Salvatore Joseph Celi
(1951 - 2008)

Salvatore Joseph Celi
Nickname: Sal

Brooklyn, United States of America
June 2, 1951

Arizona, United States of America
August 29, 2008

Teaching, People, Camping, the Environment, Junk Collecting, Cooking, Geneology, Heritage/Family Traditions - not necessarily in that order!
Guest Book
8/29/19 - The 11th anniversary of your death has come and gone my brother and I am still missing you. Gone way too soon, you are forever in my heart.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 30th, 2019
8/29/19 - The 11th anniversary of your death has come and gone my brother and I am still missing you. Gone way too soon, you are forever in my heart.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 30th, 2019
Happy Birthday Sal. It’s a beautiful day in Tucson. The desert misses you and so do I. Hope your spirit is celebrating wherever it is. I’ll light a candle tonight for you at my altar.
Much love. ❤️
Emily Irwin-Stazenski
June 2nd, 2019
Happy Birthday in Heaven Sal. Love and miss you each and every day.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 2nd, 2019
Hola Hermanos! (I use the plural as I'm guessing that Neil is there with you having a mutual former-birthday party.) I'll put the birthday poem at the end. How are you doing? Not lacking for a company by now, I guess! I was supposed to be there with you by now, but I told the doctors to fuck off and cured my liver cancer myself--at least temporarily. But I will see you soon, and I guess in another 30 years everyone we have ever met will be there with you! I have forgotten more things than most other people ever knew by now, but I'll never forget you. I think of you often and sign every email with the "Be well" salutation that I stole from you. Love you, brother. See you soon. Be well, Tenzin/Doug Your Next Year
May the next thing you do be your greatest
May the next year you have be your best
May the next thing you think make you happy
And may God take you unto her breast
May the next book you read make you smarter
May you always be lucky in love
May you never see yourself a martyr
What you hope for, may you gain above
May whatever your next aspiration
Be granted immediately
May the things that you need and the effort you breed
Always coincide successfully
May the troubles you feel are impending
Be released in the flash of an eye
And whatever you define the terms as
May you always be happy and high
May your pain be unable to find you
May you always have a hand to hold
And if life gives you anything evil
May it soon be turned back into gold
‘Cause your next day is always your greatest
And your next year is always your best
And if you feel like this, life will give you a kiss
And your living will always be blessed
Doug/Tenzin Rose (brother sort of)
June 2nd, 2019
I missed you more than ever this Christmas, Sal. I am sitting by the fire watching it snow outside my window and I can perfectly imagine what it would be like if we were sitting on the couch looking at the snow thru your living room window - or taking Bella for a walk out back, your desert dusted with white stuff. It is so weird, because it really feels like that could happen, should be happening. But you and Bella are gone, and so is the house. You are deeply and forever missed. I just had my 60th birthday. I had to do my 50's without you, and now another decade stretches out in front of me that I won't share with you either. Both of us seniors - me 60 and you 67 - now that is something I can't imagine. It would have been fun getting there though.

I just read a message from your friend Doug, hoping you are having fun wherever you are. I hope so too! Like he said, things here are weird, and getting stranger every day. I often wish we could exchange ideas, and I could get your take on the state of things! Someday we will have so much to talk about. That house of cards you talked about is so true, and the door is opening upon a huge gust of wind! Sometimes I think you were a prophet. I loved you then, now, and always. ~Leesa
Leesa Irwin
January 2nd, 2019
10 years gone today; seems like a lifetime. My brother, my friend, I miss you every day. I cherish the lifetime of memories we had and wish that we could have made many more in the years to come. You are always in our hearts. Love you.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 29th, 2018
Sal. 10 years approaching...I just can't stand the thought. I can't understand how it is possible that you're even gone, let alone gone for ten years! I think of you every day, I miss you every day, my love for you never ends. They said time would heal, that
things would get easier, that I'd find a way to move on. None of that has proven to be true. The feelings of loss endure, my feelings for you endure, and the emptiness that your passing left, endures. On the positive side, the memories of all the adventures, fun, laughter, and just hanging out together sustain me through the hard times . Until we an be together again...
Leesa Irwin
August 25th, 2018
Happy 67th. I try to imagine what we would be doing - what trip we would either be on or be planning for. You had a list for your old age - would 67 qualify? With your curiosity and love for adventure, I can't picture you old, ever. Wish you were here. Loving and missing you forever.
Leesa Irwin
June 2nd, 2018
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Sal. 67 today and gone much too soon. Miss you. Love Always, Mary Lyn
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 2nd, 2018
Hi Sal! Happy birthday! We all still love and miss you here.
doug rose (friend/brother)
June 1st, 2018
Nine years ago we were riding in Sal's car, probably laughing, most definitely talking, on our way to a long weekend vacation in San Diego. We were just going to slip in and out, stay in a new place in La Jolla instead of the Beach Cottages like usual, try to find a couple new "junk stores" to look through, do a little snorkling. relax, have some fun. We were outside of Gila Bend. I can't remember a thing, but at 6:15, we crashed, and the world ended.

Nine years ago, right now.
August 29th, 2017
To all the world I am growing old. But this would not be so to you, my brother. We knew each other as we always were, from the start. We knew each other’s hearts. We shared our private jokes; remembered family joys, secrets,and tears. We lived outside the touch of time. Oh how I wish that you were still here to relive those times with me.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 29th, 2017
Happy birthday Sal. I wonder how you would feel about being 66 - I can remember, like it was yesterday, you telling me you were 50. I sure wish we could have celebrated 15 birthdays instead of only 7, but I am thankful we had those 7. I keep your picture buy my bed (well, all over the house actually), and to this day your smile and laughing eyes bring me a smile of my own. You meant so much to so many people, Sal, and everything to me. I have missed you every day since you left, and will miss you, and love you, always.
Leesa Irwin
June 3rd, 2017
There are no words to describe how your presence is missed. Although, you are ever present in things said and done and in cherished memories of you. Happy Birthday in Heaven - 66. Wish you were here. Love Always, Mary Lyn
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 2nd, 2017
Hi Sal! Happy birthday! I hope you are having fun wherever you are. Things here on Earth are getting weird, but I guess they always were. Are you partying with Neil and Patty and everyone? Not that many of the folks we knew are left down here! So you must have a lot of familiar company by now. Well, wherever dafug you are has to be a good place, because no one as good as you could end up in a bad place. Be well. Much love, El Dog
doug "Ten" Rose (sortofbrother)
June 2nd, 2017
Sorry I didn't write yesterday. There are no words to describe the loss and pain I have felt over the past eight describe how much I love and miss you. Yet, even though there has been an ocean of tears shed over the past eight years, it is no match for the joy and laughter experienced during the seven years we shared together. You filled my life in a way nobody else ever will! "In one of the stars I shall be one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars are laughing when you look at the night sky." ~Antoine de Saint Exupery
Leesa Irwin (Yours, forever)
August 30th, 2016
I can't believe it's been 8 years since I got that phone call. Life has changed so much - I'm now married and living in Oregon. I'd love for you to be able to see my new life - miss you all the time. Love you Sal.
Emily Irwin-Stazenski
August 29th, 2016
On this, your 65th birthday, we had the pleasure of having Nick, Jenn and family visit. It amazes me how Nick shares so many of your mannerisms and expressions. And your grandchildren are, all three, beautiful and smart. I can only imagine how much you would have loved and doted on them as only a grandparent can. Hope you will be having a great celebration with so many loved ones and friends who join you in God’s big blue heaven. Love you and miss you every day.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 3rd, 2016
Happy Birthday in heaven Sal. Miss you more than words can say. Remembering you today in a very special way this year ... We celebrated your birthday with your son, daughter inlaw and three grandchildren! Of course my family was there too as well as Paula and Lil Ant. We talked about you a little bit and then sang happy birthday. Your grandson Luca blew out the candles on your strawberry shortcake birthday cake (one of your faves) that we topped off with a mini VW Volkswagen Van. I could feel your presence and just know you were there cekebrating your life with us.
Paula Sayage (Lil sis)
June 2nd, 2016
Happy Birthday in heaven Sal. Miss you more than words can say. Remembering you today in a very special way this year ... We celebrated your birthday with your son, daughter inlaw and three grandchildren! Of course my family was there too as well as Paula and Lil Ant. We talked about you a little bit and then sang happy birthday. Your grandson Luca blew out the candles on your strawberry shortcake birthday cake (one of your faves) that we topped off with a mini VW Volkswagen Van. I could feel your presence and just know you were there cekebrating your life with us.
Paula Sayage (Lil sis)
June 2nd, 2016
Douglas, (I call you by that name because that was how Sal called you when he spoke of you) I always liked how Sal signed off, Be Well. Then the people at Walgreens started saying it, and damned if they haven't turned it into the same thing as "Have a nice day", or what we teachers are told, "Thanks for all you do." They've made it meaningless! I read an article that it is part of their training, a way to connect with the patrons, a way to make them unique. Oh well - Sal always had meaning behind his words and he was definitely one of a kind. And he loved Walgreens - he always got free stuff - so if some company is going to bastardize his words, it may as well be them. What I came on here to say was Happy Birthday Sal! 65. You probably would be hating turning 65, but all of us who love you would rejoice if we could celebrate another year of your life instead of the 8th year of remembering you no older than 57. Hope they're throwing a fantastic party for you - the music should be especially great this year! I love and miss you.
Leesa Irwin (forever yours)
June 2nd, 2016
Happy birthday brother. We still, and always will, love and miss you. See you soon. Be well (I still sign off all mail with that phrase I copied from you decades ago!) Love you, El Doggo, da Jewbastid of Cropsey Avenue (but now Buddhist in New Mexico)
Tenzin (Doug) Rose (yes)
June 2nd, 2016
Happy birthday brother. We still, and always will, love and miss you. See you soon. Be well (I still sign off all mail with that phrase I copied from you decades ago!) Love you, El Doggo, da Jewbastid of Cropsey Avenue (but now Buddhist in New Mexico)
Tenzin (Doug) Rose (yes)
June 2nd, 2016
Sometimes, as I pulled away from the house, leaving you to go back to my other, less real, life I would cry. Why? What was I feeling? That it was the last time I would be driving away, crying, feeling like it was the last time, even though I knew it wasn't...couldn't be. Except the last time I did it, it was.
leesa irwin
January 17th, 2016
My son, Ronnie, presented me with a framed photo this Christmas of my maternal grandmother, my mother, Sal, and myself posing in our Aunt Angie’s back yard. Sal, who was about six years old, and ever the adventurer, is wearing a fez hat with a holster strapped around his shoulder (in very Sal like fashion, no gun was in the holster.) Never known to sit still, he was always going places and doing things. I remember that day; Sal marching about the yard and up and down the stairs (to his own rhythm) and enlisting me in his travels, as he usually did. Some brothers shooed away their little sisters, but not mine. Two years apart, we became partners in crime. I miss you my brother, my first best friend and my partner in crime. Merry Christmas in Heaven.

Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
December 28th, 2015
I love and miss yoiu every day, but especially this day. I am thankful for the time, however brief, you were part of my life. Man, did we make some memories, eh Sal? It is those memories that keep you near me even after 7 years, and I am comforted to know that love and memories will keep you with me throughout the coming years until we can once again be together. I am picturing you putting together a heavenly Thanksgiving feast - there's a lot of folks there to enjoy your culinary talents. I don't know what it's like where you are, but if it is Heaven, you have to be cooking and getting ready for great conversation with all those great minds you so admired. I picture you grinning - kind of like that photo of all of us at our last Easter dinner at Mary and Ron's - and proclaiming, "Where else could you get a meal like this?" Wishing you were here...
Leesa Irwin
November 26th, 2015
This anniversary is one I have dreaded for a long time. Seven years - I have now been without you as long as I knew you. After some thinking, it turns out that 8/29/15 marks exactly 7 years since we first connected. Oh, I knew of you since the first days of school - the old(er) guy who wore a gold chain and talked a lot. We had been in a couple groups - our instructor liked us to work in groups and you seemed to be in mine quite often, not accidental you later told me. I had started to listen to you, and realized that you weren't just blowing hot air. You were actually pretty funny, and smart as well. Here is what I remember, parts of which are most likely mixed up as 14 years and some brain damage are undoubtedly affecting my memory:

At lunch, in the teacher's lounge, on 8/29/01 I sat myself at a little table away from the class to just have some quiet time. You asked if you could join me and we sat chatting. At some point we must have gotten more serious because you ended up telling me that your divorce was finalized that day. You had plans to have dinner with your sons. You looked and sounded so sad, and my heart just went out to you. Being in an unhappy marriage myself, I was familiar with your loneliness. Contemplating divorce in my own future, I understood your grief. As we parted to return to class, I remember making some comment that didn't really make sense, and later I thought over and over about why I said something so stupid. I wanted to let you know that I felt bad for what you were going through and I hoped you were going to be okay. (Can't remember what I actually said, but when we talked about it later you said you wondered what I meant.) In retrospect, I think that was my first attraction to you. A couple years ago I remembered that was the date of your divorce and our first personal talk, as well as the day you died. So it is accurate, in some ways, to say that 8/29/15 marked 14 years since I first really talked with you and 7 years since I lost you. And now I have been without you longer than I was with you. And that just sucks. For the past 7 years I have had to wake up to the realization that you are gone, the same as I will have to do for the next 7 years and the 7 after that, and the 7 after that…until, as is my fervent prayer, we are together again. I miss you, Sal, and seven years hasn't made the missing lessen. I love you, and seven years without you hasn't lessened that any either.

