The Many Faces of Nana

In a previous post I mentioned that my grandmother was quite a character. She had what people refer to as street smarts. She knew how to get what she wanted. She knew when to fight and also when to play the victim.

The summers and holidays I spent in western Pennsylvania were always a blast. Being around one’s people, but only doing so for brief periods at a time, is the best. My aunt’s and uncles showered me with affection. My cousins and I played and made memories. I also got to spend time with my Nana. Sometimes she was sweet, and other times she was swinging a wooden spoon at my culo.

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Nana’s Favorite Shoe Store

My Italian grandmother was a real character. Everyone in my family has numerous Nana anecdotes, and whenever we get together the stories flow. She’s been gone for over 35 years, but we share these stories over and over again, and we never tire of them.

I plan to tell a few of these stories here, but the first one I want to share is all mine because I was the only one with her at the time.

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What Happens in Vegas

This is a story that probably shouldn’t be written down. I promised nearly 30 years ago to keep it on the low-down. I don’t think there is any risk in sharing it here, but I will change names to protect reputations. No, this isn’t about sex.

In 1993 a group of my friends and I decided to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to see the Grateful Dead play at the Silver Bowl. We booked a single room at the Circus Circus and shared the cost amongst us. Some of the friends came along for the adventure, but my buddy Dan* and I planned to attend two of the concerts.

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Trapped in Space

I’ve already told you about my scariest flying experience on a turboprop at a small airport in Ohio, but if you haven’t read that and somehow ended up on this anecdote, read that first and come back to this story. We’ll wait.

In 2016 my spouse and I were invited to the wedding of dear friends who live in England. We had just been in England the year before for work, but we couldn’t pass up the chance to attend our friends’ wedding on the Dartmoor, which was being officiated by another close friend.

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