My Visits with Margie

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Although I was a little nervous to visit Margie, mainly because I did not know her and was worried about finding her house, I was mainly looking forward to the visit.  However, actually getting there for the first visit was way more nerve-wracking than anything else. 


First, when Lauren tried calling Margie, the phone just kept ringing and ringing.  There wasn’t even an answering machine.  We called a few times a day for a few days in a row but had no luck.  Then, we thought maybe it was the wrong number.  We finally found it in the white pages and I got in touch with her. When I talked to her on the phone, she sounded like a kind lady—very down to earth, but straight and to the point.  She asked Lauren and me to wash her kitchen ceiling, which sounded easy enough, so we were excited about meeting her in person after the suspense of not being able to get a hold of her on the phone.


We decided to visit her on a Friday, a very memorable Friday for all three of us, and for most of Southwestern Pennsylvania as well, because it was the day of the terrible storm in Greensburg and the surrounding areas.  


I left thirty minutes early just to be sure I made it there if I got lost—and I did.  I actually didn’t even make it past the Citizen’s Bank in Greensburg, which, if I’ve gotten my bearing at all since then, is only about one street up from College Ave. right in front of the school.  I was so frustrated with myself.  I remembered reading Greta’s blog about worrying about getting lost, and here I had done it.  It was just five minutes to four, the time when I was supposed to get there, and I was still 15 minutes from Margie’s house.  That is when I called Lauren.  She was so kind and told me just how to get there.


I started on my way again, with Lauren’s excellent directions, confident now that I had seen where my wrong turn was and knew the way, when plip, plop, raindrops started hitting the window of my car.  I looked off into the sky at the not-so-distant black clouds looming closer.  The wind picked up, and I mean that literally, as leaves blew into my windshield and cardboard boxes and litter tumbled across the road in front of me.  I almost missed the turn onto Margie’s road because of the torrential downpour, and when I finally made it onto her road (dodging the metal trash cans and the piece of siding that almost hit my car) I realized I couldn’t even see the house numbers because of the rain.  So I got my trusty umbrella and got out of the car.  Just as I was running up to the house that I thought was Margie’s, a huge bolt of lightning lit up the sky.  I realized it wasn’t Margie’s house, so I went back to my car and once again called Lauren, who once again directed me to the house.  As I ran up to the porch looking like a half drowned rat, Margie and Lauren came out and held the door open for me as I went inside.  


Margie told us to have a seat at her kitchen table and immediately started getting out bread and lunchmeat for us to make sandwiches.  She had even made us home-made chicken noodle soup, which is my favorite.  It was almost as if she knew exactly what I needed after I had such trouble trying to get there.  We ate and chatted and it was absolutely lovely!  Margie told us all about her children, one of whom was coming to visit her later that night, about living in Greensburg, and about her husband who had recently passed away.  It was so nice to just share a meal with her and get to hear about all of her stories.  


My favorite one was about one of her sons who is now a caterer.  When he went to sixth grade, he told Margie that he didn’t need her to come home from work to make him lunch anymore, but that he would do it himself.  She said that was fine.  But one day, she saw one of his friends’ mom at the grocery store and this mom told her that her son must be a very good cook.  Margie asked her why she thought that.  The mom told her that it was because every day Margie’s son brought home all of his friends and made them pancakes for lunch!  I told Margie that I could see why he decided to become a caterer!  She had so many interesting stories like this.


After we ate, Lauren and I cleaned the ceiling with Margie’s advice.  She told us that this was something she had not done for some time, since her husband had gotten sick.  This made me, and I know Lauren too, feel so happy that we could help her complete these difficult tasks that had been so mundane but were so special to her now. 


Later, when we had finished, Margie offered us tea, and we just chatted for the rest of the evening.  Both times we went we stayed until almost ten o’clock at night because we were just having so much fun talking.  We talked about so many different things: Ben Roethlisberger, the volcano in Iceland, hover rounds (because we all think the commercials are so silly) and Margie’s life and family, and Lauren and I talked about our school and our families.  We found out that Margie had lived in the Greensburg area for her whole life, and in the house she is in now for more than 40 years.  She even realized that her mother had gone to Seton Hill when it was a high school for girls.   