I had dinner with your sons, Jenn, your grandchildren (3 now! You would be so happy with them!) and Ron, who was in Tucson on a brief visit. Usually I leave Nick's house with my emotions smashed (being with your family without you there is heartbreaking) and it takes a week to recover, but this time it was just a visit, catching up on things, casual conversation (Ron and I had a chance to reminisce a little, and if there had been time, I would have enjoyed talking about you with him more), and I left with the thought, "That was nice," instead of tears of fury and grief like usual. Don't know what this change signifies, if anything. Acceptance? Never. Healing? Perhaps, but the scar is thin and easily ripped off. Maybe I just sensed the satisfaction I know you would have felt, being with family and knowing everybody is doing okay.
Leesa Irwin
September 7th, 2015
Thinking of you a lot today, Sal. The Tucson skies have been amazing all day. Bright blue with enormous clouds. The afternoon turned stormy as it often does this time of year and the day ended with the most amazing sunset I have seen in a long time. Were you painting the sky for us today?

Miss you and love you! Seven years seems like a long time but then sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday. Thanks for the sunset. Xoxo
Emily Irwin-Stazenski ("Step daughter")
August 29th, 2015
Seven years have come and gone. I hope that you have found your 7th heaven, your final state of eternal bliss, joined with God and all the angels, our parents and loved ones among them.
There are no words to describe how much you are missed each and every day. Wish you were still here with us.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 28th, 2015
Sometimes I come to this site and end up on a rant. Sometimes I come and words escape me. Today I came to say happy birthday and am stunned, once again, that you are gone.
June 2nd, 2015

“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

Grateful to have basked in your light for all those years.

That light, diminished, yet not extinguished, as you live on ever so brightly in our hearts and minds.

Grief and love conjoined. Miss you my brother.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 2nd, 2015
Happy Birthday in Heaven Sal! Doug beat me to to it, commenting on all the company you have been getting up. My friend Guido and also Mr. Bruno have recently arrived too - nice Italian boys. They are both amazing cooks - what feasts you will be having. I'm sure you guys are all having a good ole time, while we are down here missing you terribly. Just thinking of what kind of cake we will have for you this year as we sing Happy Birthday and celebrate your life, today. If you have a special cake request, just let me know. As we do every year, I will go in the basement to the "Uncle Sal Box" and pull out a trinket for the kids - a gift to them on your birthday. We will laugh ... and cry. Please continue to comfort and guide us along our journey.
Paula Sayage (Lil Sis)
June 2nd, 2015
Howdafug are you Salvatore! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You're getting a lot of company lately, eh?! Say hi to Neil, Patty, Joanne, and the rest who have recently joined you. Do you get comedy shows from Robin Williams where you are? (Maybe he's giving lessons to Patty now, as Patty always wanted to be a comedian and those two guys went to join you during the same week.) Being as, well, what with the law of Karma and all, it must be wonderful up wherever you are. The mooks down here are really fucking this planet up, so I'm sure you really are in, as they say, "a better place." Well, just wanted to say hi and that all us still temporarily embodied earthlings miss and love you very much. I would really rather already be there with you, but They won't let me. Guess I haven't earned my wings yet. I certainly will see you before too very long though, and am looking forward to it. If there's anything you want done down here, just send me a spiritogram and I'll get on it. Adios for now, hermano. Love, Dug
doug rose (brother)
June 2nd, 2015
We needed an anniversary date, but never could decide what day to commemorate. We met in school - should it be the first day we attended that building where we initially spent so many hours together? Or what about that day we went to the park and you told me your story and I told you about my first baby, then showed you his name carved on the wall at children's memorial park?

Maybe it should be that day when you took a survey to see how many people were left handed, and you somehow worked in a variable for this nonexistent "experiment", requiring survey subjects to reveal their age. Thank God I was 42 and raised my hand in the 40 - 45 range, instead of the 35 - 40 range, which you later told me should have been a deal breaker, but probably wouldn’t have been. Thank-you, by the way, for seeing me through eyes that could picture someone young enough to be 35. And you fifty - robbing the cradle a bit there, eh? You said someday we'd catch up in age... ridiculous, yet in two years, what has turned out to be prophetic will be true.

I like to remember that day you asked about my ring (wedding) and why I didn't always wear it. I just laughed and told you I was 17 when I got married, and was "just a little slip of a thing", so it was pretty tight and uncomfortable. It took me months to realize you were searching for information. That day, or close enough to have been that day, I really took notice of you. Prior, you were just that guy with the gold chain who ALWAYS had something to say. But that day, I realized I usually was quite interested in what you had to say. We always seemed to end up in the same group in class or at the same table in the teacher's lounge (again, you later told me, not an accident.) You were always calling yourself an opportunist.) At some point, I started to search you out too. I loved walking into a room, a building, or shopping at a junk store, and searching you out. To this day, my eyes scan open places, as my heart sits in deserted spaces. but, I digress. Still,I’d like to celebrate, on an annual basis, that day when you became Sal Celi and not just that opinionated old guy who wore heavy cologne.

Maybe our anniversary should be the day we went to Denny's during our lunch hour and just ... clicked. Lunch hour at schools means lunch half hour in reality, but we stretched it out. When together, time did this weird thing and accelerated at an incredible pace. It always seemed we had barely begun a conversation, just started looking into each other's eyes, and hours had passed. Then one day - too soon, it was only the beginning of our journey, there were still years and years ahead for us - I blinked, and it ended. On that day at Denny's, I finally noticed your eyes, and your smile, and your laugh, and your scent, and your nearness. Something - something fundamental and primary - happened. Remember how the waiter caught it? He wanted to talk to us, be in our space to absorb that chemical reaction we had going on. He asked our names and said he wanted to know us. He didn't want us to leave. I later told my therapist about that day, about you, and she said that just watching me talk about you made her want to go jump her husband's bones! (Sorry if that's TMI for this forum, but hey, it's my dime). That day seems worthy of an anniversary.

I cherish the memory of the first time you took me to your house. You were nervous. You told me you had cleaned the place up for me, and I thought, “Really?” I was to learn that you had really done some heavy duty cleaning to make a good impression. Neatness, dare I say cleanliness, was not at the top of your priority list. At the time though, I was enchanted with the groupings of items, the shelves filled with tshatshkes, the unexpected hidden surprise here and there. We poured over photo albums as you went deeper into your family history. Family - they meant everything to you. I just sat and took it all in, one leg casually draped over yours, listening to the stories that wove the tapestry of your time on Earth. I was just getting to know you, but hadn’t I really always known you? You and I were so quickly us. That first day was just the first of many days that became weeks, that turned into months, but were not enough years. That house was quickly home. The place I felt loved, maybe even cherished, and safe, and welcomed and needed. We traveled several thousand miles away from that frame house, but no place was ever as comfortable as home. They tore it down, Sal. I didn’t know. Another loss to mourn, another good-bye left unsaid. Hearts break. But not the first time I saw your house. That day, the heart was just waking up, and there was joy.

Another day deserving of annual reminisce, would be the day that started our first - of many - trips together. School had ended. True we did not yet have sheepskin in hand, but it was done. And a whole new chapter of our lives was beginning. A path untraveled, miles long, so long it didn’t seem possible it could have an ending. You wanted me to see, first hand, the place that had shaped you, where your formative years were spent and your family still resided. Lucky me - that part of our journey took us to New York. Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me home. I literally couldn’t believe I was there, at the brink of summer, in a city full of sights and sounds and tastes I didn’t even know to dream about. “I’m here, I’m here,” was a litany that played on a continuous loop in my head by way of my heart. I couldn’t differentiate here, in New York, from here, with you, or here, truly alive. I told you it was the best day. I told you that most days. You’d get worried and protest, “They can’t all be best days!” But they were, every day, even the bad ones. I told you I wanted the words: “She Lived the Best Life”, carved on my tombstone. Metaphorically speaking, since death was an abstract concept and irrelevant to our lives. Until we died that is. That was a pretty big deal.

We had a treasure trove of firsts. Any one of them could have been our anniversary. The thing is, there were still so many firsts to experience. I’m so glad you got to know your first grandson. We had a blast babysitting Luca those first few months. There are two grand daughters now too. I saw “Uncle Sal” in action with your nieces and nephews, sharing your knowledge, your wisdom, your sense of playful fun, your humor, your camaraderie, and your love. Grandpa was a role that would have had you cooking with gas!

Yet, we never did decide on a day we could say - “This is it. This will be the day we call anniversary. So many firsts, and no anniversary.

Today was the 6th anniversary. Oh I know when he was killed, even if I don’t remember it. August 29th is seared into my heart. That day broke my heart, actually battered it to pieces, along with my body. The physical pain that daily clutches me in gnarled, burning agony, at the mercy of narcotics for the rest of my so called life, is nothing compared to the desolation that has taken up permanent residence in my soul. I hate August, but the days leading up to the 29th are usually much more burdensome than the day itself. Nothing trumps 9/12 though. This one is the 6th anniversary - look Sal, we have a day to commemorate. How macabre, how sad, that it is of death. Six years ago today I woke from a coma and had to know that Sal was... Well I don’t like to say that word in the same sentence as his name.

Because, in so many ways he is not dead. He lives in our hearts, our memories, and sometimes he’s still right here with us. You’ve got to know that he’s out there carpe dieming the heck out of life as he now experiences it. He’s in good company. A lot of good ones have taken that particular journey since he left. And of course a lot of good ones paved the way ahead of him. I have to smile picturing him having discussions with his loved ones and debates with his heroes. Probably all sitting around a huge table noshing on a bountiful feast. To have known him however long or how ever briefly is cause to celebrate. We miss him, of course we do, But our lives are better for having known him. I love and miss you, my love. Someday.
leesa irwin
September 13th, 2014
thinking of you uncle sal. I know you are watching over us especially our little Anthony. love you always.
Paula DiMango
September 8th, 2014
Six years of missing you and six years of so many family events taking place that you are not here to share with us. It's all so sad for us here but I'm hoping and praying that where you are now, all that doesn't matter. I tell my kids that I just know you are with them always. I can feel it. We will be celebrating your life tomorrow and I just know you'll stop in to check it out! Smiles and tears ....
Paula Sayage (Lil Sis)
August 28th, 2014
Six years tomorrow - An unhappy anniversary, but one nonetheless. You've been much on my mind.

Missing you - your smile, your laughter, your stupid jokes, your appetite for life (as well as L&B and Roll N Roaster, and Nathan’s, and Chinese food, and the list goes on : )
your empathy, your sympathy, your sage advice, your great big bear hugs and, most of all, your love.
My love for you remains, and always will.
You are forever in my heart and often in my thoughts.
Until we meet again, my brother.
I remain,
Mary Lyn

Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 28th, 2014
Love and miss you, hermano. The world was a better place when Sal Celi's sharp humor, bright mind, and webbed feet walked on it--and it gets better again every time I think of you and smile. See you soon, The Dog p.s. I will now go smoke a birthday candle in your honor.
Doug (Tenzin) Rose (Brooklynbro)
June 2nd, 2014
Its June 2nd again ..... each year that passes since you have gone, we miss you more. Throughout the year your name comes up numerous times and we all laugh and take that opportunity to tell Uncle Sal stories. Today, like every other June 2nd since 2009, We will light candles from your memorial service with your photos on them from different stages of your life -- celebrating that life! And what an interesting once it was, to say the least. You will be on my mind more than usual today my brother, but more importantly you will always be in my heart. Wishing you a happy birthday in heaven. Hoping they got you a yummy strawberry short cake or possibly a chocolate blackout cake to celebrate!
paula sayage (lil sis)
June 2nd, 2014
It’s been a long time since I’ve visited. None the less, Sal is ever on my mind and in my heart. Not a day goes by that thoughts and memories of him are not with me.
The onset of the warmer weather, especially, holds fond memories of Sal.
Along with his birthday, always came the anticipation of the summer months.
As kids, that meant fun in the pool, camping out in the back lot and playing in the street in front of our house. It also meant trips to the beach and occasional Sundays at Coney Island. Many a night was spent in the back lot around a campfire, relaying spooky stories and dipping our hands in melted wax (from the candles from his altar boy days). Marshmallows and hot dogs roasted on sticks were the usual dinner fare. That, and baked beans heated in a battered old pot. We’d sleep side by side in Sal’s pup tent, reading comic books by lantern light, talking and giggling until sleep set in.
As we grew older, summer meant newly gained independence and freedom and new found friendships. The usual meeting places were the phone booths at the gas station or the benches at Contello Towers. It was here that our group of friends would congregate, reveling in each other’s company, simply hanging around with each other or making plans for the night. We’d often return to “the basement” which was Sal’s ‘room’ in our house. At its core was his eclectic and memorable collection of record albums. At one point the walls and ceiling were adorned with a UV light, day glo polka dots and psychedelic posters. At another point, the family washing machine adorned the middle of the floor. No matter what the circumstances, the basement was open 24/7 to anyone who wanted to stop by, no matter the time. This was typical Sal behavior, always there for anyone who needed him, to lend an ear, to lend a hand.

