|Anna Cuccia 1917|
"No, the date?"
"What's a matter?"
She didn't answer, I tried again.
Nan, what's bothering
Your cousin, who?"
"My older cousin."
"Pasquale, your older cousin?"
"OK, where did he die?"
It was May 1999. I was at
bedside at the Jewish Home on 106th Street
between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. She'd just passed her fourth
anniversary in Room Frank 510 - we didn't celebrate.
"We're you guys close?"
"He was my best friend."
She was 12 in 1918, lived at
1403 York Avenue off 75th Street. Nan
told me Pasquale lived around the corner and walked her to school when he
wasn't working in the cigar factory on 69th Street.
"I was a tomboy; he'd played catch with me and skate with me. Pasquale got me out of trouble with my mother ~ she loved him. He was tall and always stepped in when she was ready to give me a whack. He'd pick Mom up and spin her round. She'd forget all about me."
81 years later, my grandmother, Anne Pryor Rode, formerly Anna Cuccia, 93, was remembering her cousin, Pasquale, with love. He died for his adopted country.
Years ago, Memorial Day always fell on May 30th. It was a somber day. No fireworks, honor guard honoring the flag, and later a long moment of silence at the ball game remembering those who died for their country.
|Tom Pryor 1945 on York Avenue/83rd Street|
|Robert Pryor and cousins 1946 84St & York Ave|
|August 1942 Flag Dedication in front of 511 E 84th Street|
|Tom Pryor & Anne Pryor Rode 1995|