Getting to know Margie while we helped her out was one of the best things I have ever done.  I have done lots of work with senior citizens, but I never gotten to know any of them like I got to know Margie during the few hours I spent with her.  She was just so full of life and such a strong person.  She shared with me the fact that she cared for her husband by herself while he was ill and she always helped us with the tasks she gave us to do.  She even primed the porch before we got there so that we could just start painting.


Margie helped me“keep things in perspective,” as Greta said of Tom on her blog, allowing me to have so much fun talking and working with her and Lauren, taking my mind off of all of the school work and making me think about much more important things.  From her I have seen how growing older is wonderful.  I have always been someone who doesn’t look forward to birthdays (no, I didn’t even look forward to my 21st birthday) because it just means I’m one year older and I have less time to do all the stuff I want to do.  It’s not something I think about all the time, but, as morbid as it sounds, it is how I think sometimes.  However, Margie showed me that adding that year every year just allows for more experiences, more fun, more learning, and more relationships, as I feel I have built with Margie.  I think that she helped me more than I could have helped her, because she taught me lots of lessons about life. 


So, from being really nervous about meeting her and being able to help her, to being confident about the future and her being able to help me, I feel that this part of our Senior Seminar project has allowed me to grow so much more than I had ever planned.  I guess that is one thing I learned: why spend lots of time worrying and planning when you can just go and do and be.  

Kalie and Gabby's Experience

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By Kalie Mills and Gabby Scanga

Gabby and I made our first home visit about two weeks ago. I called Mrs. Chedrick just a few days before to find out what time would be best for us to make our visit and help her with some yard work she needed assistance with. While talking on the phone with Mrs. Chedrick, she sounded excited about us coming to help her with her yard work. While talking to Mrs. Chedrick and trying to locate where she lived in Greensburg, I realize my family home was not far from the street her house was located on. While discussing and naming familiar locations in Greensburg, it hit me, Mrs. Chedrick lived across the street from my where my great grandmother’s house was located, where my dad’s cousin currently lives. I paused and asked Mrs. Chedrick, “You don’t happen to live in the house across the street from the ball fields and park?” She paused and then responded, “Yes, in fact I do.” After this I explained to her how my great grandmother used to live in the house across the street, and now another family member lives in the house. With more and more talking we realized that Mrs. Chedrick knew my entire family, from my father and mother to my great grandfather who lived in the house over twenty years ago. By knowing this information, I became more eager to help.

Gabby and I decided we would visit Mrs. Chedrick on Wednesday April 14th. We began our day by meeting at Sunoco because, of course, I needed gas. As Gabby insisted we get directions off of MapQuest I explained to her this was only minutes from my house and I knew exactly where the house was located. As Gabby followed in the car behind me, I thought about how ironic it happened to be that I got matched up to help someone so close to where I grew up.

 When Gabby and I first arrived to Mrs. Chedrick’s house we introduced ourselves and explained how our Senior Seminar service project wanted to unite the community with the students of Seton Hill University and to create a stronger connection by reaching out to the members of the community. Eager to get to work, Mrs. Chedrick introduced us to her many garden tools and we began. At first Gabby and I didn’t think there was too much work to be done, and began to rake leaves and pine cones in the back yard. After raking and bagging for about half hour we realized we haven’t even seen the front or side yards. While Gabby continued to rake and gather piles for our next visit, I began to help Mrs. Chedrick pull dead plants out of her flower garden. While we were helping each other pull out the large dead plant in her garden, we talked about our friends and family. Mrs. Chedrick reminisced about when my uncle was young and how the noise level would go through the roof during his parties. With our busy schedules we were only able to work about an hour and a half, but we gathered piles of debris in her front and side yard to make it easier on ourselves when we came the following week. 

