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Monday, April 22, 2013

I WEPT TODAY - Cranky re-run Monday


The passing last week of Luigi, my favorite local barber,  a man I really did not know, and the anniversary of "Uncle" Sammy's passing prompted this re-run.  It is dedicated to all the quietly productive people who passed away this last year.  People whose life made the world a better place.  They were cumulatively a greater asset than all the politicians, entertainers, athletes, and leaders of industry that have been honored on the front pages of our papers and on the eleven o’clock TV news.
I wept today for a man I did not know. Mrs. Cranky’s Uncle died this week. He was 79. The funeral was today. I did not know Uncle Sammy. I met him one time two years ago for about two hours. You do not get to know a man in two hours.

Uncle Sammy was really not Mrs. C’s uncle. He was her mom’s cousin which made him her first cousin once removed, or her second was one of those. Apparently he was like an uncle and until he moved to Pennsylvania she and her clan saw Uncle Sammy often. I did not know the man.

Uncle Sammy led a quiet life. He worked at the family bakery, he served in the Army as a clerk, and he worked at a bank. He loved to dance and married his dance partner the lovely Claudette. He had a daughter and two grandchildren. I did not know the man.

Uncle Sammy was small in stature, but he apparently had a huge heart. Whenever Mrs. C or her relatives spoke of Uncle Sammy it was with a tone of respect, fondness and love. I never heard a bad word about the man. I did not know the man.

The funeral was packed with people whose lives were touched by Uncle Sammy. There was much reminiscing. There was laughter. There were many tears. His daughter Giselle read an emotional tribute to her father which somehow covered his life and the people in his life all in about ten minutes. I did not know the man. I wept today.

Uncle Sammy led a quiet and unremarkable life. I did not know the man.

He must have been a very special person.

Why else would I weep for a man I did not know?


  1. I remember this the first time round Joe and I thought what a touching tribute it was to a man you didn't know.

    Last year I wept at the funeral of a man I'd never met. An uncle of SD's who touched many lives in that same quiet unassuming way.

    I didn't know him but I wept for the kind of man he was - you don't always have to know someone for them to touch something deep inside.

  2. An excellent post Joe. From the sound of it, Uncle Sammy was special.

  3. Very moving. Too bad you didn't have an opportunity to know him better.

  4. I loved this post--it made me cry for him, too!

  5. Joe, your scope is huge, just like your heart.

    You make me laugh AND cry.

  6. Everyone is special in one way or another. Sometimes you just have to look for it. He sounds like a beautiful man.


  7. Lovely piece of writing, Joe. I've often wondered about such things, myself, and whether or not a person's spirit somehow touches our own spirit during such times, prompting the emotional release. Of course, one can tell from some of your writing that you're an empathetic sort to begin with, so others crying would likely invoke a response from someone such as yourself. That's a good thing, by the way.