I miss that ear, I miss that hand, I miss our annual telephonic, off key, happy birthday song. I miss our visits. I miss Sal, more than words can say.
Happy Birthday my brother - Celebrating you - your life, your wisdom and your love.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 1st, 2014
Undoubtedly, Sal would admire your voyager spirit. You carry within you his courage and sense of adventure. One of his greatest pleasures in life was traveling the world with you, his loving partner and friend. Enjoy your trip and revel in the beauty that is there, as Sal would want you to.
Here's to Sal, on his birthday and always.
Stay well, ML
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
June 1st, 2014
More often than not, we would be traveling on Sal's birthday. The last one we spent together, his 57th, was in Alaska. Sal opened the world to me, made travel not just a possibility, but a necessity. We had great adventures, learned about new cultures, ate amazing food, laughed, had great fun. I pretty much figured international travel was over for me (true, I took a trip to the Bahamas with my daughter, Megan, but that was on a cruise ship from an American port)with Sal gone. I write this year's birthday greetings to my love from Helsinki, Finland. I traveled alone, through Dallas, into Paris where I missed my flight but was able to get another flight, and into Helsinki where I have spent 4 great days, with a week and a half still to come. It's not the same without Sal, travel with him was such a huge part of what we shared, but without his influence I probably wouldn't be here now. He gave me courage and taught me how to manage the ends and outs of travel. When I got scared, I swallowed it and figured out what to do. So, happy birthday, Sal. You can't imagine how much I wish you were here. We never talked about northern Europe, but you would love it here - there is history, great beauty, delicious food, and the friendliest people. I am thinking of you, celebrating you today.
Leesa Irwin
June 1st, 2014
"I missed you, for too long, in too many ways,
That it became just another part of me;
Engraved deeper into my heart with the passing of time.
I would wake up,
And miss you.
They told me to let it go, to let you go,
And I would say:
You simply cannot will your heart to stop beating,
That no matter how long you hold your breath for,
You cannot hold it forever,
And I could only stop missing you,
If I stopped being myself entirely,"
Leesa Irwin (partner)
April 19th, 2014
Another new year, 2014.
I was never big on New Year celebrations. But as each new year passes, and I grow older, I begin to appreciate both the year ahead and the years behind.
The new year prompts me to not only look toward the future, but it offers the opportunity to look back at the years gone by. And, among the best of those years were the years Sal and I spent growing up together. And we did grow up together! My earliest memories include my brother as my playmate, my protector, my friend and my role model. And all those aspects of our relationship remained in tact until the day Sal left this Earth. I was truly blessed to have a brother like Sal and strive to remember and be thankful for that each and every day.

Looking forward - Having Anthony Salvatore in my life is both a present day and future blessing. He brings such joy to life. I wish I could be with him all the time. I know Sal would have loved to know him and I am sad that Anthony Salvatore will never meet his great Uncle Sal. But Sal does live on, in our hearts, in our minds, and in all the 'Sal' stories that we love to relate to each other. I know that Anthony Salvatore will be the benefactor of those many stories once he is old enough to understand.
Another new year; working on moving forward and seizing the day.
Love you and miss you Sal.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
January 1st, 2014
Leesa, that was just beautiful. Yes, it is hard to believe that five years has passed since Sal had to leave us. Larry, the kids and I are constantly bringing up "Uncle Sal Stories" and many laughs and smiles are shared around them. As I am watching Saleem grow, he reminds me more and more of my brother each day. Everything about him -- his body type, the kind of clothing he picks out, his odd sernse of humor, his need to be "different" and of course his love for music. Saleem truly has some type of connection with Sal. He uses it to his advantage sometimes -- such as -- He was immediately attracted to a very expensive Lego set -- it was a retro Volkswagon VW. I told him it was too much money and he told me "but its exactly like Uncle Sal's!" Now how can you say no to that.

Both the twins, still ask many questions about him and why he isn't with us, but I have no real answers for them, and in times of anxiousness and little boy problems (eg. hitting a baseball at a game, a belt test in karate)they call upon him for help. I will see them either kiss their cross around their neck or bless themselves and later when I asked them what they were doing they would say "I was asking Uncle Sal to help me". Sal is still helping children down here on earth while he is up in heaven!

A great story I would like to share is about Saleem & Nick's karate teacher - Sensei Lisa. She is in going through her fourth attempt to kick cancer in the past 10 years and is 57 years old. This time around it really took a toll on her. When I visited and asked what I could do for her she said "ask Nick to put in a special request for me to whomever he communicates with right before his karate test. It seems to work for him - every time!!" I replied "Oh, that's Uncle Sal, I'll see if Nick could put in a good word for you."

Five years of missing you my big crazy brother, but a lifetime of sweet memories. Please continue to watch over us all Sal ....
Paula Saayge (Lil Sis)
August 31st, 2013
When Sal and I first started as a couple, we couldn't get enough of each other's company. As we parted, we'd make plans for when we would see each other again, usually 3 or 4 days later, and Sal would grin and say, "If I was a betting man..." then laugh because he knew not more than a day or two could pass before we had to see each other again. And, from the beginning, we would talk, every single night, on the phone.

Over the years, this never really changed. On the weeks when my daughter, Emily, was with her dad, I'd stay by Sal all week. On the weeks Em was with me, I would head home on Sunday, he and I would meet for dinner by Wednesday, and we all shared the weekend. Very rarely did we spend more than 2 days apart - his terrific experience exploring the Galapagos for a month, almost did me in, except that I stayed at the house with Bella and was surrounded by his stuff.

Who knew I'd make it 5 years without him with me? If I was a betting man, I would never have believed I'd make it. I don't know how I've come to pass these years, except I kept waking up each day and kept breathing until I went to bed each night. It's not living though - not the way he showed me to live. If you ask me, I will smile and say everything is alright, but this one day, this day after he left this Earth 5 years ago, I will tell you the truth, a truth I imagine all you who loved him will recognize. Living without Sal is going through the motions, hoping to heaven there is something beyond this, a time when we will be together again. I didn't get enough of him during the too brief time I knew him, and the missing of him is in the marrow of my bones. The hope for "someday" pumps the blood that flows through my body. The memory of this profound person has to be enough, and like Mary said, not a day passes without remembering him.

This year, as this dreaded anniversary rolled around, my thoughts turned to the question, "What would any of us do if we knew today was to be the last day of our lives? All day the 28th and yesterday, I imagined Sal going through his last days. The wreck pretty much destroyed most of my memory of our summer together, but I knew Sal well, and I could easily imagine him.

He spent his last day doing what he loved. He got up, went through his morning rituals (he loved predictable routines), and most likely packed the car so we could leave right away when school ended. Then he went to school to spend the day in the company of young people, sharing his wisdom, ideas and humor. The man was in his element in the classroom! He left school, excited to be going on a trip to a place we loved going to, with plans to do the things we loved doing. He would have touched base with as many family members the week/weekend before. He hated saying good-bye to Bella, so he would have just given her a treat (stale hot dog) and left like it was no big deal. I know he felt a pang as we turned onto Camino del Cerro - he loved his home and never really wanted to leave it, but there was a whole big world out there to explore, and we had a long weekend stretched out before us. He never wanted to look back and say those dreaded words, "Coulda, shoulda, woulda." So we were off, together, which I like to think made him happiest of all. (I sure felt that way!) We would have been talking, going over our day (mostly me), talking about what was ahead (mostly him), probably listening to music, undoubtedly laughing.

What happened just before, during, and just after? I'd give almost anything to know, but those memories are as lost to me as Sal is. But the day leading up to that horrific moment in time was a good one, I think.

Sal spent his last day doing the things he loved, mundane perhaps, but part of the tapestry of his life. He was loved by so many of you, and he knew that, and appreciated that. And, a blessing to us, he loved us back. He was able to give his love, share his compassion, and live honorably. Weren't we all just so lucky for having known him, loved him, and been loved by him?

Remember Sal. Share your memories. Go out and seize the day - for him, since he can't, if not for yourself.
Leesa Irwin (partner)
August 31st, 2013
Five years have come and gone since you left this earth. And not one day goes by that I do not have some thought/fond memory of you. While your physical presence is lost to us, your spirit truly does live on. But, oh how I miss that presence.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 30th, 2013
I feel as if you've been with me a lot this past week. Spent a few days upstate (NY)- woods, streams, waterfalls, chilly mornings, beautiful warm sunny days, chilly nights. Drove past New Paltz, Woodstock, signs for Monticello. Reminiscent of times long gone - of pitching tents, camping out, the smell of the earth, waking to the sunrise and early morning bagel runs.

Turned 6 - 0 this month, the month of my birth and your death - bittersweet. Miss you brother...
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 17th, 2013
Happy birthday to you, happy biiirrrrthdaaay to you, happy birthday dear Saaaaalllvatooorrre (and tell Neil happy BD too!), happy birthday to youuuuuuu!!!!!!!! Hope it's a great one! To a lot of us, you're still here--and always will be. Love you, El Dog
Doug Rose (brother)
June 2nd, 2013
There is a flood of feeling running through me on this, the 4th anniversary of Sal’s death; the most prevalent being sadness at the loss of his physical presence. But like the others who have written here, I remain subject to the essence of Sal, or as Lisa aptly put it, his Salness.
Sal always had a way about him that drew you to him and that spirit remains very much alive, despite the fact that Sal is gone. It is in our remembering Sal that we keep him alive. Every time we speak his name, pass on a Sal story, retell a Sal joke, recall a Sal visit, or recount a Sal adventure, it is as if Sal is reincarnated, back with us again. Inevitably, this brings a smile to our faces and warmth to our hearts. While it does not negate the fact that he is gone from us; it eases the burden of our loss, keeping us moving forward in our lives, better for having known and loved him and hoping to one day see him once more.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 31st, 2012
There is so much to say about Uncle Sal and how his loss has affected me these past four years. My sister told me that she thinks Sal is a butterfly now (a theory borrowed from my aunt, apparently), and the pragmatist in me has long scoffed at that idea. But if you think about it, Butterfly Sal makes perfect sense - a caterpillar who grew wings, emerged from his cocoon and learned to fly again. An explorer. That was my uncle. Granted, butterflies don't eat pizza, but Sal had his fill in human form, as we all witnessed.

I have been training for the NYC Marathon since February. I often run at least 6-7 miles down by the beach near my home in Staten Island. I am experiencing my own rebirth of sorts these past few years, my own re-emergence. While running last week, I encountered a butterfly. It flew around me for a few seconds and was gone. The next day, another one. This past Monday, the sun was beating down on me, I was struggling thru 20 miles, and I looked down and saw the shadow of a butterfly fluttering around me. It hovered a little longer this time.

Now just like all of us who WANT to believe that Sal is in a better place - that he's all around us, is waiting for us, is eating a feast in Heaven, etc. - I too realize that this can just be a coincidence. Butterflies are everywhere. Butterflies are insects, not reincarnated people.

But I believe - maybe if my uncle isn't a butterfly, or even the butterfly watching over me during my runs, I believe that he is with me. I thought to myself, 'If that butterfly shows up again, I'll know for sure that it's him.' And of course it didn't - but that's what FAITH is. Believing that something exists even though it very likely does not.

I always held a special place in my heart for Uncle Sal since I was a little kid even tho I rarely saw him in person after I was 7 years old. I was always drawn to him and I still am. He moved away, he went exploring in the desert, and that only made him more intriguing to me. His visits to NY were events and the time he had with the Celi clan was always precious and cherished. Now that he's gone, I'm even more intrigued by who he was before and what he is now.

To me, Sal is a beacon of hope and a source of comfort in spite of the loss I feel. "It's going to be okay." When that butterfly shows up on my runs, that's the thought that always enters my mind even tho it's unspoken. In whatever way Sal speaks to you, I hope and trust he's telling you the same - "It's going to be okay."
Ron Scalzo (Nephew)
August 31st, 2012
Lately, my head has been filled with song lyrics - appropriate since Sal loved music so much. Whenever he heard music - even a ditty on a commercial, his legs would start tapping out the rhythm. One of my favorite memories with Sal is a time when Emily asked him about some Beatles song. Of course he had the song in his vast collection. He put it on, and as the music began, he started rapping out the rhythm on his knees. He had this look, I don't know, I call it the Sal look (those of you who knew him well probably know what I mean). He was happy because he could give Em the song, he was playful because he personally enjoyed the song, and he was a bit full of himself because life, at that moment, was good. He was having fun!

That's the Sal I knew. The man who had the music inside himself. The man who would grab me, in the kitchen on a Sunday morning, and dance with me. He had this little two beat step he'd throw in every now and then. I never knew when it was coming, and I pretty much blew it every time. Funny, now that I dance with him, alone, without him, I have gotton really good at knowing when to do that extra beat.

If you knew and loved Sal, you know that he didn't really die 4 years ago. A person like Sal is a rarity. They don't come around that often, and when they do, they leave a mark, a footprint, that remains long after they're gone. I think their essence lasts forever actually. So though he is not physically with us - and oh, how I miss his physical presence - his Salness is still here, and always will be. Today, as you commerate the day he died, celebrate the fact that you got to share your life with him. Remember him, feel his presence. He is with you, in whatever way he is able to be. Know that he loved you. Believe me, this man had an unending capacity for love. He cared about you so much - he shared his thoughts and memories about you, so I know this is true.

This is how I manage to get through every day. I couldn't let him go - so I didn't. He is with me constantly. No, I'm not nuts... I know he is dead (shit, those words still rock me to the core!) Instead of "moving on", I continued on, and I feel his presence, I share my day, and I feel his closeness.

