No. of Recommendations: 20
My Italian-American grandfather served in France in WWI.

He never spoke about his experience, but enjoyed singing songs from the era to his grandchildren, like Mademoiselle from Armentiers. After he died, my father told me his platoon was gassed and he was the only survivor.

His first job was driving a horse-drawn milk wagon--yes, in Brooklyn in the 20th century! He was also an apartment super back in the days when his main function was tendig the coal-burning furnace. His last job, in his 70s, was running errands for a small corner candy/cigarettes/news shop.

Despite wartime horrors, poverty, smoking, and working in the holds of ships w/asbestos at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he lived to age 93 so even his great-grandchildre knew him well.

What I remember best was his sweetness and good cheer--I never saw him angry, critical, or in any kind of bad mood--and how he loved taking my brothers & me to ride on the elevated subway near their tiny apartment in Brooklyn. And how much he loved the Brooklyn Bums (the Dodgers)! And his classic, intense Brooklyn accent (I left my shoit at woik).

RIP, gramps--I'm happy & proud you were my grandfather.
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