in 1862 on june 19th, president abraham lincoln outlined his emancipation proclamation, which outlawed slavery in the us.
in 1902 on june 19th atelio bernard cagnassola was born in raritan, new jersey.
happy birthday, pop!
and thanks for the pennies. i miss you & love you.
“Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”
~ Alex Haley
it’s been raining pennies from heaven lately. i will get another today, i’m sure of it. today is pop’s 110th birthday. if you know me – or, you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know i talk to pop all the time. some may think it’s a bit weird since pop passed away (from earth) in 1996, but he talks to me everyday. i didn’t even talk to him every day when he was living. yes, i talk to dead people.
i’m not concerned if people believe me and yes, i know that many don’t – & that’s cool – but recently i was telling my friend jeff about pop and how he sends me old ‘wheat pennies’ whenever i ask. i call them “one-cent-pennies”. like most, he was a bit suspicious about whether i was being entirely truthful, i could tell by his expression. for some reason i really wanted him to understand that i do talk to pop – and pop always answers. we were sitting in a dunkin donuts up on madison at 97th street when i decided to prove this to jeff. i told jeff i would ask pop to send him some pennies. i generally only ask for one, but given that jeff looked to me like he suspected i may be on crack, i thought pop should send more than one ‘one-cent-penny’. jeff told me he hadn’t found a ‘one-cent-penny’ in about 10 years.
later in the day jeff called to let me know he had found two ‘one-cent-pennies’ in his closet. he was convinced i had planted them. i reminded him that i had not been to his place since we had the conversation earlier in the day. jeff also found one under his bed. several days later he put on a pair of pants he had not worn since last summer and called to tell me that pop was in his pocket! i think he got the message.
so today pop would have been 110. i keep several pictures of pop around the apartment and wished them all a happy birthday. i thanked him for the good work with my friend jeff and then asked him for a one-cent-penny today – just for kicks!
this is how i most remember pop:
and here he is celebrating his 90th birthday:
thanks for the memories and thanks for the pennies, pop! i love you.
“The past is never dead, it is not even past.”