After 4 years, I can say I feel happiness again. Sure, I look worse for the wear, but I've grown to love my scars. Sure, my hand doesn't work, but I am glad for what my arm can do. Sure, I miss Sal, and I will until we are together again. But there is so much beauty in the world, so much to learn, so much to enjoy. And he's right there with me. With all of you.

Today, mourn his loss. How could you not? Then remember all the fun times you had with Sal, all the laughs, all you learned, all the ways he touched and impacted your life. Put on some music, or maybe play some music, and tap out the beat. I love you, Sal. Always. Wait for me.
Leesa Irwin (mate)
August 29th, 2012
Happy Birthday Dad
Michael Celi (Son)
June 2nd, 2012
Sal and Food
Coming from an Italian American family virtually guarantees an extraordinary attachment to food. We grew up with the notion that food equals love. And to my mind, and to Sal’s I’m sure, it does. What greater pleasure is there then preparing, and then sharing, good food with the ones you love? What better experience then tasting the food and flavors of other cultures to get to know them more intimately?
No doubt about it, Sal could eat! (As can most of the members of the Celi clan - myself included).
Leesa’s account of the Roman pizza sampling experience, brings to mind Sal’s NY visits. L&B was usually the first stop on the food tour. Upon his arrival from the airport (no matter the time of day or night) there would be two whole squares begging consumption. (For those of you not in the know, that’s 48 pieces of thick crusted, Sicilian pizza.) If Sal’s flight was a red eye - no worries - a stack of cardboard boxes was awaiting him in a warm oven. When the repast was over, the number of squares Sal actually consumed was always unknown. No matter how the calculations were made, the count was always inaccurate. Sal could never ‘remember’ how many he had eaten. This question of how many he had eaten became a standard family joke, one that always remained unanswered.
When Sal first moved to Tucson, we arrived for a first visit with two whole L&B squares. Each was painstakingly wrapped in plastic, then foil, frozen and then packed in dry ice for the trip and stowed in our carry on luggage. I have a photo of this somewhere, my kitchen table covered in plastic wrapped pizza.
When we moved to PA, one of our major concerns was finding a pizzeria that cooked up a reasonable facsimile to L & B’s square before Sal’s visit. We did manage to find one that met with his approval. And, as always the number of squares Sal consumed continued to be indeterminate.

Another stop on the food tour was Nathan’s, where ‘dogs’ and fries were consumed in abundance. Of course, it was the Coney Island Nathan’s, as no other could replicate the unique taste of (decades old) cooking oil and the salty sea air. Then there was Roll N Roaster, Joe’s of Avenue U, Silver Star Chinese, and numerous other Brooklyn food stops - various bakeries and restaurants among them.
Reading Leesa’s account of their travels together, lifts my heart. Sal so loved and enjoyed the travel, the food and Leesa. The happiness and contentment that Sal gave to Leesa was reciprocated in equal measure by her love for him. And for this I will be eternally thankful. She came into Sal’s life at a time when he had lost faith in love and hope for happiness. I know of no one who deserved happiness more than my brother, and Leesa gave that to him, and more. It was only fair for someone like Sal, who freely shared his love, his wisdom and himself with others, to receive equal love and care in return.
I understand the feeling of missing him every day all to well. He is my first and oldest friend who I knew, trusted and relied upon for over 50 years. He remains in my heart forever.

Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
April 10th, 2012
I just saw a sign that said "Eat Well Travel Often" that made me think of Sal (although, to be truthful, I am always thinking of Sal). This could have been his motto - one of them anyway. When I think of all the magnificent places he took me, it boggles my mind. In six short years, we saw more places, watched more people, listened to the music of more languages, and did more adventurous things together than I ever dreamed of. He shared the world with me, and it was so incredible because, no matter where we went, or what we did, he was there with me. Seeing life with him, through his eyes, accompanied by his commentary, was a gift, a treasure I thank him for.

His zest for life, his joy when traveling, was always lifted to another level by the food we ate in our journeys. Wherever we were, we ate the cuisine of the country, and he ate with gusto. He loved trying new things, and he enjoyed just about everything. So many of my memories include food. Wherever we were, we visited the grocery stores to see what the "real people eat", and we always left with at least one full bag of things to sample. One day, as we walked the streets of Palermo, he determined to try a slice at as many pizzerias as possible, and I kept pace by trying to eat as much gelato as I could. In a little village north of Rome, we had an incredible multi-course meal, and he just kept grinning as one delicious plate followed another. He was incredulous as we shared dinner in the desert prepared by our Bedouin guide, ate by candlelight on a felucca as we floated on the Nile, or dined on roast duck in China. And of course, he took me to many favorite hangouts in New York. I could go on and on - once I start thinking about it, one culinary memory follows another, and I just remember how much FUN we had together!

This amazing man loved life, embraced every experience, and loved to share with others. Fifty-seven years wasn't nearly enough, but I can vouch for the fact that he lived the hell out of each and every year he had on this earth. It's just that he should have been given fifty-seven more.

I miss you, Sal, every minute of every day. I thank you for sharing the last years of your life with me, for teaching me how to live and love and laugh. I think we gave each other joy, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I love you, and always will.

Leesa Irwin (partner)
March 20th, 2012
Thinking of you today - Remembering those chocolate covered JOYVA jelly and marshmallow chocolates that you used to give to me for V Day when we were kids, 2 for a nickel.

"Family where life begins and love never ends."
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
February 14th, 2012
As the holidays have come to a close I realize more than ever how the ones we love and who have touched our lives so deeply never truly leave us. Miss you always Uncle Sal. I did the 7 fishes!
Paula DiMango (Niece)
January 4th, 2012
Sal always had a way of shining a light on things, making them ‘bright and colorful,’ from our childhood backyard campouts to our teenage years hanging out in a psychedelic basement, to our adult visits in Tucson or NY. This is why his presence is so sorely missed - each and every day, but especially at Christmas when everything is shiny and bright, but somehow lackluster without him. It’s funny how I still expect that holiday/birthday phone call that allowed us to celebrate each other and our traditions from far away.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, Sal. Hope you are happy in God’s blue heaven.

Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
December 31st, 2011
One of my favorite memories of Sal centers around this date. I had a baby boy born on this day, thirty years ago, but he died soon after birth. Of course, as we were getting to know each other, I spoke of this to Sal. One year he surprised me with a picnic, and took me to Children's Memorial Park, where Daniel's name is engraved on a memorial wall. He packed Italian bread, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, salami, and lemonade (funny, I can't remember words or important due dates, but I remember my time with Sal in technicolor detail). He turned a sad day into a wonderful afternoon. Now, every year on 12/23, I have two memories. Sal balanced out the sadness. That is one of the gifts he gave to me - he balanced out my life. Now I am so damn, unbalanced, but his memories still have a soothing effect. Thanks, Sal, for all the best days you gave me. I miss you and love you!
Leesa Irwin (Partner)
December 23rd, 2011
This Thanksgiving we will certainly be thinking of Sal as we stuff our turkeys and our faces. He would want the two to go together! I picked up a tiny box of baci's -- his favroite italian candy -- to place on the Thansgiving table in his memory. As i have been shopping for food for Thanksgiving dinner, I get remiders of Sal -- and a smile comes to my face and a sight ache in my heart. We truly do miss him. Enjoy your meal and your Baci in heaven Sal! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
paula sayage (lil sis)
November 22nd, 2011
IM sure dad is gong to have one busy thanksgiving dinner, Im sure he'll be sitting with each and everyone of us I know ill celebrating his presence and cherishing his life. Dad loved the holidays, so i think mourning his absence would be against his wishes. so enjoy yourself eat until that top but of your pants come undone. Happiest holidays to everyone!!
michael celi (son)
November 21st, 2011
I came here for Thanksgiving to thank God for giving you to us for as long as he saw fit. Although I do wish he had seen fit to leave you with us for a while longer.
Hope you are enjoying our family traditions sitting at that great big table in heaven with our family members.
I'll be reminded of you as I prepare Mom's stuffing.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
November 21st, 2011
Matchmaker, matchmaker. make me a a match
fetch me that gasoline and draw me a bath
caretaker, caretaker, please take my care
many tomorrows may pass but theres still many we'll share

plume nom de (an old friend)
November 18th, 2011
Sorry I missed an August 29th entry. We had no electric for 8 days due to the storm. Couldn't help but think of how Sal would have absolutely loved being without electric. I on the other hand - loved that we were were able to be rescued by our generator for that whole time.

We had a small "anniversary in heaven" celebration for Sal. We put out his pictures, candles, momentos and of course - the Uncle Sal Box made its way up from the basement. This time we pulled out one of his favorite books, "The Little Prince" for Nicole, a lovely mirror with a poem on it from his classroom, for Sarah. Saleem got a "coin change maker" and he walked around for two days making change for everyone. Last but not least, Nicky got a framed tarantula. Everyone had a smile of their face in memory of Uncle Sal.

Paula and Anthony joined us as well. We took a family vote and all decided it was time for us to honor Sal by watching the Memorial DVD made for us by his middle school. It was very different watching it this time. Its been three years - there were still tears but much more laughs this time around.

How our hearts still ache for him. This was the first time our boys, Saleem and Nicky watched this DVD they were very taken by it. Of course when it ended, they said how much they miss Uncle Sal - we all do . . .

paula sayage (lil sis)
September 4th, 2011
I find my thoughts are filled with sorrow
Knowing there will be no tomorrow
To see your smile or hear your voice
God has not left us this choice

I miss our common joys and griefs
Your time with us was much too brief
Although we are so far apart
You’ll always be within my heart
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 29th, 2011
It's closing in on that damn time of the year again; a time that I wish I could change with all my being. But, I can't.
I am just beginning to speak of you, Sal, by name, with less sadness and more joy. I realize that we still are what we were to each other, but I so miss our little pranks, inside jokes and your larger than life presence. Although you are out of sight, you are never out of mind.
Loving and missing you, Mary Lyn
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
August 24th, 2011
I hope the big 60 wasn't too traumatic for you...but now you can be forever young!! We are all thinking of you and missing you as always.
ginny crist (leesa's mom)
June 3rd, 2011
Happy Birthday Uncle Sal, celebrating your life today and always. Love and miss you so much.
Paula DiMango (niece)
June 2nd, 2011
It was 20 years ago today that our mom left this world. It seems like such a long time to be without one you love.
Never did I imagine that Sal, too, would be gone so soon. These past few years without his presence seem like an eternity. I can only hope that he is somewhere nearby looking over all of us, along with mom and dad and all those we hold dear. While the continuity is broken, the love and the memory remain.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
May 27th, 2011
That reminds me of when when Sal and Lisa made the VHS tape for Sarah to bring into school about the desert. She must have been in 2nd or 3rd grade. It had to be about 6 years ago. She was so proud of her uncle that he actually lived in the desert and knew so much about it. Every time she saw Uncle Sal it was a loving and learning experience. I am sure she will cherish those memories forever.
paula sayage (lil sis)
April 7th, 2011
Taught about the desert today. Showed my fourth graders many desert artifacts that I got from your classroom. You are still so very much alive in what I say and do; but I miss your presence.
Fondly remembering our walks in the desert and your pontificating (oh how I miss this) about the desert habitat and unearthing scorpions for me to bring back to my class. Know that many more students are learning from you every single day. To my mind, you were my/the ultimate teacher,always willing to share your learning and always willing to learn.
Please look in on us from time to time, to make sure we are doing okay.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
April 6th, 2011
I too come by here often to read the stories and the candles that have been lit and to light one of my own.
I haven't written anything in close to a year.
I'm sorry for that because we all certainly want to keep Sal's memory alive and I do know from talking to Leesa, that any word written here by those who love him, helps all of us.

I will come back in a few days and tell of the time Sal took us camping and then to see The Thing!
But for awhile I must concentrate on Leesa and hoping that the sheer power of his love for her and my mothers love will get her through these times where she must be very very stong.
I just want to imagine him setting on her shoulder and whispering...."You can do it Kid!" I give her over to him for safe keeping.
Ginny Crist (Leesa's mom)
February 1st, 2011
I like Mary, wish there were more entries to this site. It's a resting place for me, a place I come to be with Sal, through you. I can tell that others come too as the number of visits to the site increase. I cannot let go of him, and I hunger for anything anyone has to say. Still, I know he remains in your hearts, and that he comes to your minds.

Mary, I promise, his memory will remain alive as long as I am on this earth. He is my first or second conscious thought every day I wake up, and he is in my mind, my heart, throughout the day. The grief of his loss is a constant, like the sound of the ocean, always there, pulling. Sometimes it's a blow, the undeniable truth that he is gone - really gone - and not just not here right now. Yet the grief is sometimes tempered - the devestating beauty of a Tucson sky on a clear winter night, Luca's face, a sunrise, a sunset, someone saying what he always said, the feeling that he's right beside me... these things help.

For some of us, the grief takes months, years, even a life time. Take your time, be kind to yourself, live. He would want that.
leesa irwin (his, forever)
December 11th, 2010
Some Thoughts...
Since Ron has this "BIG PUSH" on to clean up the basement, I've started to go through my mess. In doing so, I came upon a suitcase that Sal had brought with him the last time he visited. It contained a tent and various camping equipment -mismatched, discolored silverware; beat up plastic plates; a Coleman Lantern, which I was hard pressed to assemble;and some battered pots and pans. The plan was to pack up whomever wanted to come and go camping at the Delaware Water Gap - a site reminiscent of our youth. We, well most of us, were quite excited about going. But it was not to be. Sal never made that trip in.
I wanted so much to hold on to these things - all symbols of my brother in an odd sort of way. But letting them go is part of the process of grieving. Yes, after all this time, I am still grieving for him. So we decided to donate them to Goodwill, hoping someone would purchase them and enjoy camping in the great outdoors. As sad as I was, I recalled a time when Sal & Lisa came to visit and asked that we go to a few thrift stores (which I hate doing). And I smiled, thinking if Sal were alive today, he would likely purchase that tent and equipment himself.