Last Friday, April 23, Gabby and I were lucky enough to add two members to our group, Alex and Brianna. Gabby and I greeted Mrs. Chedrick with a big hug and introduced her to our new helpers. We began working yet again. Mrs. Chedrick shared the awful news that the storm during the week before destroyed all the piles we created. Although the storm may have taken a toll on Mrs. Chedrick’s yard, we did not let this get in the way of our goal to complete her yard. We partnered up and took on different portions of the yard.  We raked piles and then put the piles into garbage bags to be thrown away. While we worked, Mrs. Chedrick helped to create piles for us and make sure we were okay, offering us cold beverages to keep us working. After bagging the smaller piles in the yard, we came to our biggest challenge: the large piles of pine needles, cones and sticks that filled Mrs. Chedrick’s front yard. So there we were with our last big chore before we could go back to school and do whatever else we had to do before the start of the weekend. When we started, it seemed as if it was going to take us all weekend to complete the task. After filling 4 garbage bags, the pile didn’t look any smaller from when we had started, but this didn’t stop us and we continued to bag. After twenty garbage bags, Mrs. Chedrick’s yard was free from debris. It was evident that Mrs. Chedrick appreciated the work we had done for her especially when she ran into the house to get her camera and take a group picture of us girls posing with our yard tools. We each gave her a big hug before returning back to school along with giving her an invitation to the luncheon we would be having for our service project. She said she would try her best to remember and would see us on Sunday, and that is just what happened. Mrs. Chedrick graced us with her presence during Sunday’s luncheon. The luncheon couldn’t be more enjoyable for everyone who attended; sharing stories and telling jokes; it was a wonderful way for us to be reunited with our seniors.

Nate and Marie's Experience

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Nervous to meet Ms. Z, for it seemed as though she had a lot of hard work for Marie and I to do, we packed up the car with a ladder, soap, sponges, hose accessories and a bucket. Ms. Z had given us a fairly extensive list of things that needed repaired, and while we were unsure about ripping up her carpeting, we were fairly certain that we would at least be able to wash her awnings and her porch. On the phone, Ms. Z had mentioned that she usually did most of the housework on her own, and that she herself often volunteered delivering food to others. From that alone, we knew that Ms. Z was a determined, hard-working woman who deserved to have some help from others. Marie and I soon found out, that we were entirely correct.
        As we approached the house, a fit looking eighty-three-year-old woman wearing an AC/DC hoodie walked out onto the porch, and after a brief greeting, she started to question what exactly we were going to be cleaning her awning with. After she approved of the tools that we brought, she left us alone to do the work, while she went inside to do her laundry. Our first impression was that Ms. Z, was well-mannered with a “get to work" attitude. The next time Ms. Z came out to check on us, I handed her a flowerpot, that we had bought a little earlier that day and asked her if she liked flowers. Her response was that she loved flowers, and couldn’t believe we had thought so much to get her a gift. She told us that it had been so long since someone had brought her flowers. This small gesture really opened Ms. Z up, and she soon started to tell us more and more about her life, with each visit out into her yard to “check up on us.”
        We learned quite a few things about Ms. Z, and her life. Most of all we realized what a wonderful woman she was. Her sense of love, understanding, and determination was inspiring. Ms. Z. cares for her adult daughter on a twenty-four hour a day basis. Her compassion was beautiful; she told us that her daughter “was just a big kid inside, and she saw nothing wrong with that”. We also learned that Ms. Z had another daughter who was killed in a car crash when she was a teenager.
                Most of all, I think Marie and I were glad to be doing something for someone who did so much for others all the time, and hardly did anything for herself. I was also very glad to give Ms. Z someone to talk to. Although she didn’t say much, what she did say was profound. The thing that I will always remember Ms. Z saying is, “Life is like a game of poker, you just play the hand you're dealt. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s bad.” I hope that in the small time we were able to spend with Ms. Z, we had as much of an impact on her life, as she did on ours.

