Friday, April 27, 2007

Hey Boo Boo!

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my grandfather's death. We gathered this morning at Mom-Mom's house to have mass in honor of his name. Since this morning I have been thinking about all of the wonderful ways he has touched the life of our family.

To start with the name. He has always been Boo-Boo. It was his signature way to greet any infant that would come through the door. He would tickle their chin and say "Ah boo boo boo!". It stuck.

After the death of my great-grandfather, Boo-Boo took hold of the family restaurant. He was a hard boss with a quick wit. There are so many hard ass bosses out there and he was one of them. I can remember some of the cooks trash talking him, but they always ended with the fact that he was a good man. He wasn't a side line boss. There were many a night (almost every) that his sleeves would be rolled up as he joined in with the dishwashers. He could be seen behind the line cooking...and of course tasting! I've only been to the restaurant once since he died. I don't know if I really have any desire to.

When he wasn't at work he could be seen dressed like Elmur Fud at any local thrift shop. I've been to a few with him. It was always exciting- as a kid you always felt like you were on a treasure hunt. My Mom-mom couldn't stand all of the "junk" he brought home. Boo-Boo would hide it from her. At one point he would buy furniture and dressers just to store his loot.

He was an amazing cook. As a child we would stay overnight many times. I would often awake in the middle of the night to the sizzle and smell of a fillet Mignon cooking. The man knew how to have a midnight snack!

He loved to tease Mom-mom. She would get so easily frustrated with his antics, and he would just taunt her. Then he would look at us and laugh. He had such a great laugh- he would squint his whole face and hiss.

One of his most favorite traditions was taking the family picture (pronounced pik-ture). When my great-grandmother was still with us, Boo-Boo would manage to wrangle 187 people into one shot. He would have babies singing and everyone else laughing. Then he would run as the timer went off to get his seat in the front. Most times surrounded by us kids.

We are getting another portrait taken...just our immediate family- so only about 50 people or so- I feel for the photographer- for Boo-boo- it would have been a snap!

So many stories...I'll share more a s time goes on. I just wanted to give a quick "shout out" to him.

Even though he's gone, I can see bits of him in all of my aunts and uncles. Each one of them has a trait. Looks, laugh, humor, work ethic. Its amazing to know that in so many ways he is still here.

I love you Boo-Boo

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