The entries to this memorial site have pretty much stopped. This saddens me a bit, as I'd hoped more people who knew Sal would share their memories of him. But I'll keep adding from time to time, wishing to keep his memory alive.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
December 7th, 2010
It's been awhile since I have written, but Sal is always on my mind.

In fact, I was just listening to Willie Nelson's song, and I realized how unlike Sal this song is. Well, yes, we were almost always on each other's mind, either because we we together or waiting for when we would be together. But there were times, most often when we were teaching, that we were too busy to have each other foremost in our minds. I remember once, when we first began teaching, that Sal exclaimed, "I didn't think of you at all today until the kids went home!" I didn't take offense - my kids consumed my thoughts and energy during school hours too. How he loved being in the classroom, sharing his knowledge with kids he really believed were our future! How sad that this is the 3rd year that a group of kids who would have so benefitted from knowing this wise remarkable man...won't.

But, "I digress." Willie's song - one of my favorites - is about a man who laments that he maybe didn't show his love how much he cared. Sal told me, daily, how much he loved me, he treated me with respect, and he said and did all the little things he should have. He was always there to talk, to listen, to hold me, to share his life. I can only hope that I did the same for him, that he knew and felt my love and how happy I was with him. I am so thankful for all the moments we had together, the life we shared. He is, to this moment, still part of my life. He had such an influence that he remains in my memories, my daily thoghts, and, always, in my heart. I love you, Sal, and I miss you so much. Be well...I'm trying to be.
Leesa Irwin (mate)
October 11th, 2010
When Sal learned he was going to be a grandfather for the first time, he called me up and you could hear the pride in his voice. When Luca was born, Sal was ecstatic. I can only imagine the happy reaction he would have had to the birth of Gianna, his granddaugter, never having experienced a daughter of his own.
I do remember Sal being a wonderful uncle to both my son and my daughter. And both gravitating toward him, but then, who did not. He loved my kids and cared for them as if they were his own. And this is what he would have been like with Luca and Gianna, even moreso, if given the chance. But both his grandson and granddaughter should know, that their grandpa loves them with all his heart and soul and is looking over them as they grow.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
April 30th, 2010
The best thing about April 16th is not that we have another year before we have to worry about tax deadlines. The best thing is that Sal's son, Nick, had a daughter yesterday, 4/16/2010. Her name is Gianna Celi, and she is beautiful. So many of us were blessed to have had you in our lives, Sal. I am so sad that Luca and Gianna never had the chance to have experienced their grandpa, but I will always tell them stories of you. I saw you with Sara and the twins, and you would have been amazing with your grandkids. I could have sworn I smelled cigar last night, so I figure you're doing a bit of celebrating of your own. I love you. I miss you.
leesa irwin (yours, always)
April 17th, 2010
As I was finishing the earlier message I heard a country western song that had a beautiful message from a dad and husband to his wife and kids. It's called "I'm Already There" by LoneStar. Some of the chorus.....

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshne in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend
And I know I'm in your prayers
Oh, I'm already there!

I'm already there
Please don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there 'til the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh, I'm already there.

The words make me think of Leesa and Sal. I love seeing all their pictures that she has everywhere...the love just shines through. I love you both so much.

ginny crist (leesa's mom)
February 14th, 2010
Today is Valentine's Day and I am thinking of all those couples who are blessed to have such wonderful relationships, be they long ones or way too short. I salute all you sweethearts, lovers, soul mates, and friends who give unselfish, unconditional love to your partner- in-love. I am thankful that I have such a love with Stan and so happy that Leesa and Sal shared and still share an everlasting love.
ginny crist (leesa's mom)
February 14th, 2010
Well its 2010 and another year has ended. Another year has begun, another tear falls, another smile comes to my face, when I think of my brother Sal. Ever notice how its impossible to either just cry or just smile when Sal comes to mind? Just go ahead and try to do one without the other - its impossible. Eventually the other follows. I thank you Sal for living in my heart and guiding me through my days. Thank you for watching over my kids -- I just know you are with them each day. Many good things will come to us in the year ahead. Many celebrations and accomplishments, especially for my girls. I know you will be there with them and are as proud of them as I am -- See you then! Missing you . . .
paula sayage (sister)
January 12th, 2010
It's Christmas time and I am about to make the pingulattis (we never did find out how to spell it)and my thoughts turn to you. I loved that we were partners in keeping up the traditions that were a great part of our heritage - the pasta con sarde and the seven fishes among them. I pray that you are sitting at God's table, enjoying a bountiful Christmas feast and watching over all of us down here who love you and miss you.
Scalzo Mary Lyn (Sister)
December 23rd, 2009
If life was fair, I'd just be waking up, hearing you clanking around the kitchen, muttering now and then, as you began preparing our Thanksgiving feast. I'd growl at Bella, and the two of us would follow our noses to the man we both lived for. She'd get a treat and I'd get a hug and one of those kisses I miss so much. You'd be excited about the day ahead, we'd eat and talk about cleaning up before everyone (different people each year, but for sure Al and Ann)arrives. After a fabulous breakfast, you'd grin and say, "Now where else could you get a meal like that?"

"Life ain't fair, Kid," I hear you say. So this, our second Thanksgiving apart, is filled with a terrible loss and longing. But, Sal, there is a thankful component too. I never expected to have a love like yours, a life like we shared. Too short, yes, but every single day was full and rich. I was so blessed, and I am so thankful for the years we had.

If "afterlife" is fair, we'll share time together again. I love you and miss you.
Leesa Irwin (mate)
November 26th, 2009
Thanksgiving is Thursday and I still anticipate your call. This year seems a little bit harder. Perhaps it's because some of the shock has worn off and all that remains is the harsh reality of your not being here with us.
I want to talk about Mom's rice stuffing and the spices within; I want to hear you plan your next visit. But the turkey will be in the oven and we'll be all together, missing your call. The one that always brought great big smiles to all of our faces.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (sister)
November 24th, 2009
Sal was eveywhere today... in the sound of the wind whistling in the trees, in the raindrops that splashed to the ground, in the greenness of the grass, in the colorful autumn leaves, in the sun that broke through the clouds, in the moon that rose round and full, in the last rose of summer, in the fingerprints on the stove, in the cold cup of coffee that i drank and, as ever, in my heart.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
October 8th, 2009
My nephew, Mason Sams, wrote this poem the day after our lives changed forever.

And the Reflection.

We've been terrorized.
From head to toe, from mind to heart.
A mere bread crumb of time,
the Audacity, the Idea.
The murder.

I remember soft voices and tender truths
that melted into my ear,
a warm blanket that covered my burdens.
Now, this has been replaced
by the scraping of metal and the tonacity
of sceaming.

The simple understanding of Life
as it rolls,
and rolls.

My heart stops. My blood freezes.
For one moment, I believe in karma.
Yet then, the idea is blown out like a flame.
Clouds form and meld to create His hand.
It reaches down to our broken hearts,
and sews our pieces back together.

God, I Hate You.

and simply,

God, I Love You.

After Prayers, Lie Cold.
Leesa Irwin (Mate)
October 4th, 2009
I accidentally came across this Memorial tonight and was moved by all the wonderful memories of Sal. While we didn't see he and Leesa as often as we would have liked, there were family gatherings, meeting for dinner, or catching up with each other in New York. And it was always fun! Sal brought life and laughter to everything he did and everyone he met. The children he taught and the family and friends that love him are proof of that. The love he shared with Leesa was also a gift to us in the happiness he brought to her.

He will be in our hearts forever.
Annette Sams (Leesa's Step-Mom)
September 8th, 2009
I find it hard to believe that a year has come and gone since the passing of my friend. Hard to fathom that I have not spoken to or exchanged emails with Sal. Normally by now I would be up to date with the goings on in his life and he in mine. Many times during this past year I found myself thinking that I should tell this (or that) to Sal. Only to be smacked in the face with the reality that such comminication is no longer possible. While it is true that in the traditional sense he can no longer be here for us, let us rest assured that he will always be there for us......

I miss you my friend, continue to Rest In Peace.
Patty Ayers (Life Long Amigo)
September 6th, 2009
It's no secret that I wanted to be Sal's wife. He had strong opinions about marriage - he said I was his life; his commitment didn't need the bullshit of a legal piece of paper. Turns out, in that, he was wrong, not just mistaken. (Remember his joke: "Once I thought I was wrong...but I was mistaken.") This legal commitment was not to be for us. Could I have changed his mind? Maybe, but there's no point in thinking about that now. That isn't even the topic I wanted to share. It's just that when you sign into this guest book, you have to put something in the "relationship" section. It reminded me of the struggle we had with the semantics of what to call our relationship.

At our ages, the terms girl friend/boy friend didn't seem appropriate, and as time went by, these terms didn't even fit. We thought about, and discarded, partner (too "gay"), special friend (too stupid), significant other (do I even need to explain the yuck factor of that one?), companion (2 old farts keeping each other company???) paramour (this is the 21st century!), and concubine (his idea, vehemently voted out by yours truly). So we’re in Egypt, a primarily Muslim country, and Sal decides that introducing me as his lover was a good idea. Or at least funny, although he was the only one laughing – I was blushing and pretending we weren’t really even together. Anyway, in remembrance of his sense of humor, I have signed in as “lover”. And I’ll probably give concubine a try too. By the way,I finally settled on mate, a scientific term, which seems apropos, and I like the fairy tale idea that humans mate for life.

We did that, although 7 years is an awfully short life. Sal brought me back to life, he appreciated my life, he shared my life, he was my life. I never knew such contentment, such love, such fun, such excitement, such passion, such joy, as I did during the time we had together. I curse God – and sometimes Sal – that our time was so short. Then again, I thank God – and bless Sal – for the time we had. I used to tell him, just before we went off to sleep, “This was the best day.” And that was true whether we spent the day at home goofing off and watching TV or snorkeling in some crystal clear far off waters. Any day I had with Sal was a gift, the best day I could ask for. Our life together was unexpected – a precious gift that I will cherish forever. I used to tell him, when I die, I want him to know that, because of him, this was the best life.

His death was unexpected. Whenever I looked into the future, there was always the two of us, well into our eighties, or more. When he spoke of the fleetingness of life – how it could be over –snap, “just like that” – I chalked it up to his Sicilian pessimism. I’ll tell you all now, that I had no inkling that our time together was going to end Labor Day weekend, 2008. I didn’t really want to make the trip, preferring to just hang out with Bella at home, but he really wanted to go snorkeling – he even bought me a wet suit to stop my “It’ll be too cold” complaints, and he ignored my, “I’m too fat for a wet suit!” argument. And I believe with all my heart that he too had no inkling of what was to come. He was the at pinnacle of his life – w e were happy and very much together, he was growing ever closer to his sons, Luca was here, and he couldn’t wait to share the world with this precious grandson, Ron’s wedding was coming up, a new school year had begun… So much too look forward to – so much left to do.

And then – it’s all over? How is that possible? How can it really be – snap, just like that – over?

How can it even be over when I still feel him here? I can’t reach him by phone, he’s not at home, but he’s here, just around that corner I can’t seem to get to. I look at his picture daily – when I reach out to touch him it’s a constant, jarring realization that he’s not here. Because he is! Why can’t I see him, touch him, smell him, hear him? Am I supposed to let go? Because I won’t. He’s not my angel – he’s my life, and I’m still here on this damnable, beautiful, earth. I have to keep living, and I don’t know how I’ll do that without him. And I’m so afraid, that now that it’s been a year, he’ll have to leave me – leave us. What are we going to do? How will we survive this?

Which brings me to the point of why I am writing today. Years ago, when my baby son died, my mom gave me a poem, by Judith Viorst. I wanted to post that today. It is called “Mending”, and I know that is what we are supposed to do, what Sal would want us to do, even if we can’t right now.


A Giant hand inside my chest
Reaches out and takes
My heart within its mighty grasp
And squeezes till it breaks.

A gentle hand inside my chest,
With mending tape and glue,
Patches up my heart until,
It’s almost good as new.

I ought to know by now that
Broken hearts will heal again.
But while I wait for glue and tape,
The pain!
The pain!
The pain!
leesa irwin (lover)
September 6th, 2009
Although a year has passed I find myself greatly diminished by your loss. Spring has come and gone, summer is fading, with fall within reach and winter close behind.
I vowed to start anew in spring, the time of new beginnings. But it is so hard to start anew with you gone. Still it seems strange to me that I can’t call you on the phone, or jest with you via e mail, or anxiously await your visit. I want so much for you to not fade away, but to be remembered always for your goodness - which is essentially what you are - full of light and hope and laughter and love and praise and joy. I miss you so much and long for the time that I will see you again. Yet, my faith falters and I doubt that such a meeting will occur. But truly, I hope that I am wrong.

