nice dinner that night at the outdoor sidewalk tables of Sam Snead’s. They enjoyed the gorgeous Florida weather even though Ralph felt a few pangs for the city he’d soon leave behind.

Tuesday began with breakfast at the Hob Nob Drive In – a place John had been driving by since Ralph moved to Sarasota and always said he was going to go to!

A little after 9:00 AM, the big rig arrived and the loading began. The movers were good sports as we kept adding things to the load and, about three hours later, the truck was loaded and headed north.

As the furniture rolled away, Ralph and John did a little final clean-up, took naps, and then headed to see Ralph’s niece, Virginia, and her husband Jack, who live just south of the city. They were treated to first class accommodations and a lovely dinner at Ophelia’s where they sat by the side of the Intracoastal Waterway and again enjoyed the gorgeous weather – despite a few sprinkles.

We even had a little celebration of Ralph’s upcoming birthday as he blew out the candle on his birthday salad!

Bright and early Wednesday morning, they were off to Sarasota Airport for the flight home. By the time they arrived at the Parker House, Ralph’s car had already been delivered and he quickly began to settle in!

We’re so glad to have Grampa close to us so we can keep him out of trouble! Well, maybe.

Holidays 2011/12

Posted: January 7, 2012 in Family, Grampa, Holiday

We celebrated the holidays with food and family this year!

Shawn’s Uncle Cleon and his wife Aunt Ellie arrived at our place the Thursday night before Christmas and that kicked of a spree of holiday celebration what would last all the way to January 4 (even though some of us had to be back at work on January 2).

On Friday, we picked up the Grampa to join the fun and we all got to watch Joshua’s first varsity wrestling match. He’s behind a couple of seniors in his weight class so he gets infrequent shots at the varsity lineup but he’s always eager!  His varsity career began with a decisive first period pin that impressed the relatives and even earned him a photo in the local newspaper!

On Christmas eve, we added Gramsie to the mix to fill out our flock. After the afternoon service at our church, we settled in for some serious celebration with our traditional Feast of Seven Fishes which this year went to eight:  shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, bacallà, and a ciopinno with mussels, clams, crab, salmon, and polpo.

After dinner, our friends Heather and Thor joined us for desert and Limoncello. There’s was much fun and laughter and Marie even got a brand new Sponge Bob Flashlight!

Christmas day began with the traditional pajama-clad opening of presents. Our plan to “dial it back a bit” this year seemed to have gone off track someplace as the piles of presents seemed as big as always!  Jake and Josh performed notably well this year in choosing gifts that were extremely well targeted to their recipients – Santa hats off to them!

Grampa loved his new shoehorns…

Jake loved his new Beats

And Josh rocked Shawn Thornton!

After the presents and a brunch or two, we settled down to a John Madden-inspired Christmas Turducken feast! We’d never tried one before but thought it was time. Now we’ve done it – next year, maybe a goose!

We kept the holidays rolling with a house blessing at Grampa’s Place on Monday. Rev. Scottie from the Church of the Good Shepherd hosted and did a bang-up job. She led, the relatives, along with a few neighbors and friends, throughout the house, blessing each room as we went. A blessing of the gardens and a final blessing for the house as a whole took us to refreshments and socializing.  (Too bad the camera stayed out in the car!) Good stuff!

Later that evening we were off to Riccardo’s in the North End for a a birthday celebration for Cleon and Grampa (whose birthday isn’t really until the end of March). We enjoyed a nice dinner out and strolling through the historic North End!

On Wednesday, we took Grampa to watch Jake run in one more indoor track meet.  This is Jake’s first year running any sort of formal track but he’s getting the hang of it. He competes mostly in the 300m dash and it’s quite fun to cheer him on! Go Jake!

Thursday we were off to another wrestling match where we’d get to see Josh score another pin!

Thursday night we were off to The Shoe with a bunch of local friends: Lori, Ed, Maureen, Bob, Heather and Thor. We enjoyed more food and laughter.

On the morning of New year’s Eve we shipped Grampa back to Florida.  He’ll enjoy the warm winter down there and then make a more complete move to North Reading in the spring when he’ll bring his furniture and his own car up. We can’t wait ’til he gets back!

It was then off to yet another Wrestling meet. This time, we got to see Josh execute two decisive wins – one against a Peabody opponent ad the other against a wrestler from Wakefield. Josh sure looks strong out there!

John and Shawn would later head out for a nice seafood dinner at Finz in Salem. with their friends Heather and Thor. We had a great time celebrating the New Year a little early and were home and well settled in our respective couches long before the ball came down!

We’d spend the rest of the break taking down decorations and resting up for re-immersion. It was back to work on Monday for Shawn and John while the boys had until Wednesday before they’d return to school. All and all, it was a relaxing and fun-filled break and we’d due it again in a second!  Happy New Year!

Young@Heart Again!

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Grampa

In 1984, Grampa joined a fledgling group of elder singers from the Northampton area that was known as the Young@Heart Chorus.

Over the next 20 years or so that he performed with them, they appeared many times at the Academy of Music in Northampton and traveled all over the world including Belgium, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. He often appeared as Carmen Miranda joined by his friend Warren Clark who imitated Sophie Tucker! Later, Grampa’s staple would be Carol Channing and the chorus would go on to have their own feature film!

For the Young@Heart’s 2011 banquet at Look Park’s Garden House, Grampa was invited to make a surprise appearance as Carol. So, John took a half day off from work to be his escort and they drove out for the evening. Carol made a grand entrance, and sang his/her signature song, Diamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend to a standing ovation!

It was great fun.  He really is forever Young@ Heart!

Arrivo del Nonno

Posted: May 17, 2011 in Family, Grampa

Tuesday, the 10th of May, marked the “Arrivo del Nonno” – the arrival of the grandfather at his new home on Parker Drive. John had a customer visiting from California so Shawn picked Grampa up at the airport and brought him home for dinner. When John got home later that evening, he presented his Pop with a set of keys for his new home and car and drove him down the street to start the assimilation. With its remodeling nearing completion, a bunch of bargain furniture in place, and us just up the street to offer support, Grampa quickly began to settle in.

Pop with azaeleas

By the first weekend, he’d begun to make some friends at the senior center, only gotten lost a few times, and had started to rebuild a stone wall in the back yard! We made a few trips to Home Depot and Walmart for various necessities and started to make the little house look like a home!

On the following Tuesday, we helped Grampa host a housewarming and potluck supper to celebrate his arrival and allow him to meet a few of the neighbors! It was a grand success! We had a great crowd of neighbors and friends!

There was more than enough food and fun. We had chowder, chicken wings, pasta entrees, desserts, beer, wine, and a lot of laughs!

And a lot of people got to know each other! Some of the previously acquainted got to know each other even better!

Even Grampa’s niece Virgina sent flowers to help warm the house!

All in all, it seemed pretty successful and Grampa seemed quite pleased! It’s great to have him nearby!  We love you Grampa!



The Blue Beauty

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Cars, Family, Grampa

We’ve got some additional car needs coming up. Ralph will be here for the summer while his car stays in Florida. And this fall, if he progresses on schedule, Josh will get his driver’s license. And just maybe, he could then help with some of the endless schlepping that he and his brother seem to require!

So.. John did some reading on up on cheap cars that might be good for a teen learning to drive. He narrowed things down to a handful of models and went looking on Craig’s List. Before long, he found the Blue Beauty!

She’s a 2001 Nissan Sentra with only of 50,000 miles on her. Yah, she’s got a dent in the hood and a scratch or two. But she’s also got good tires, a cassette player, and rides like a dream!

She’s home now. Inspection imminent. And then we’ll put her to use!