Roll With the Punches: Our Last Visit with Tom


Angela and I completed our last home visit to Tom as part of our service project this past Wednesday.  Tom shocked both of us by revealing it was his last day at home before he moved into St. Anne’s.  Despite this though, Tom still was as kind as always, patiently answering our questions and talking with us.  He denied any help from us; I think he appreciated talking more.

We had a lot to talk about because the last time we had visited Tom, he had let us borrow a videotape on which he had been interviewed by a state policeman about his life and career.  Angela and I watched the tape on Sunday after the lunch-in we had for the seniors who were involved with our project.

Angela and I had written out some questions ahead of time about what we’d seen, but we quickly found that previous preparation wasn’t necessary.  The conversation flowed smoothly and we had lots to say and Tom had lots to answer.

As far as WWII goes, I am going to summarize what he told us.  If I repeat something I already mentioned in a previous blog, I apologize, I just want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.  In June of 1943, one week after he graduated from Warren High School, at the age of 17 ½ , Tom joined the U.S. Navy.  He originally wanted to be a pilot.  However, when he finished training, he was sent with 50 other recruits to New York to bottle tomato ketchup.  The tomato crop in Rochester, NY was rotting from lack of labor.  Because of this, he missed the pilot training that happened once a month.  Medic Coreman were needed though, so he was sent to Bainbridge, MD, where he was trained.  He was then sent with the Marines to the Philippines.  He was at the battle of Okinawa.  And was part of the main force which consisted of 28 ships, which was to attack Japan.  However, the atom bomb was dropped first.  The ships were hit by a typhoon, which resulted from the atom bomb.  When they managed to get to shore, they didn’t know if everywhere in Japan knew that the war was over or not.  Tom, two officers, and a translator were sent ashore to make sure they knew.  Tom commented that he knew they knew it was all over because, “They had already set up souvenir stands on the street.”  He returned home in 1946.

He worked as part of a maintenance crew for a bakery for a year before he joined the state police.  He recounted that the reason he decided to become a trooper was because back then the police was divided into the highway patrol and the state police (they later merged in 1938).  The highway patrolmen would come in town on their motorcycles near his grandfather’s shoe shop.  Seeing these highway patrolmen is what gave Tom the inkling to join. 

Angela and I were both shocked to learn how much state troopers had worked then and also how little they had gotten paid.  When Tom was transferred into Greensburg after he finished his training in 1947, troopers worked six days a week with one day of the week off (which was usually not Saturday or Sunday).  Three of these days, they worked 16-hour shifts!  Tom’s starting salary was only $1,800 (although this did include room and board).  When he was promoted to detective in 1962, he only made $5,900 a year.  When he retired in 1982 from the state police, he was making $30,000 a year.  The troopers didn’t get any holidays off and had restricted vacations.  He figured out that at the beginning of his career, he made about 28 cents an hour!

In addition to this, he informed us that in order to get married back then, a state police officer had to work for three years before they were allowed to marry.  Once these three years were up, then the trooper had to ask for permission.  The trooper had to sign a statement which said, “My marriage will in no way interfere with my duties as a Pennsylvania policeman.”  Then once this was done, the bride-to-be was investigated.  Once this was all cleared, then and only then could a trooper marry.  And the regulations were strictly upheld, Tom told us he knew a trooper who didn’t wait three years and secretly got married.  He was discovered and was struck from the force.

Tom saw a lot though, he was detached several times from the state police.  He was sent to work with Cornell University for a while conducting a survey on the feasibility and importance of seatbelts (this was before seatbelts were in cars).  His job was to travel around to different place and photograph accidents.

In 1950, he was detached and worked with Penn Dot.  He travelled all over the 67 counties of Pennsylvania, weighing and measuring commercial motor vehicles to determine various regulations about how big they could be and how much they could carry and how much the roads could handle. 