I want to show you my new lighted Christmas tree in summer. I want to share a bottle of wine with you and eat cashew nuts on the patio outside my kitchen, gazing up at the stars and smelling the scent of the earth and the sumac trees. I want to engage in serious conversation and silly levity with you. I want to show you so many new things that I have learned about in my ‘new’ PA home. I’ve looked upon so many barns; Jeffersonian and Victorian homes; dilapidated ruins; and natural settings that make me think of you. Can you see them from above? Do you know I am wanting to share them with you? We never did get to do Cold Spring Caverns or Longwood Gardens; you wrote them on your list.
I want to see your muddy footprints on my floor and the mess that you left behind in every room. I want to admonish you for leaving on the lights and have you do the same to me for using too much water.

I dedicated a small garden plot to remember you and our parents. In it are the wind chimes (one of many) that hung from the tree in front of your Tucson home. The plot sits outside my kitchen window beside an evergreen tree that holds a metal sculpture of the desert sun, that you so loved. The tree is strung with multi-colored Christmas lights that lit up the night on your visits when the wine flowed and laughter prevailed. The garden contains a few flower pots, mismatched in color and form, as you would have liked, with beautiful blooms to remind me of the beauty that was you. It was just the other morning that a hummingbird came and drank the nectar from the feeder that is hanging there; it, too, wanting so drink you in, my brother.
I miss you.
Mary Lyn
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
September 2nd, 2009
uncle sal, my angel in heaven.

its hard for me to put my feelings in writing, but me and uncle sal, we talk all the time... Although these conversations take place in my mind, i find myself laughing out loud most of the time. In my thoughts, he helps me work things out and he laughs with me. In my dreams, he comforts me and of course, laughs with me. He sends good thoughts and good things my way.
Missing you so much-I Love you uncle sal.
paula scalzo (niece)
August 31st, 2009
I performed in Nashville tonight with a picture of my uncle resting atop the piano. It was sitting beside a picture of my grandparents as I rolled thru a song I wrote about losing someone you care about. I carried these pictures in my pocket on my wedding day last year because I wanted to keep Uncle Sal, Nana, & Nicky close to me. Just as I did tonight.

It's not my favorite picture of my uncle, but being of the wallet-size variety, it serves its purpose - I plucked it from his home after the funeral last year. My favorite pic, this one of my uncle and I together, resides on my nightstand beside my bed - that one was taken at Gargulio's in Coney Island during one of Sal's Brooklyn visits. I remember this day vividly. In the photo, he's grinning from ear to ear, happy as a clam, seemingly recovered from a period in his life that I'm sure gave him little reason to smile. My uncle was strong, he was smart, and he was compassionate. He was a great role model, and that's why I look at that photo every night before bed, looking for answers to questions that don't have answers. Not surprisingly, my uncle gave me this picture, frame and all, when I first admired it hanging on his dining room 'photo wall' in his Tucson house a few years ago. He knew what meant something to people - it's an awesome trait he shared with his mother and his sisters, a generosity that I've been blessed many times over to be the recipient of from all of these people.

A full year after I got a phone call from my Dad that I will never ever forget, I find myself missing my uncle more than ever. You don't know what you have until it's gone. That's the old saying. I think Sal was the exception to that maxim - we all knew what we had while he was here, and all those wonderful things are evident in all the stories that have been recounted here and elsewhere. So we *know* what's gone, and we are all sadder for it. It has been hard. Life changing. My philosophies about work and love and family have all been altered since my uncle's passing.

The last talk I ever had with my uncle was about my grandfather's death. I remember feeling safer when Sal arrived from AZ to see his father for the last time - I'm sure everyone else felt the same way as me, even tho I was only 16. He was a presence. Our convo was short, but we talked about God and saying goodbye and what happens when you die. Now the one person I want to talk about all this stuff with is the one I'm still grieving over.

Words can only express so much. I honor my uncle's spirit by following my dreams, exploring, thinking, searching for truth, emulating his goofiness, his love of music and silly jokes. He is the reason I came to Nashville tonight. I put his photo atop the piano and I felt safer.
Ron Scalzo (nephew)
August 30th, 2009
I cannot believe it has been a year already. Although you have not been here with us this past year, I know that you are still here in spirit. You are a shining angel always watching over us. Everday there is something that reminds me of you and I remember all of the moments we have shared. Missing you more than ever today, love you always.
Nicole Sayage (Niece)
August 29th, 2009
I woke up this morning and went to the computer and realized it is August 29 again. This time last year was so hard for my family and for Sal's, and I dont know if it gets any easier. My oldest son remembers his Uncle Sal often. Whenever he sees something to do with saving our earth, he talks about Sal and how much he cared. On earth day he insisted on making a water holder for rain water. We didnt do a great job but we tried. I drive by La Cima almost daily and I think of him and all the students who's lives he touched, just like he did mine. I remember when he came to Costco where I worked and we complained to each other about the Optical department. Ill never forget Christmas at his house. Ill never forget how he always made so much food. I miss him everyday. He brought so much joy to us. He did so much for everyone during his time here and he continues every day even now. We miss you Uncle Sal. Love Alea, Brandon, Kaden and Landon.

Carpe Diem.
Alea Sams (niece)
August 29th, 2009
Thinking about August 29th, 2009, was a difficult task for us all. Could it be a year had passed? The memories, the heartache, the crying the consoling, the great stories, the sorrow -- a year??? Yes, its true, one year. I couldn't decide whether the term "anniversary of death" was more disturbing or depressing to me. I then overheard someone refer to this particular day as an "Angelversary". I immediately thought it was a great idea to call it just that. Therefore, tomorrow, August 29th, 2009 is Sal's One Year Angelversary. Although he can't be visible here walking our earth along side us, he is our angel, watching over us all.

I miss you dearly Sal. Happy Angelversary. Thanks for all the signs -- keep em coming!
Paula Sayage (Lil Sister)
August 28th, 2009
It is now one year since my Uncle Sal has gone. I wrote this poem for him and want to share it with all who loved him:

By: Sarah Sayage

366 days ago
I didn't realize how lucky I was,
How happy I was,
To have a loving uncle.

366 Days ago
I didn't realize what I had and,
How he had changed my life.

If only it were
366 days ago,
I could say my final good bye and
I love you.

366 days ago is in the past and
nothing can change that.

Now I move on, knowing he is happy
and watching over me.
sarah sayage (13 year old niece)
August 28th, 2009
A few months ago something bad happened to a close friend. As I was on my way to visit him I was so nervous. I didn't know what I was going to say to him or what our conversation would even hold (because we hadn't talked in a few months). I was nervous and the only person who I knew that held a close experience was Sal. So I began to talk out loud to him as I was driving. I was talking and crying when I looked up at the car stopped in front of me at the red light. The license plate letters jumped out at me - SJC. I knew this was a sign, I knew this was Sal telling me I'd be alright and that things will work out as they should. Sure enough things were fine. I still think and talk to Sal on a weekly basis and I hope he knows how much he meant and still means to me. I love you Sal.
Emily Irwin (step daughter)
July 8th, 2009
Life with a scientist meant being constantly exposed to science shows and Sal’s accompanying running commentary. I don’t have cable television, but tonite I’m watching a program on PBS about loggerheads. Two things come to mind.

First, how much I miss science shows, and especially his running commentary and answers to my inevitable questions. Tonite’s show stimulated so many questions, but my expert is gone. I could almost hear Sal saying, in response to my questions, “I don’t know (even if he did), but I know where you can find out.” (Ask any of his students, this was a common Salisim.) Now I watch TV with my laptop on my lap. He taught me how to find out. When he was with me, he would give me answers. I like to think he’s pleased to see me now: typing furiously, searching for knowledge. He was always amazed at the mass of information we have access to because of the Internet. His one true hobby was surfing – and not the kind that involved bobbing in the freezing ocean waiting for a wave. One of my favorite mental images of Sal is him, from the back, seated at the computer, fingers tapping at the keyboard, eyes scanning the pictures and text before him.

But, “I digress “– another Salisim.

The second thing that comes to mind is how he showed me the world. On tonite’s program, they showed undersea life. He exposed me to that, first with our attempt at scuba diving (exhilarating and scary as hell –Sal just about bit the mouth grip clear through) and then with snorkeling, which we both loved (even though he couldn’t swim) and were in fact on our way to San Diego to do on 8/29/08. (Here’s where I slip into my what-ifs. The Pacific Ocean is cold – real cold – even in August. I despise being cold. I did not want to make that trip, even with the wet suits he bought for us. What if I had really let him know that I didn’t want to go? What the @#!!# if? Nick tells me what-ifs are a waste of time, but how can I not ask myself if …? ) Tonite’s program showed humpback whales. I actually got to see them, thanks to my adventures with Sal, in Hawaii, and gray whales in San Diego and Alaska.

Speaking of turtles, I am reminded of another, okay 2 other, Sal stories, and indirectly it relates to science, so I’m moderately on topic. Sal gave me my first turtle, a baby desert tortoise he got from one of his teacher friends at La Cima. I wouldn’t have guessed a person could love a reptile, but I really did fall for Baby. (I acknowledge a lack of creativity in the naming of things.) Naturalist that he was, Sal wasn’t comfortable with the idea of Baby living in a box in the house, and as for letting her roam free inside – well she was too small, and Bella was too big, and I always forget to watch where I’m stepping. If we just put her outside, we’d probably never see her again. Solution: Sal positioned an old Jacuzzi that was lying around (of course) out back under a Palo Verde tree, filled it with dirt, added a shelter and water source, and Baby had a new home. Until the day she turned upside down, couldn’t right herself, and became food for the ants (the circle of life, right?). Here’s where the scientist part kicked in – the best way for his students to learn about animals was thru up-close-and-personal observation. He plopped my pet in a jar with some liquid preservative and added her to the collection of stuff in his class.

The other story involves the next turtle he gave me. While letting Bella out to pee in the wee, still dark, hours of the a.m., he observed her curiosity, then skittishness, of a piece of netting that was lying around (of course) by the back door. Ever vigilant of snakes, Sal checked it out and discovered a small, recently chewed on, desert tortoise. Her shell was badly damaged, cracked in a couple spots, and there was a to-the-skin puncture in the top of her shell. We made some phone calls and did some Internet (of course) research to see what could be done for this poor creature. Things seemed pretty bleak with the main concern being infection. We decided I should take her home and keep her in my spare bedroom, treating her wounds with Neosporin. She survived the first few weeks, and again we worried that she wasn’t in her natural habitat. The problem was that gaping hole in her shell. Sal was a true problem solver and he ended up gluing (gooping - of course) a cap from a Gatorade bottle onto her shell to cover the hole. We crossed our fingers and hoped Cappy (again, the name is my fault, not his) would survive in my backyard. I’m happy to announce that today, two years later, I had my first Cappy sighting of the season (she either hides well or hibernates late). She has lost her cap, but is well scabbed over.

Speaking of reptiles reminds me of the Sal on a bike, holding a rattlesnake in a bucket, crashing into a tree, ending up on the hot desert ground with said rattlesnake next to him, story, but I have gone on overlong. (And I accuse him of being verbose.) Sal stories are my favorite subject. Thanks for sharing yours. I hope you'll share more.
Leesa Irwin (Mate)
May 11th, 2009
Sal and the kitchen sink...
I am missing Sal so much today and thinking of him alot and the good times we shared as a he was like a sweet son to me.

I remember the only time I got to go camping with Sal,Leesa,Emily and her friend,Morgan. Sal was unpacking stuff from his bubble camper and he just kept bringing more and more stuff out of there....we were only gonna stay a couple days!! But he is like me and we always want to be prepared and need to make sure everyone has enough! So I said, " looks like you brought everything but the kitchen sink!" He smiled that great smile of his and said like Ron Poppel of late nite infomercials..."But wait, there's more"....and out came his portable plastic kitchen sink with everything needed to wash the dishes etc.:-) We had a wonderful time going on short hikes and sitting around the campfire playing games. As you all know and remember, noone was ever bored with Sal around. I miss you soooo much but thank you for all those memories to help with the ache. Please keep your spirit near us all.
Love and hugs...ginny

ginny crist (Leesa's mom)
April 17th, 2009
Sal is definitly everywhere around us, and you're right, Mary, there are daily reminders of him. The other day I was watching a movie and two of the characters met at Chumley's. I remember Sal insisted we go to Bedford and Barrow to see "something". He enjoyed my surprise as he opened a door to what seemed to be someone's private patio and pulled me in. He appreciated Chumley's history, especially the part about it being a speakeasy. If I remember right, we once met Ron there for at least drinks, and maybe dinner. I swear we sat at the same booth that they showed in the movie.

Another example: talking with my brother yesterday about the economy and he voiced concern, comparing the country to a "house of cards" tumbling down. Sal's exact words, his concern, long before our financial woes became the opening story for the nightly news.

I love you Sal, and I will never forget.
Leesa Irwin (Partner)
April 5th, 2009
Unlike Paula, I don't have any little ones asking after Sal. What I do have are treasured memories of his childlike sense of humor, loyal affections towards those he loved and his frequently tapped wealth of knowledge.
All of these bring both tears and smiles to my eyes.
As time goes on, I find that the memories I most treasure are those that I shared with Sal while growing up. Only two years apart, we spent the better part of our lives together. That being said, I really do miss sharing those memories with him, talking and laughing about the things we did and shared when we were young. But what I mostly miss is his presence. Almost every day I have to tend to some detail that pertains to Sal and time and again I wish he were here to tend to it himself.

