Thank You For Being A Friend

July 6, 2012 — 10 Comments

Although we only knew each other for thirty years, it may as well have been a lifetime.

You were the “wingman”. The nightclubbing partner I needed in our heyday of the 80s.  Chasing skirts late into the night. You had a little bit of a wild child attitude in you, but our Roman Catholic upbringings steered us clear of any real trouble.

How many games did we go to at the old Yankee Stadium? Watching our pinstriped heroes play sport’s finest game, drinking our beers, our seats at the rail to spy the girls in their summer clothes, passing us by.

We haunted each others work places, me making the descent into the college rathskeller, you sitting at the bar of my parents’ restaurant. We had our drinks, smoked our cigarettes, and laughed long and uproariously at our jokes. God knows we weren’t that funny.

When I started dating the girl who would become my wife, not much changed. Still hanging out, three of us together now, in the restaurants, our places, in the smoky nooks of the Tap Room. Home away from home.

When my daughter was born, you were right there at the hospital to see her, just a couple of hours later. It’s a shame you won’t be here to hug her anymore.

On the winter day my son was baptized, you stood at the font as his Godfather, blessing him with holy water as we watched. I’m glad you were able to come to some of his games. I’m sad you won’t ever watch him swing the bat again.

You gave the finest best man toast in wedding history, deserving of the standing ovation you got. Against the backdrop of the story of first meeting my wife, you serenaded us (and a large reception crowd) with a favorite Sinatra song – on key, flawlessly, without hesitation.

When I watch it on video, I just laugh and shake my head, and wonder… how the hell did you pull that off?

How about hitting that replay button one more time? A little more “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. Or better yet, how about just one more for the road? A toast to you this time, my friend, listening to the ultimate late night Sinatra torch ballad, with drink in hand. Just like we did in the old days.

You know how it goes…

Its quarter to three,
There’s no one in the place ‘cept you and me
So set em up Joe

…We’re drinking my friend
To the end of a brief episode
So make it one for my baby
And one more for the road

Thanks for the memories.

Thank you for being my friend.

Michael Muscatello, 1949-2012

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10 responses to Thank You For Being A Friend

  1. 

    Joe,
    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Looks like you have some amazing memories to hold onto.

    • 

      Thanks, Craig. The memories mentioned are only a handful. My friend helped create them by the hundreds. He was a special guy.

  2. 

    Very sorry for your loss. Some people are taken too soon.

    • 

      Thanks, Jack. Too soon, indeed. He should have had a lot of life left, but Parkinson’s was his demon that progressively took him down. He battled, but the disease was a formidable foe. I will miss my friend.

  3. 

    More Tears, Smiles and Laughs… Thank You for the memories my brother… So well written… In case no ones told you, you are a very good writer. I hear your voice when I read your words. MUCH RESPECT, from someone who LOVES to read…
    Love Always,
    Mike

    • 
      Joe DeGiorgio July 11, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      You and Muscatello will always be linked in my mind. And Ted Nugent. Because Mike would always wonder how many times he was going to hear Wango Tango blasting from the Rath jukebox. And those nights at Elda’s… so fuzzy…it was quite a ride back then.

      Thanks for the compliments about the writing. Sorry I woke you up when I called. :) You da man.

  4. 

    Joe, sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Michael. Rough times. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  5. 
    "Aunt" Gail Gosnell July 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Joe: I just KNEW you would write about your friend Michael this time. And a lovely tribute to him it is. We are sorry for your loss. Love you. Gail and Uncle Chief

    • 

      I knew YOU knew. Haha. You know, I had to write this. His obit in the papers was brief and without detail. It didn’t tell the story of Mike’s life, which was a very impressive run, in my opinion. Tribute had to be paid, and I’m lucky enough to have the vehicle to do it.

      Love to you and the Chief.

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