In 1965, he was sent to Philadelphia with nine others to invest the magisterial system there and discover corruption.  His supervisor was Arlen Specter, who is now a U.S. Senator. 

Some of the major cases Tom was involved with during his time as a state trooper include:

·         The Turnpike Murders in 1953.

·         Prison riots of Western Penitentiary in 1957.

·         A prison murder in 1960.

·         The Johnstown flood in 1977.

·         A series of 10 bank robberies committed in Ford area in 1972.

·         Allegheny county District Attorney, Robert Dugan’s death in March of 1974.

·         A rape in 1974 on the Amtrak train en route from New York to Chicago. In August 2003, he was subpoenaed to appear in Jacksonville, FL to testify about this case.  The accused had committed three more rapes in Florida.  He was sent to prison for life.

·         An investigation in December, 1980 of a series of 11 bank robberies in three counties.  Tom was part of a force that caught the robber in the act of his last bank robbery.

·         Trovaglia-Lesko case of 1980.  Two men went on murder spree killing four people, including Apollo police officer, Leonard Miller.  It was Miller’s first day on the job. 

Tom also spent four days with John F. Kennedy on a security detail when he was campaigning in PA.  He also acted on a security detail of Russian premier, Khrushchev, when he came to Pittsburgh in the late 50s or early 60s.  He was also on security detail for President Eisenhower. 

After almost 35 years on the state police, Tom accepted a position as the chief detective of the Westmoreland County D.A.’s office.  He remained there for five years.  Then in 1986, he was appointed to be the officer in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington County.  He retired from that in 1990.  In 1991, he was appointed to the Greensburg City Council for a nine month term.  He was hoping someone would run against him, because Tom does not like politics.  But, no one ever did.  Tom has been on Council ever since.

The stories could go on and on.  There are even more I remember; it would make a very, very long blog entry to write them all down here. 

Tom didn’t just tell us stories about his past though.  He also asked about us.  He teasingly told Angela he had heard about her dad, but then refused to tell her, despite her begging, what he had heard.  He just smiled and stubbornly said, “Nope.”

One thing that also became increasingly evident to me was how very proud Tom is of his two daughters and his grandchildren.  He reaffirmed to us that despite the way kids are today, “my grandsons are good kids.” 

As we finished up our visit with Tom, I could not help but feel honored that Tom had shared so much about his life with Angela and I.  While I know I probably wasn’t nearly as interesting to Tom, as he was to me, I hope that just by listening and doing the few small chores we did, that we helped bring some cheer to Tom’s life.  Tom has faithfully served our country, risking his life time and time again, first during WWII, then as a state trooper, and now he still serves through his position on City Council. 

Tom helped me keep things in perspective.  Amid these last hectic weeks of papers and finals, Tom showed me the bigger picture.  Tom’s final advice to Angela and I was “to roll with the punches,” and I sincerely hope I manage to do so.  Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sadness, Tom has weathered them all and still retains his sense of humor.  Tom is a real hero.  I only hope I can be half as beneficial to my community.     

Help Where It's Not Needed

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My experience with this project has taught me that the best-laid plans never go the way you expect them to.  Just as I arrived at a Greensburg parking lot only to discover there was not any major cleaning up to be done, I arrived at Mrs. G's house with Hallie to discover a house that was well-cared-for and a senior citizen who had a lot of people looking out for her.  Some very obnoxious, selfish part of me was saying, "But Mrs. G, you're supposed to be lonely and living in a decrepit house!  That's the requirement for this project!  I need you to have problems that I can help you with so that I can graduate!"  Okay, maybe I wasn't saying exactly that.  Mainly I was just happy to find that this 95-year-old woman was leading a very happy, full life.  As Hallie mentioned, Mrs. G's cabinets were almost spotless; when I vacuumed her furniture, it was practically pristine.  When we got there, a neighbor was visiting her, and later on, another neighbor could be heard mowing her lawn for her.  Mrs. G also told us about a young neighbor of hers who cleaned her porch for her.  I was really touched by the kindness of the community where Mrs. G was located; I hope that if I ever get to be that old, I have so much support. 

