I don’t have a large family left – my sister Gail (originally a Miller, then Altieri – now Fusco) lives in the Philly area. My sister has three children and six GrandChildren that are my extended family, on her side.
My son Ian is a Music Teacher in Florida and is currently applying to a variety of schools to go back for his Phd, in music – next year.
So, besides my Partner of 25 years Melanie Rieger and her extended family, that’s it!
The below was written by my Sister – Gail… So, a different perspective…. I’ve only commented once and did not edit a word. If anyone else wants to tell some Doug stories, I may print (CONVENTION RULES: do apply!)
The Sibling Retrospective…
I think I can safely say that the relationship between my brother Doug and me was that of Like/Loathe/Love. For the most part we were always pretty close. Our parents made sure of that. They taught us to be respectful and the value of family ties. I can remember very few times when I pushed my brother over the edge and he retaliated with a vengeance. Although I do recall one of which when I was around 8 (he would have been 11) I took his ball and he came after me and held me up against the bedroom window until I returned it. Our parents heard about that one from the neighbor peering through the window. In those rare occasions when/if my brother would torment me, I would get a free swing.
Fast forward to early teenage years, we moved from Audubon, NJ to Cherry Hill, NJ. Doug was a diehard rock fan, almost any music quite honestly, albeit I was the Motown queen. He would pull the speakers off of our family record player and prop them in the hallway with music blaring while he was in the shower so no one could walk in the hall, and I certainly couldn’t hear a thing with my bedroom right next to the bathroom.
This next episode he really took quite well, though here we are 50 years later and I still hear about it. I had just gotten my driver’s license and my brother had a very sweet butter yellow Chevy impala convertible that he let me take for the evening with my girlfriends. Needless to say, it wasn’t returned in the same condition I borrowed it…TOTALLED!!!! He just got his replacement 2 months ago. Truth be told, my brother wrecked quite a few vehicles all by himself! (NOTE from Doug, BULL)
The final story I will share is one that has stood strong over the last 27 years. When Doug and I were young we would spend summers with our grandparents in Reading, PA. Our favorite treat was to run to the plastic coin bank that housed our Easter picture (probably about 5 and 3 yrs old in the photo) and take out 5 cents each to go get an ice cream cone at the corner pharmacy. When our Grandmother passed away in December of 1991 at the young age of 89, our Dad told us to go to her room and take any piece of memorabilia we wanted to keep. My brother and I both ran to the bank (mind you, we were now in our 40’s). That first Christmas I wrapped up the bank with a poem that directed us to “share” the bank and exchange it every Christmas from then on. Over the years we have waded through jello, pet hair, peanuts, locked safe and any other creative way we could come up with to wrap the infamous bank. Each trying to outdo the other. It is a tradition that our children and grandchildren have embraced and eagerly watch for each Christmas. I would post a picture of the bank for you but it is currently in Doug’s possession. BUT… this year it is my turn to get it back and I plan on travelling to Hitcham this Christmas to collect it!