There was a rainbow in the sky today, seeming to sprout from the grayest clouds. I thought that it must be Sal's doing, prompting me to bring a smile to my face and it did.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
April 3rd, 2009
Paula - great story about the WWF wrestling belt! The boys (how is it possible they're 6 years old!?)were very important to Sal. He wanted to make the trip home so often in large part because he wanted Saleem and Nicholas to know him. Yea for the Sal Box with treasures from him! Part of what he enjoyed most about his junk store finds was being able to share with others. I'm sure he's tickled everytime one of you wears the belt. I know he loves and misses all of you just as you love and miss him.

Leesa Irwin (mate)
April 3rd, 2009
Seven months have passed since Sal has left us and moved on to, certainly, a better place. Well here we all are going though our own individual painful grieving process'. Like all of you I have good days and bad, but I have something else - two little 6 year old boys who bring Sal up constantly. They think of him often and it amazes me considering what little time they had with him. They see his death very differently than we do. He has simply gone to heaven and according to them they will see him again in 3001. Thats right I said 3001. I don't know where they got that year from, but they did! I was fortunate enough to be able to take back "stuff" for them from our visit to Sal's classroom. My what a good idea --because when they do bring him up, sometimes I will say "oh, by the way Uncle Sal sent you a present" and I will pull out an item from my "Sal Box". The other day it was a WWE Wrestling Champion Belt, of course custom re-sized by Sal himself to fit him with extra long velcro. The boys get so excited and I then laugh to myself just picturing my brother buying this at a junk store and then wearing it in his classroom. I'll find the boys wearing it, Larry and sometime even myself (well it fits us all)!! Thats the stuff that makes me laugh and helps make some sense out of all this! Knowing how much he was enjoying life before he left us. That's what we are supposed to be doing -- enjoying our time here and working with what we have, not focusing on what we don't have.
Like the poster with the little kitty on it says -Hang In There Baby!

paula sayage (littlest sis)
April 2nd, 2009
Leesa just told me of this site.....thank you Mary for creating this. I go often to the La Cima site but am so happy to see this family and friends site also.

Like all of you, I still can not accept that his physical presence is gone from us ...but Oh, his wonderful spirit roams amongst us every day! I only knew him the 6 plus yrs. that he was Leesa's beloved companion but am so thankful for all the happiness he brought to her. Their love and unique companionship was something to behold.

When ever he would come to see Leesa, he would always come over and give me one of his big bear hugs. I live next door to Leesa so I got to see him often. We both shared the love of going to the junk stores for bargins and he was always giving me a coupon for something as he knew I was the coupon queen of our family! I have many stories of Sal that I will share now and then. Please know that I will always carry him close to my heart.

I too hope that all who visit here will indeed stop and post a note so we may be sure his candle will never go out. It does help those who love him to come here and experience whatever we need to feel at the be sad, or cry, or laugh when we read of his jokes, or a special story, and say a prayer that he will keep his spirit around us all. We miss you so much Sal... hugs and love to you all.
Ginny Crist (Leesa's mom)
March 28th, 2009
Although I am relaying this story, it was Leesa who brought it to mind. We are all happy to know that Leesa is on the mend physically, but still has a way to go. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers to help her work her way through her grief.

(Via e mail from Leesa) "The dinner you had on Easter, with Saul and Sheila, will always be a favorite memory for me. Sal commented several times about how much fun he had. He was surrounded by people he loved, and he was relaxed (and more than a little drunk as the nite wore on), comfortable, happy, and "ready to barbecue". Remember how he kept telling everyone how people say he has his father's eyes, then he'd show the plastic, bloodshot eyeballs nestled in a small white box? He never failed to amuse himself. No matter how corny the joke, or how many times I'd hear it, I'd have to laugh, even while groaning and rolling my eyes. He was such an intense, intelligent, well-spoken man, with the silliest, most juvenile sense of humor imaginable!

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
March 11th, 2009
I have so much to say, but I am unable to express any of it yet. I come to this site regularly, and I appreciate every single thing everyone has written. It is clear Sal has touched us all in a way that has forever changed and enriched our lives. He loved you all. Thanks for sharing.
leesa irwin (mate)
March 10th, 2009
Today is the six month mark of my mom and Sal's accident. Lately Sal has been on my mind more often than not. The other day I found myself calling his cell phone because I couldn't get a hold of my mom, and his number was always the next one I'd try. After I pushed send I knew that I would not get an answer, but I couldn't hang up...I waited until the voice on the other end told me that "this number has been disconnected". These past six months seems like a lot longer, and everything that has happened still does not seem real. I miss Sal daily as do all of you that come to visit this site. And i love him and all of you.
Emily Irwin (stepdaughter)
March 1st, 2009
Soon it will be six months since my brother is gone. I still catch myself wanting to share things with him - a memory, a recipe, a movie, a place to visit in the city, a road trip in PA, dinner at the same table, a visit with our family, some L&B. I haven't taken his number out of my cell phone or deleted his e mail address. I wish I could call him in heaven. If I have a science-related question I want to take it to him and hear his very knowledgeable (and long winded) explanation. I miss him uttering the phrase "in any event..." and his political analyses of our government and leaders. I do hope he is debating something or cooking something up in heaven.
On another note, every time I go on this site, I notice the number of visits has increased. And although I know I go on more often than most, it seems impossible that I am the one who is raising these numbers. I sincerely wish that all of you who visit would leave some words or thoughts of Sal behind to help prevent his memory from slipping away.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
February 27th, 2009
It's been over three months since Sal's gone. I miss the holiday calls and the sharing of traditions. I miss the plans to visit that will never come about. I seem to find Sal in most everything I do or see and while it makes me sad, it also makes me glad to have all these treasured memories.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
December 1st, 2008
Our sincere condolences for your loss. We're here for you if you have any questions about using our service.
iLasting Staff
November 25th, 2008
Y'know, it's funny, after 45 years of knowing him, I actually can't remember any "Sal stories." What I remember more is character traits, emotional attributes that he had as a kid, which most of us had to go
through a whole lot of spiritual education to develope. The kindness, the tolerance, the uncanny ability to see things from the other guy's point of view.
Most of kids from the private houses wouldn't have anything to do with the "Jewbastards" who moved into the apartment buildings in the old neighborhood in 1962. Sal was the first one to come over and act like a
human, long before there was such a term as "politically correct."
I remember his generosity of spirit--and materials. Sometime in the 1990s I paid him back $20 I had borrowed from him in 1965. He spent 30 years never mentioning it.
I liked to go talk to Sal whenever I was pissed off at somebody in particular. He'd always give me the "Yeah, but from his point of view..." Seeing things from the other person's side is something that
I've gotten a lot better at since (now I get people asking me to teach it to them), because Sal started me off thinking about it in the first place.
Even before there was Email, I started traveling a lot. Sal and I would sometimes send each other letters or postcards. Everyone always signs off "Sincerely," "Yours truly," or whatever. Sal always signed off
"Be well, Sal". I thought that was such a beautiful and different sentiment that I stole it, and have been signing my letters and Emails like that for over 30 years.
Another trait I remember about him is that he was always the most industrious person in the neighborhood! I think he started working younger than anyone else, and he certainly had a car before anyone else. Who could forget that car! A black VW bug with white wicker-chair patterned contact paper all over it that left no doubt it was the Salmobile. And who else would be able to work at ANYthing hard enough to eventually do over 700 situps in a row!
He was a smart man too. He didn't own that candy store that he worked in for most of his first 20 years, but he should have. He had the head, even as kid, to run a business. Everyone called it "Sal's candystore."
Everyone in the neighborhood always talked about moving out. It rarely happened. Most folks, talking from their NYC locations years later, would say "Whatdahey! New York has everything right here!" Well,
that was true 30-40 years ago. Maybe still is. But a lot of "everything" was bad, and several of us saw it and made plans to get away. Sal was courageous enough to be the first to do it. He put his words into action
and moved to Tucson, far away from family and friends and all the attachments of a lifetime, much less a real bagel or slice of pizza (and forget about Chinese food in Arizona in the 70s!) Thanks to that move, his children got to grow up in what no one would argue was a much healthier environment than the inner city.
Some talents stay with a person once they have developed that talent. Solidity and meaningfulness were two things that I think Sal had throughout his life. Whether you thought it was overstated, understated,
or stated perfectly--when Sal said something he meant it, and there was a reason for it, and he had the strength and gumption to stand tall for it. These are not qualities very many folks possess all at once.
The Buddhists think reincarnation, Christians think Heaven, there are lots of other opinions, and nobody knows what really happens after we pass on—-but not many would argue that something does happen, and that a bigger force than any individual person is running the energy (if not altogether running the show). Whatever that something is, not many would doubt that Sal will be moving up its ladder. The way he lived his life certainly has to have earned him a pre-paid ticket to something better.

doug rose (friend/brother)
November 22nd, 2008
I can so relate to Ron’s wanting to spend time with (Uncle) Sal. Everyone who knew Sal appreciated having him for themselves. From my earliest days to my latest, I looked forward to spending time alone with my brother. This time usually included some goofing around, a little teasing and lots of profound conversation. When he visited I most enjoyed our walks through Manhattan, with both of us sharing a love of old architecture and history, walking and talking about our childhood memories and our adult lives. I always felt so proud and safe walking beside him.

The last time I saw Sal, we got to discussing a time long ago when he and I were both in college; he in Brooklyn College (in name only) and me in Kingsborough. It was a hot August night and no one was around, except Sal and I. We were hanging out together in the basement when we decided to go to Mitchells (on Coney Island Avenue) for some lobster rolls. While sitting down eating, we struck up a conversation with some kindred spirits at the table next to us. It turned out these two guys had driven to NY from California. We spent a few hours strolling Mitchell’s lot, looking at the cars and ‘feeling happy’. The conversation soon turned philosophical and we didn’t want to part company with our new found friends. So we had them follow us in their car and parked in the pebble way behind the house. It was about 3AM. Now usually, my curfew was way before then. But, I was with Sal. And, as long as my mom knew that, everything was okay. (As it turned out, she was keeping her usual vigil through the back window anyway. Some things never change.) These two guys got into Sal’s Nova and we continued our conversation well into the wee hours of the morning - covering everything from the war, the draft, drugs, sex and song lyrics. We talked until 7-8 o’clock and then went out to Fuffy‘s Pancake House for breakfast. It was there that we said good bye to our new found friends, never to see them again. The experience was quite surreal, but typical of what you could expect when you were with Sal.

Now that he’s gone, these memories are more precious. At times, my mind is so flooded with reminiscences that I am overcome with sorrow. But the memories in and of themselves bring a smile to my face, just as my brother always did. And I thank him for that.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
November 1st, 2008
We are all so glad to learn that your mom is home. We have been tracking her remarkable progress on her care page.
As you might imagine, I am struggling greatly with Sal's loss and don't feel it would be wise for me to talk to Leesa right now. She needs to focus on being strong and getting better. Please give her my love and let her know she is in all our prayers.
And come visit anytime you like!
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
November 1st, 2008
I went to my moms house today because she got home from the hospital today and I heard a message on her machine. It was Sal. I started to cry. I miss him so so much more and more each day and its encouraging to know I'm not alone. I miss you all and I want to come see you all soon.
Emily Irwin (step-daughter (basically))
October 30th, 2008
It has been two months since you left this world and the void is still huge. I think sometimes that it will always be this huge, just as it is for my grandparents - your parents. I've always been aware of my sentimentality towards my family - aware and proud - and reading all these stories about my uncle, told by my own parents and by my aunt, I realize that it's a trait I share with those whose blood I share, and that offers some solace during these hard times.

What's funny is that two months without speaking with Uncle Sal would be fairly commonplace under normal circumstances. I'd hear from him every birthday - typically in the form of an entertaining, fairly well-sung message on my answering machine - but otherwise get updates from Mom about him (typically, the headline always involved when he was coming to visit) and more recently, an exchange of short back-and-forth e-mails every now & then. I wish it had been more than just that.

So for me, the memories of Uncle Sal are most vivid when it comes to his yearly visits to New York. The last time I ever saw him was this past Easter Sunday. He was as happy as a clam. I would always try to have some "alone" time with my uncle during every visit. Time with him was always precious - for everyone around him - and I was honored and flattered that he would always give me some of that time just for us. I'm so glad he got to meet my wife (and that she got to meet him), yet I feel cheated that he wasn't there to see me marry her and that Melissa won't get to know him like I know him.

Considering that I was 7 when Sal "defected" to Arizona, most of my distinct memories of 'New York' Sal involve still images. The house on Bay 49th Street is most memorable to me - the ugly-as-sin orange "tree" wallpaper in his dining room, the horse painting on the inside of his front door, the ceramic sun hanging from the front of the house, the man-made mini-waterfalls in the front yard, and the big brown camper that dominated the driveway. I remember visiting my uncle in the candy store on Harway Avenue, but most of all, I remember those early visits after he moved away, usually with little Nick in tow. Seeing Uncle Sal in the snow, especially, was an out-of-place image if ever there was one. Every visit always started with a tray (or two) of L&B Pizza and involved a veritable tour of Brooklyn and NYC - Silver Star, Roll N Roaster, the Tenement Museum, the Museum of TV & Radio, the East Village, Coney Island. I often spent more time exploring the city with my uncle once or twice a year that I ever did on my own.

