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Big Chuck

June 3, 2013

Getting creative with gifts for grads

Well, it is graduation time again. So much pressure, so many decisions, so many things to take into consideration.

And that’s just the gift buying!

What are you going to give the high school graduate in your life this year?

No matter how much you sweat the decision, we know (and they do too) that all they really want and need is cash. Yet, we continue to traipse in and out of gift shops, clothing stores, electronic outlets and more looking for the least useless gift we can bestow upon our budding young academic. We resist giving cash for the most part. There has to be the perfect gift for your special graduate out there somewhere. There just has to be. So what will it be this year?

When I graduated from high school in June of 1967, my parents gave me three things: a Timex wristwatch from Cooley’s Jewelry Store in Sidney, a high-fidelity record player with a 45-changer from Bresee’s in Oneonta and the seed money of a savings account at the First National Bank of Sidney ($50). So my total take was about a C-note in value. Which was pretty good, really.

The record player was a great gift. It had big swing-out speakers and a “no-skip cushioned turntable.” It played all the big albums of the day and of course had that big, fat round cylinder in the middle where you could stack up a dozen 45s. The record player lasted through my first year in college. The Timex watch lasted me more than 10 years. The $50 was gone in a week.

Of course, the year before me, in 1966, my sister Fran got a used Corvair (“engine in the back”) for graduation, so I was a little miffed.

We have a graduate in our family this year. His name is Michael Schunk, my sister’s boy. Mike holds the distinction of being the absolute final D’Imperio to ever graduate from Sidney Central School, beginning with my parents in the 1940s, and running through all of their eight children and a small army of nieces and nephews.

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Big Chuck

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