Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, May 30, 2015


I have to admit that when I get nervous I laugh -- or giggle.  It's a plague that has sometimes been a bad thing ever since I was a teenager.

Case(s) in point.

I was in a girls trio at church and we often would sing for the morning or evening service in what was called "special music".  That's when a group or person would provide spiritual music for the church congregation. 

I am an alto.  I can sing the second part naturally, and sometimes I can sing tenor.  I remember several incidences when our girls trio at church was asked to sing and I would start giggling when we started into our song because I was nervous.  I wish I could remember who was in that trio with me.  I know Kathy Kenders was, but I can't remember who the other person was. 

When I played the violin with a couple of other instrumentalists, yes I would giggle, but I didn't have to sing and voice any words.  Giggling and singing don't go hand-in-hand.

Well, in my senior year at Triton I tried out for All-State Chorus (at our chorus teacher's suggestion).  I also with several others from Triton tried out.  I was paired with three others (not from Triton), and I was singing (or supposed to be singing) the alto. 

Unfortunately, as soon as my group began singing, I began giggling -- the nerves set in.  We (my group) had rehearsed the song we were given (everyone who tried out sang the same thing) and were flawless and sounded really good, until...

We went before the judges and I started giggling and I couldn't stop, even though the judges were kind enough to allow my group to start over SEVERAL TIMES.  Yes, I blew it for myself and perhaps the other members of my group, I don't know.

When we got back to school on Monday after the Saturday auditions, our teacher was kind enough to tell us who was chosen, but said nothing about who wasn't or why.  I'm sure my giggling knocked me out. 



A love story

I was talking to Debbie earlier this week and she told me something I had never heard before about my mom and dad.

Daddy was moved to North Carolina when he could no longer take care of himself and lived with Debbie.  She asked him one day how he met my mother.  This is what she told me.  Ladies, get your hankies out.

It seems that early in Dad's preaching career (which was over 65 years long) he was invited to speak at a Baptist church in South Philadelphia.  As he entered the rear of the church he saw "an angel playing the church piano."  That angel was named Rose Sbaraglia.  He told Deb it was love at first sight for him.

My mother wasn't admitting to her feelings for dad because ---

Mom's sister Anne was the one who had connected with my father and got him the preaching gig in South Philly.  Aunt Annie thought my dad was wonderful, and being the good sister my mom was, she wasn't about to encroach on Aunt Annie's "boyfriend", even though it was a one-sided thing (Aunt Annie and my dad).  Dad was having none of it.  He loved my mom and was determined to win her.

Yes, mom knew of my father's love at first sight.  Eventually, Aunt Annie got the picture and gave Daddy over to my mother.

He talked about his love for my mom whenever I visited him after she died.  And he wrote some pretty wonderful love letters to her.  My brother has the letters in his files. 

So, that's the story of how my dad and mom met, fell in love, and eventually married.


PS:  I recently posted a picture of my mom on Facebook.  She does look like an angel in it.  Also on my home page is a picture of mom and dad the day after they were wed.  If you want to see them you can go to