June 30 – Amsterdam Birthday Bits

2f76c6b8c5275f114f4ac56bf84ceca0Joe Martuscello looked more like the maitre d of a fine Manhattan restaurant than he did the owner/cashier of an aging Market Hill grocery store. His hair was always well coiffed, the shirt both starched and expensive, shoes polished and the watch big and gold on his wrist. His staff never ever disappointed a customer but it was clear that pleasing Joe was their ultimate goal.

He would stand behind that register and conduct them like a symphony orchestra. “This one is dented, Joey go get Mary another can of these DelMonte peaches… What have you got here Nancy, sandwich steaks? They feel a little too thick to me, Vito go back there and make sure Tony’s got that slicer dial between one and two…You want a block of ice or a fifty pound bag? Someone tell Jimmy to bring a fifty pound bag to this nice young man’s car. Where are you parked son?…Vito! Vito! Where is Vito?…

51gvDDiBZeL._SX150_Talk about controlled chaos…well semi controlled anyway. Bob Going seemed to be everywhere at once, doing everything at once and he had an opinion, usually a decently researched one, on any and every issue imaginable. Lawyer, judge, political candidate, corporation counsel, community volunteer, radio show host, historian, author (both fiction & non-fiction), film & stage actor, blogger, news reporter, conservative commentator, father, grandfather… When this long-time Amsterdam resident sold his house and left our community with his wife Mary recently to be nearer their kids and grandkids, it seemed as if our city lost at least a dozen people instead of just one and we certainly miss all or at least the vast majority of them…

(June 30 also happens to be the birthday of the best lineman in Amsterdam High School football history.)

My complete birthday posts for Joe Martuscello and Bob Going will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.

One thought on “June 30 – Amsterdam Birthday Bits

  1. Never knew I shared a birthday with Joe. You got him just right. Except that you left out the part where he’d say, “$2.03. Two dollars is fine.” It was a great and loyal crew he had working there, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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