I ran into my neighbor Angelo again this morning and we spoke for the first time in a while. He stumbled and fell a couple months back and although he was just skinned up it undermined his confidence. He’s walking slower now and not as far from home. He will turn 93 the first week in Oct. I’m sure he’ll make that milestone, but I wouldn’t place any bets on 94 or 95.
As ever, he asked me how I was feeling–were my sinus allergies bothering me? He said he was doing great. He had on his 2001 Twin Towers N.Y.C. shirt and as usual the big wooden cross that he wears around his neck. I told him I was going to California in a few days to visit my stepson and his family. He said the last time he was in California was 1958.
He asked me if I knew of anyone who’d been to the WWII memorial in D.C. Angelo was a ball-turret gunner on a B-24 in WWII. I love hearing his stories but sometime he wells up when talking about the war. I said that I couldn’t think of anyone. He said that his daughter wanted to take him up there to see it, and he wondered if it would be worthwhile. She also wanted to go visit some relatives and he didn’t much like the idea of living out of a suitcase for very many days. He thought it might be too much for him. I told him to give it a go anyway. It may not be the best advice, but I hate to see him shutting down. Last time we talked we were standing next to a fence being repaired. A driver who he described as an “elderly gent” didn’t make the turn on to our street and mowed down part of one of our neighbor’s fence. He said that he’d given up driving a few years before because he didn’t feel safe. He felt like a hazard. He was thinking of the other drivers, not himself. That’s Angelo.