Hopefully, the main service that we did was giving Mrs. G an opportunity to brag; we chatted for a while about her life, and you could tell how proud she was of her family.  She talked about her great-grandchildren and their successes and bitter disappointments at spelling bees (as a former spelling bee champ I could relate to the glory of success and the agony of failure), as well as her children, one of whom bought her a really fancy TV and another of whom was a successful lawyer.  Though you might expect older people who live alone to spend a lot of time dwelling on their own lives and living in the past, Mrs. G seemed to be living fully in the present.  She seemed to be really enjoying her life; her children visit her often and have dinner with her once a week.  She was interested in us, asking about our chosen career paths and offering us brownies and iced tea.  But I'm not surprised she didn't invite us back.  What we were trying to provide she already had--help with maintaining her household, and most importantly, people to talk to and socialize with.  I do hope she at least enjoyed her opportunity to boast--we all know that happiness in life is all the more delicious when you can brag about it to others.  So although I couldn't offer a lot to Mrs. G, I'm just grateful for being able to witness such a loving, supportive community; so often we hear about the sadness of old age, but we forget that there can be a lot of happiness in old age as well.  I am, in fact, glad that Mrs. G didn't really need our help.  I just hope I don't fail.  (Just kidding.) 

Hallie's and Matt's experience

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When we arrived, Mrs. G was already entertaining a neighbor. We would find out later that this neighbor stopped by frequently and would even bring over dinner for Mrs. G, who had a hard time cooking. We would also find out that this neighbor had a daughter that would sometimes clean up the basement for Mrs. G for a few dollars to go swimming with. But when we entered, all we knew was that Mrs. G looked like everybody’s grandmother and had already baked us fabulous brownies.

Mrs. G is 95 years old and lives by herself in the same house she has lived in for 63 years. Even though she has a hard time getting around now, Mrs. G’s house is immaculate. Matt and I managed to clean her cabinets and vacuum her carpets for her, but you would have had to look really close to see the difference in the before and after. Her house was that clean. Still, it made her happy to have the work done, and we were happy to do it for her.

Mrs. G is a story not only of self-reliance, but of family and friendship. Mrs. G would barely say two words about herself, but loved to talk about how good her neighbors were and how well her children were doing. Mrs. G shows the ideal of community in America, where the community surrounds and assists the elderly among them, knowing they will some day be in the same situation. I’m glad I could spend even a brief amount of time with this remarkable woman, and I hope her situation is mimicked across the country.

Day 2 with Mr. and Mrs. Zilli

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The following blog was written and performed by Rob Vasinko and Amanda Manley


Our second visit was a lot more comfortable than the first. We had made a connection with the Zillis and knew what to expect.  We also had made a lot of progress on the painting job and had to finish only a small part of the kitchen before we were completely done.


As we went up to the front door, we were not greeted by Mrs. Zilli but a small boy. He stared at us with big eyes then ran away. From the back yard we heard Mrs. Zilli’s familiar voice. She let us in and we began to paint.


We learned that the little boy was Mrs. Zilli’s grandson and briefly met her daughter as well.  We began to get organized, and soon began to paint the rest of the wall paying close attention to detail knowing this was our last visit.


As we finished, we were showered with many thank yous. They genuinely appreciated our help, and we were happy to give it. Though we did not get the grand historical perspective that we might have hoped for we had a very real experience with real people.  The Zillis were a nice couple who were living their lives and merely had trouble getting around. 


Our mission was “by combining our unique talents, we will unite individuals to Inspire change in the world.” I think we did that.  Though we are not talented painters, we developed the skills necessary to get the job done and most importantly to their satisfaction. I would like to think we united people, because Mrs. Zilli was very thankful to Seton Hill and their students offering to write a letter saying how helpful we have been.  Finally I would like to think that we made some kind of change. Of course, we painted a room which did change it. But I would like to think that perhaps we inspired change within the community. While Mrs. Zilli was thanking us, I thought of her telling of her experience to her friends and family. By sharing of our experiences and her experiences we have started a wave of positive thinking, which can only result in the improvement of many more lives.        

