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Big Chuck

July 15, 2013

Digging up memories, one box at a time


Sister Chris is seen in many old photos working the counter of our family restaurant in Sidney, Don’s Subs. Chris worked there for a long time during her school years and to see photos of her waiting on the customers when she was only 14 or 15 is wonderful. While most kids were enjoying their after-school activities with their friends, Chrissie was thoroughly enjoying her time waiting on tables, ordering supplies or making meatball subs (a menu in her folder tells us that the meatball subs “made with Mama D’s famous spaghetti sauce” were 79 cents!).

My twin sisters, Mary and Teri, were born in 1966. Their arrival was the cause for great celebration in our already-large family. In fact, even The Daily Star ran a feature article titled “Now There Are Two More D’Imperios,” showing pictures of my baby sisters in their cribs. To say that their folders are voluminous would be a monument to understatement. Their arrival was even a cause for my Dad to buy a new Kodak camera. Thankfully, these were the days when photographs carried the dates on the edges of them. So we can really identify the years of their youth in the hundreds, yes hundreds, of photographs of Mary and Teri.

So what was in the brown box marked “Chuckie’s Folder?” Everything.

The bill for my first car, a 1963 Dodge Polara, bought from Whitaker and Sons for $699. My acceptance into the Culinary Institute of America (yes, I always wanted to be a chef). I had forgotten about that one. Unfortunately, my parents “ran out of money that year,” and I was unable to attend. I hadn’t forgotten that. My rejection letter from the Selective Service at the height of the Vietnam War (I am blind in one eye). The receipt for my education at Albany Business College. It is dated June 22, 1969, and it is noted “final payment received, fifty dollars”.

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Big Chuck

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