Stories about Richard
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Memories of Mom and Dad
By: Richard DiCianno
My days growing up in Ely will forever be with me. I had a Mother who could not accept a reply as to "no", "can't" or "won't". The consequences of these replies rendered moments of "there is no such word as no, can't or won't in this house." If the situation did arise, it would be a slight pop to the mouth by her strong hands. And maybe some blood accompanied this little pop, as a reminder to me to adjust my attitude.
As I recall my days going to grade school, I wouldn't trade the experience of living between the tracks or being a part of Macaroni Basin. I remember the good old days when Uncle Pete, Uncle Mike, Aunt Mickey, Gabe Perry, the single men who worked on the railroad, DiFIorio's, Ricci's, Iannacchione's, Matteoni's, Lombardi's, DiSanza's, DiCianno's, Rossolo's, Sattefratti's, Duillo's, Mariani's and Fondi's were good to me, Rom and Marie.
Dad made sure we had things to do; like cutting down the weeds, bringing in the coal and splitting wood. I remember Joe the "Greek" would fire up his Model T, with the rear end on blocks, and its tires removed so that a saw could be placed with a belt driving device, making wood cutting easier. I remember the rabbits that Dad had in the garage, and Aunt Mickey with her chickens, and pigeons.
Mom used to visit the school occasionally. She would talk to the principal, and Miss Rosevear, my kindergarten teacher. When she would come in for her visits, she got my attention. She would look at me in such a way as to say "are you behaving? Ha! She knew me like a book. She knew when I was hurting and comforted me. She knew when I needed guidance, and boy did she ever give me advice. If I needed any help, she was there along with Dad. Dad was the enforcer, better known as the cop on the beat. His singing belt was a classic. He could whip it off quicker than Wyatt Earp could draw his revolver. It would hurt, naturally, but I probably deserved it.
The winter days, as I recall, were colder than Siberia. The classic outhouses were waiting for us. We took care of our business very fast as staying in there too long would cause frostbite. My playmates didn't know what they were missing out on. It made Rom and I pretty tough. We hardly walked anywhere, we ran most of the time, so that we could get there quicker. There were no bikes until I got a paper route, then we biked all over. Today you have to watch out for cars, and large vehicles. We had to watch for engines 92, 94, 97, and big 98. Don't know how we survived going over all the tracks, but it was fun.
Mom was never too far away as we played in the weeds and dirt. She knew at all times where we were and what we were doing. I remember one day I got the great idea to run away from home. I got a stick, candy and a little water and took off down the tracks. I knew Mom was watching out of the kitchen window. I thought I was smart until I heard a coyote up in the hills. This got me to 'hot foot" it back home very quickly. When I got home Mom asked me, "where have you been?" I didn't tell her I was running away, but said I had gone for a little walk.
I was learning to play the guitar and the clarinet. Rom the Italian Mandolin. Every Sunday Gabe and his dad would have an Italian sonata. Rom and I would join them for a lot of fun. Gabe's father was a good instructor. It ended when he passed away. Gabe gave me the clarinet and I still have it. My guitar met a different fate. One day I was playing and making a lot of noise at home. Mom told me, about 10 times to stop, as she had a headache. I didn't listen! She grabbed the guitar and hit me over the head with it. It didn't hurt me very much, but my guitar was split in back. I grabbed my pick, placed it under the strings and never touched it again.
The years were tough on Mom and Dad. We came from Youngstown in 1934, and the train trip was so slow, especially the Nevada Northern Railroad passenger train. I couldn't sit still for long. I was always up getting another drink of water at the fountain. I got up so often that the conductor told Mom that I had used up all the cups. This warranted a reprimand from Mom in the form of the "famous Mendozzi pinch." These pinches were swift and those big hands did the job. I cried "ouch". Some lady sitting across from us asked me what was wrong. I told her I got pinched by my Mother. If you were a recipient of Mom's pinches, you wouldn't forget how quick she was at dishing out those beauties. Her version of a little love tap.
The recession had taken a toll on Mom and Dad. They lost everything they had in Ohio. We arrived in Ely with not many possessions. We had to start over again. It was the love and care that was given to Rom and I, that I will never forget. We received the necessities, such as boots in the winter, heavy apparel, and goggles so the snow wouldn't get in our eyes while walking to school. It was so cold. The wood stove in the dining room provided heat until around 3 am. It would go out eventually and I didn't want to get out of bed.
During the war, Mom would be the spokesman for Uncle Pete and Aunt Mickey. Girlando was in the Air Corps, and his gas station was leased to a Mr. Walker. Over a period of time, Mr. Walker didn't pay his rent on time or would forget to do so. Well, Mom was there, giving him the riot act to pay up. After all, Girlando was in the service, defending his country. As you would guess, Mr. Walker paid up, and he told Uncle Pete to keep "that woman away from him". Mission accomplished!!
I remember Roy Gomm, principal of East Ely Grade School, would come down to the house on Saturday's to get me to help him collect tin cans for the war effort. Mom sure was glad to have me out of her hair for a while. I guess Mr. Gomm knew she needed a break from me on the weekends. He had a 1941 Chevrolet Coupe. It pulled a nice size trailer. You would be surprised how quickly we filled that trailer with all the cans saved by East Ely residents. The weekend collections went on until I graduated from East Ely Grade School in 1943. Not only did the school have a war front, but it also had a home front. It was pretty well balanced out.
