Saturday, June 13, 2009


Tim Russert

It was one year ago that Tim Russert of NBC news died. One of his favorite sayings was "What A Country" and what a year this country has had. I still feel sad after a year because of the impact he had on me. His demeanor, sense of humor and integrity was something I much admired and I miss. There's a lot of press on how the mainstream media has a 'love affair' with President Obama - if Tim were still here, and I so wish he were - he would be the one journalist who would treat our President the same as he treated everyone else, with respect. Tim's wife and son have shown remarkable composure in this past year and I admire them for that.

Julia Langello

This past Thursday, the 11th, was my birthday. As I do every morning, I was looking through the obituaries at and I saw a name that I knew I would be seeing before long. Many years ago, I met Julia Langello while I was working for ADT. My job was to place a 'I've fallen and I can't get up' type unit at her home. She was 91 years old at that time and was one of the nicest, sweetest women I had ever met. She lived with her daughter who worked full time and was concerned about her mother.
When I got to their house, Julia was waiting by the door for me. I knew the moment I saw her that there was something special about her, (really, look at her picture and tell me she isn't one of the cutest grandmother type women you've ever seen) and I was so very right (for once!)
Even though she was elderly, and had lost her right eye at some time, she was a spirited woman whose mind was as sharp as a tack. She wanted the unit placed in her bedroom because she spent much of her time in there. As we sat on her bed, we chatted a bit while I set the unit up.
She told me about her family, her late husband who had died quite some time ago, and her life as it was at that time. I explained the unit to her as I plugged it in and tested it. Unlike many other seniors, she understood how it worked right away and that left some time for us to visit before I had to leave.
She called me a couple of months later and I went back to her house and swapped out the unit because it was acting up. So, we had time for another visit while I was there. A few weeks later she called me as she was trying to reach her grandaughter Melissa, who worked for ADT in Florida. I tracked Melissa down and asked her to call her grandmother. And so it went. Julia and I spoke on the phone several times over the last few years and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Whether I was helping her or just chatting with her, she was just the sweetest woman. So, I was sad to see her obituary on Thursday. Last night I deleted her number from my cell phone. She was 96 years old. I'm sure her family will miss her dreadfully. I know I do.
Ann Grady
My first real boyfriend was Eddie Grady. I met him through my best friend Beverly Sardelli's then boyfriend, Bob something. This was 1972. Eddie had long wavy hair and boy did we like to make out. No matter where we were, we were always trying to get somewhere so we could kiss. One of our favorite places was under a big shrub on the grounds of the Aldrich mansion. We loved it there because no one ever knew we were there.

I don't recall why we stopped seeing each other, but we remained friends. We saw each other in school and for years after, he would come to our house each Christmas day for a visit. He wanted to be a fireman back then and today he is Deputy Chief of the Cranston Fire Dept..

In today's obituaries was the notice of his mother's passing. I had met her a few times and, of course, as a 15-16 year old, I was scared of her. She was a single mother as Eddie's father had died when he was younger and with two daughters as well as Eddie, she had her hands full.

I have a really clear memory of going to his house one day and we were up in his room. The walls were covered with posters and he had the black-light on, the windows were covered with aluminum foil (no idea why, but it seemed to make sense back then.) We were kissing, as usual, and his mother threw open the bedroom door making us both jump and his front tooth hit my front tooth which chipped. To this day, I often think of him when I run my tongue over my tooth chip.

Shortly after 9/11/01 I won at auction, a bid on two firefighter rememberance artwork in frames. I gave one to the EG fire department and the other I delivered to Eddie's (he's called Ed now) office in Cranston. He wasn't in, but I left it for him. I'm so very sorry for their loss.

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