Ninety five years ago today, my father was born. He was born to two Italian immigrants who had left their rural life on the Adriatic Sea to come to America, to seek their fortune, and a new life. My grand parents worked hard. My grandfather dug graves, worked on the railroad, and finally saved enough money to buy a small corner grocery store. My father, who would have been 95 years old today, grew up in small grocery stores. He was always able to get a soda or an extra ice cream. He used to stop and play ball when he was supposed to be delivering groceries and his parents would fuss at him when he got back.
At the age of 5 his parents bought him his first saxophone. By age 8 he was playing on the radio and also in the Italian church’s marching band. He didn’t stop playing music for the rest of his life.