Rob and Anamda's experience- Day 1


Our experience began at about 5:15 pm on Wednesday April 14, 2010. As we parked along the curb and strode up to the appointed house, I had no idea what we would be in for. We found Martha Zilli sitting on her porch with her husband. She invited us in.  With few words, she showed us the kitchen and what needed to be painted and then went to watch TV with her husband.

We got all the supplies ready and started to prime the walls.  First, she had us cover up some trimming that was around the wall, which she did not want anymore.  As we covered up the old paint with the new, she came into the room and asked us what kind of sub we wanted for dinner. We politely declined, but she insisted. 

When we had finished painting the trim and two walls, Mr. Zilli came back with the subs.  Martha invited us out on the porch to take and break and eat.  There Mrs. Zilli turned out to be more talkative then she had been.  We found out that Mr. and Mrs. Zilli were quite religious and kept up with current church news.  She began to talk about what a travesty it was to close the smaller churches in the area and have priests travel between parishes.

Luckily, this was something that affected me directly because I live near some of the churches that were closing.  We had found something in common.  As we talked about the closing churches and the new bishop, we finished our meal on the porch with a connection.

After the meal it was back to work.  But I did not feel as disconnected as I had before. I felt that in the end of it all we made an impression .  

Tom Take Two

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 Above picture is of Angela Palumbo (left), Tom Tridico (middle), Greta Carroll (right).

To the right is Mr. Tridico's Congressional Commendation


Yesterday, Greta and I went to visit Mr. Tridico again.  He had just gotten an operation, but was still in really great spirits.  He had us get some old state police books (that looked like yearbooks) for him.  Together, we rifled through the pages until we found the pictures of him.

We talked about the State trooper hats, or campaign hats.  Greta and I both commented about how uncomfortable they must be and Tom revealed that, not surprisingly, they are indeed very uncomfortable.  It said that they hurt your chin.

We asked Mr. Tridico if we could do anything for him.  He asked us to pick up the twigs out of his front yard and sweep his driveway.  What seemed like an easy job turned into an hour-long lawn assault.  Greta and I scoured the lawn like two blood hounds looking for a lost criminal.  We also picked up cigarette butts and a few leaves.  We swept the driveway and walk and then went back inside.  Tom told us to get out a tape of him being interviewed about being in the state police.  We went downstairs to look for it and found it.  He then told us we could have it for the time being and bring it back next time.  We’ll let you all know about the tape as soon as we watch it.

Once again, it felt really good going to help Mr. Tridico.  It is an honor to help a retired state police officer in any way we can, although it pales in comparison to the years of service he gave serving us.  We’ll be going back to see him next week.

Below are a few other honors and awards that were given to Mr. Tridico.  There are a lot more where these came from.

Mr. Tridico has a street named after him at the police academy!

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Our Time with Tom


Greta summarized our time with our senior, Tom Tridico, very well.  I'm not just going to retell all of that, but I do have a few things to add.  Be sure to check out her entry first though, as mine will make more sense after reading hers.

Tom had a great outlook and a good sense of humor as Greta showed with her example of the women and their shirts.  At one point, I remarked that I like to talk and he said, "I can tell," then smiled.  At one point, he even told me that I reminded him of his granddaughter. 

He shared so much with us.  It is amazing how he just opened up to us and told us all about his children, grandchildren, wife, and life experiences.  It was rare that we had a silent moment.  Talking to him was like rifling through a fully interactive archive.  The pictures and awards he shared with us made me feel so special.  I can't believe that he let us in on something so important and personal!  I felt as though we were conversing with a living legend.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed our time with Tom, and I know Greta did, too.

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