Queen Marie Antoinette became a member of our family in 1938. She became a spoiled little girl so Rom and I decided we would make her tough. We taught her how to shoot marbles, play football, use her dukes, and catch our hard thrown baseball with a catcher's mitt. There would be some tears, but she didn't complain. That was a sign she was getting tough. Mom and Dad got a horse for her to learn to ride. Boy, could she ride with no saddle. With her long hair and boy's attire she would ride all over the place.
Marie at a later age would become Mom's spy; that is, to spy on me and report back to Mom on what I was doing. Poor Mom and Dad, they didn't have a car, nor did they know how to drive, but that didn't stop them from finding out my activities. Yes, Queen Marie would report in, tell her who I was with, who my buddies were, and what I was doing. When I came home, I was surprised how much Mom and Dad knew about my whereabouts, and activities. I knew then a spy was among us. It was Queen Marie, my sweet little sister, telling stories. Mom and Dad would then lecture me on the "do's and don'ts".
Uncle Pete would take Rom and I every evening for a couple of hours to help him clean one of the railroad offices. That meant sweeping, dusting, and mopping the floors. He would make me do a few things over now and then. When mopping the stairs I had to grab the ends of the mop with my hands to catch the corners a little better. If I did not do so, he would make me do it over again. I would occasionally talk too much to Mr. Clark, the dispatcher on duty in the evenings. Uncle Pete wouldn't say anything, but when pay day came, which was 25 cents per night, he would give Rom my quarter or quarters, depending on how many nights I talked too much.
I didn't have a bicycle until I was hired as a paper carrier for the Ely Daily Times. This route had 100 papers; ninety of them south of Highway 50 and 10 north of the highway. Rom would deliver the 10 for me. His reward, was a dog bite on his butt by Mr. Feher's dog. I got one too, in Central Ely, by a pooch who chomped on my right calf as I was on my way to get my papers one beautiful Saturday afternoon. I delivered my papers first, then reported in to Mom to take care of my wound.
My high school days came and went. By then, we lived in a new house next to the Matteoni's. Inside amenities such as an inside toilet, a nice big bathtub, and larger rooms, made me feel like we were in heaven. Every morning, as in the past, Mom would have eggs, bacon or sausage, with toast and coffee prepared. She was a great cook. Dad was working the night shift at the round house. Queen Marie's horse was in his stable. Dad had built him a little house out of ties. It was big enough for the horse to back in with his head sticking out. What a sight!!
To sum it up, being Carmela's and Amedeo's son, I couldn't have had better parents. They were caring and loving. They made the best out of a life that was shattered by the great depression and health problems. Both came from Italy at a young age. They worked hard to keep their lives on track so their children could have a better life than they did. Just look around us, and see how well their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have done. Dad and Mom couldn't have had a better family. They knew we loved them very much for the guidance they gave us, and I know they loved us very much.
From: Micaela Imsdahl
In Memory of My Grandfather
Recently, I lost someone very special to me: my grandfather.
Throughout the years, he never failed to make us laugh, and always made a point to tell us just how much he loved us.
When we talked on the phone every week, he constantly made silly jokes to “keep me on my toes” – and, in response, I returned his wit with my own (we called it “spoofing” each other). Each conversation was a new “fill-in-the-blank” adventure that could neither be replicated nor replaced, and always ended in a chorus of laughter.
His laugh was so joyful and full of life; you couldn’t help but smile when you heard it.
Sometimes on the weekends and after school, my mother used to take us over to his house for lunch. And, like a true Italian, he always offered us candy and urged us to eat more food than our little stomachs could handle.
At every school talent show, award ceremony, and family function, he was there. His unwavering support and commitment to his family was incredible, and his presence never failed to light up the room.
His loved ones were always his biggest priority, and he did everything in his power to make sure that we were all safe and well cared for.
His strong spirit and loving heart will forever inspire me, and I am eternally grateful for all of the fun times and memories we made together.
I love and miss you, Bumpie. Rest peacefully.
Love Your Granddaughter,
Micaela (a.k.a. “Sweet Little Apple Pie”)
From: Deacon Ron Klonicke
I always enjoy your dad’s humor when he sent emails. I can still can see him setting in the last pew on the left side. Peace and God’s blessings
From: Monte Haines
Oh how I would have met him in years gone past. I was Richard's foreman when we worked at the Reno Gazette composing room. He was always so cheerful with a laugh in his conversation besides a great support in putting out the daily paper. Oh, how I would have liked to have visited him to recall old printing days. He was a compliment to the trade and to me. Monte Haines, 91 years old
From: Marcie Iannacchione
Dad...I want to thank you. Dad, I want to thank you for your guiding ways, supportive comments, encouraging gestures and treating Carl like your own son; but most of all I want to thank you for the continual strength you gave me throughout my life. You made me strong! Dad...I will miss you. Dad, I will miss your football commentary, political insight, laughing conversations, and ongoing razzing; but most of all, I will miss the times I spent watching you be Marcus and Camille’s “Bumpie.” You loved them so much! Dad...I will see you again. Rest In Peace! Love, Marcie
From: Laurie Warren
Mr. "D" Richard - oh he was such a remarkable man. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1987- after having met all of his wonderful children. The character of his children was evident by the way they were raised by Richard and Beverly. My time at Moore Business Forms with him was a treasured time whether I visited his office for advice or just for a little piece of candy. Of course both were valuable as I was pregnant with my first. We would chat about business but also about life. He would always offer advice without judgment. The one unbelievable thing is how similar both our families were. He was Richard and so was my dad. Mom was Beverly as was my mom. They had 3 girls and one boy and so did my family. I will always treasure the time we were able to spend together and will truly miss my friend. Rest in peace Mr. D.