It's hard to fathom how someone who you see so infrequently can have such an impact on your life. When I was 13, I chose my uncle to be my godfather at my confirmation even tho he wouldn't even be in town for the ceremony. When I was in my late 20's, his visit helped me get thru a tough time in my life. It was a new & gratifying experience to spend time with Uncle Sal as an adult, and he offered sage advice - and happy pills - to help me cope with loss (I took the advice, passed on the pills). It was also at this time that I first met Leesa, and I could see that this new face in his life was already helping to turn him around towards the Uncle Sal I grew up admiring.

That said, I know my uncle had problems (who doesn't?), but I love him even more for having them. It humanized him, and he was as human as human gets to me - larger-than-life, yet flawed. He wore his heart on his sleeve, he always spoke his mind, and he had low tolerance for stupidity, politics, and everyday nonsense. He questioned everything. He worked in a candy store, but we all knew he was smart enough to do much more. He probably knew that about himself, too. He loved music and he put a large price on friendship & kinship. I see all of that in myself, and if that makes me a lot like my uncle, than I'm damn proud. Sadly, the biggest differences between my uncle and me seem to be physical - specifically, height (him tall, me not so much) and hairline (him with flowing locks into his 50's, me bald as an eagle at 20).

Whenever Sal dropped us at the airport at the end of a memorable trip out west, he would never stay to say goodbye (even tho I know it ticked my grandmother off). I think it was because he cared too much about the people who were leaving him behind - maybe he didn't want us to see him sad, maybe he thought that putting that wall up would make missing us easier. Missing my uncle was never easy, but it was always necessary. I think that will hold true for the rest of my days, and it's the distance we shared that make his loss just a tiny bit easier than it should be.

As my uncle got older, I believe he got more sentimental. Every last night together, whether amongst the cold of New York or the heat of Arizona, ended with a request for a hug and an "I love you, Ron." What I would give for just one more of each of those....

And so now I'm left to figure out how to pay tribute to one of the greatest men I've ever been fortunate to know - a man that, minus my own father, I loved & admired more than any other man. I came out west to pay my respects, I wrote his obituary, I dedicated a song to him at my wedding, I'm trying to be a friend & a guiding light to his sons as best I can - and yet all these seem like empty gestures in comparison to all the gifts of wisdom, kindness, laughter, and good company he gave to me for over 30 years. I will always feel like I "owe" him, as I'm sure most of us do.

I think that if he knew how much we were all suffering over his loss, Uncle Sal would tell us we were all being ridiculous. That this is just part of the mystery of life, and that we should just keep on truckin' (my wife's new favorite phrase) and try to find happiness in our lives, amongst each other and in our own selves. The best tribute I can pay to Sal is just that - to be happy, and to cherish the too-short times I was lucky enough to spend with him.

Like many on this site have said before, he will always be a part of me. And wherever he is now, I truly hope that I'm still a part of him.
Ron Scalzo (Nephew)
October 30th, 2008
Mr. Celi made my days feel great when i wasn't having such a great day. I rememeber when I went to Catalina Island and he taught me so much about nature and how to treat it well. In the mornings before class I would go and hang in his class room and look at all of his wacky things and just laugh.
I only knew him for one year but everything he said still relates to now. All of my science teachers have been boring and when I think of what Mr. Celi taught me,just makes me laugh in the middle of class.
Not everybody will get a chance to meet somebody as special as Mr. Celi but the things he said made me think and respect things more. I just hear things and everything seems to relate back to what Mr. Celi always taught us.
It's been a month since Mr. Celi left this world but his presence will always remain with me and everybody. I will miss you Mr. Celi
Love your student,

Reyna Beattie (student)
October 16th, 2008
Mr. Celi was a hero to most students at La Cima. He would come in and say so much about what he knew and everything he wanted to do just to help the enviroment.
Reyna Beattie (student)
October 16th, 2008
Thanx to Ron for sharing his feelings. Learning that I am not alone has made it some what easier to deal with the "Anger" part of this grieving process. Like Ron, I too have been having a REAL HARD time comming to grips with the reasoning of the big guy (or girl) upstairs for the taking of such gift that was given to us in the early 1950's. Ron, by sharing his "anger" has made it somewhat easier for me to deal with mine. The anger is the easy part, this loss is uncomprehensable.
Thanx again Ron for putting into words what I could not!

Patty Ayers (Life long amigo)
September 27th, 2008
Like Patty Ayers I too have started to pen a story on Sal and then had to stop. And like his sisters Mary Lyn and Paula I'm also having trouble seeing my computer screen, distorted by streaming tears. For these past 4 weeks I have been numb. I just cannot believe he's gone.

I know there are certain stages of grief. Anger is one of them. I am now in the anger stage. I call the anger stage the WHY stage. Why God? Why? Why? Why did you have to take such a great (well Sal wouldn't think of himself as great) so let's say, loving person from my wife, his sister, my kids and ALL who knew him. From Me! His work was not done here. He HAD touched so many lives. Now he was touching so many more, first as a police officer and then as a teacher. I just don't get it. How does a person driving in a modern vehicle with modern tires in absolutely dry, perfect conditions, with little (if any) traffic, no health issues, no other vehicles or obstacles involved, have his car flip over causing his death? Did you need a substitute science teacher in heaven? Someone to straighten out some angels? Please let me know because I truly am struggling with this.

While I don't have those childhood memories of Sal (I met him in 1969) there is no doubt he influenced my life. That influence came via love and family. I saw firsthand what family meant to Sal, the way he was brought up by his mom and dad, the love he showed for Nick and Paula, his sisters, his children and my children. These are things that can't be hidden or faked. There was nothing fake about Sal. If he was a prize fighter, his nickname would be the REAL DEAL (Sorry Evander) because that’s what he was, REAL. I actually learned to love my family more, seeing and talking to Sal about such matters. That is a gift that can't be put in a box and gift wrapped. It comes from within and Sal not only had it, but he had the ability to put it on display naturally. Sal, thank you so much for that. Vintage Sal.

As I read the stories by Mary Lyn, Paula and Patty I learned so many things about Sal that I never knew. To me that was so enjoyable. I always said Sal was ahead of his time. From the crazy shoes, pants, shirts, basement, album collection, camper, hair styles, beards, hats, cars, and jobs, things to drink, eat and SMOKE. Did I leave anything out? How about his impulsiveness. I remember we were down "the basement" about 2am one night and my friend Kenny stopped by. As you know by now you could just stop by anytime and Sal would be there listening to your tales of that day. Well Sal says, "What can we do now? Its 2am on this lovely Friday summer night. Hey lets take in a movie.” So we got into his car and went to 42nd street. There I was in a movie theater at 3 am (no it wasn't porn) watching a flick and coming home at dawn. Vintage Sal.

I read Patty and Paula's story about nicknames. Of course coming from Brooklyn everyone acquires them. Instead of giving each other nicknames Sal and I would just call each other TSE, TSE. Right before Sal moved to Arizona I was with him and Mark Havlick. We were BS at Sal's kitchen table about those horrible Japanese sci-fi movies of the 50's. It was right after I think the 2nd bottle of wine that the classic Godzilla came up. We said remember when the old professor discovered that Godzilla's tracks were radioactive. It seemed that the all the Japanese people standing behind the professor in the movie would nod and say Tse, Tse, Tse. Wow bad, bad dubbing. We all laughed that drunken laugh so hard and that became our nickname to each other.

Other memories. Sal coming home from work on the weekend from the Hollywood Terrace where he worked as a waiter with his Dad. I would invariably be at the kitchen table on a Friday night with Paula (nana) having those "What's wrong with Mary Lyn talks." See, I was wooing Mary but it seems she was always on a date with some guy who had longer hair than her. I always assured her mom that it’s a stage and I'll take care of her someday. Seems she's always taken care of me but that’s another story. Well Sal would come in and say Ron (wasn’t Tse yet) want some ravioli? Sure Sal and he would start making them. 2 am, no problem. Yep vintage Sal.

Sal and I were known to have the same “stupid” humor. Well that’s what Mary Lyn calls it and from reading what Sal’s students thought, maybe Mary is right. The first time I drove to Sal's home in Arizona his directions said when you get to my driveway make sure you take the fork in the road. Naturally there was a huge fork dug into the dirt in his driveway as you drove up with a sign pointing to his house (Mary Lyn just looked at me and knowingly shrugged her shoulders.) When I got to his front door there he was giving me and Mary Lyn that big bear hug of his. I said damn Sal you dug that fork in too deep, I can’t take it. I can go on forever with things like that fork sprinkled (yes for those in the know sprinkled is a kind word) all over his house, property and car. Vintage Sal.

You know I can't really think of anyone Sal spoke badly about. The only four letter words I ever heard him say were shit and BUSH, mostly in the same sentence. He was against the war in Iraq and its eerie remembering 4 years ago his worrying about the US financial problems, this when there was a building boom. I said Sal, what are you talking about, everyone is making money, selling their homes at high prices, people working in construction etc. His exact words were, “I'm telling you, it’s like a house of cards. It's all going to come crumbling down." Sal you should have been head of the Federal Reserve. Again vintage Sal.

I could go on and on about Sal. Forty years is a long time to know someone and share so many, many memories. In closing I would just like to thank Sal so much for being such a GREAT (sorry Sal you were great) brother to my wife and uncle to my children. Your love for them was so, so, so genuine. And your love for me. How many brother-in-laws call each other on their birthdays EVERY year? For the last 25 years or so Sal and I always called each other on our birthdays. If I wasn't home I always had the pleasure of listening to that terrible rendition of you singing happy birthday to me on my answering machine. Boy I'm going to miss that. Yes Sal you and I are "officially" recorded as brother-in-laws but as far as I'm concerned I knocked off that “in-laws” part the day I got married. I truly felt that you were always a brother to me. I love you brother, always have and always will. I am going to miss you terribly and that is REAL. I am praying that someday we will be re-united again. Love Ron.

Ronald Scalzo (Brother-in-law)
September 25th, 2008
Reading Patty's piece brought several things to mind:
I had completely forgotten about the back lot carnival that Sal staged. Among the games he set up were roll the balls into the cup; guess your weight game; and hit the balloons with the darts - just like at the feast. He kept "barking" quarta, quarta, quarta" all night.
When Sal broke his nose playing hockey that day, he came home looking like he had been in a boxing match and lost. Fearful of our mother's reaction, I quickly applied ice, which did absolutely nothing. He kept asking "How do I look?" And I kept saying "Better..." (I was lying). I finally
applied a band aid to his nose, which by this time looked similar to Jimmy Durante's. When out mother came home, all she could say was "Oh that beautiful face, that beautiful face." Sal had to have his nose fixed and was soon looking just as beautiful as ever. Afterward we laughed about that tiny band aid on that huge nose.
It is so nice to share the many happy stories about Sal. I look forward to the time I will see him again to joke with and laugh with.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
September 18th, 2008
Patty Ayers (Life long amigo) wrote
at 09:23:49 PM on September 17th, 2008

I have known Sal for so much of my life that I’m not sure I can really remember much time that he wasn’t a part of it. I still have great difficulty thinking, speaking or writing of him in the past tense. I have begun this writing a number of times now and have yet to be able to get through it with out breaking down. I thought perhaps I should wait until such time as I would be able to complete it. The suddenness of Sal’s passing however, teaches me that nothing should be put off cause ya just never know so here goes. I apologize in advance if I take up to much space……

Even as a youngster Sal was blessed with many talents and abilities all of which he carried into adulthood. He was a person of great stature who possessed great humility and wisdom that seemed to reach beyond his years. He walked his talk and touched this world with beauty.

We grew up together in a sleepy close knit blue collar community on the steps of Coney Island where just about every one had a nickname. Sal had a few. “Sally Claude Hopper” was one of em. He got this one because he always seemed to have strangest most avant-garde foot wear from odd colored sneakers to the famous twister shoes. These were specialized shoes made with disks in the soles that would spin, allowing one to easily dance “The Twist” (the dance craze of the time) made famous by Chubby Checker. “Sally Shuffle Save” is another that comes to mind. This one related to his prowess as a goalie when we played street hockey on Shore Parkway back when it dead ended at the sugar sands and later on Bay 48St when they extended Shore Pkwy and built co-ops on what used to be an army base.

As children of blue collar people we played hockey with clamp on skates, cheap wooden hockey sticks and a roll of tape as a puck. When we learned that the kids from Harway Terrace also played street hockey we challenged them to a game. These kids showed up in full hockey uniforms with shoe skates, pads and pro style sticks with warped fiberglass blades. Needless to say they mopped the floor with us and in the process Sal broke his nose when he got hit in the face with a “lift shot”, something we could not do with our cheap wooden sticks.

Other stories and memories would include all the street games of the day including Dodge Ball in Margret’s Lot, Johnny on the pony and hot beans on Shore Parkway.
Our version of hot beans involved some one hiding a leather belt somewhere within certain boundaries while everyone else hid their eyes. Then we would search for the belt, whoever found it was free to use it to whip anyone they could while we all rushed back to the safety of “base”. As Mary Lyn has already mentioned there were the sleep outs in Sal’s tent many in Margret’s lot where we would play cards, smoke cigarettes and listen to A.M. radio all night (no body slept)

The church would close off a few blocks on Harway Ave every summer for a few nights in August and hold “The Feast”. Booths would line both sides of the Ave filled with carnival games of chance and food vendors. The aroma of sausage with peppers and onions filled the air, zeppoles with powdered sugar were another favorite. All us kids would look forward to this all summer long. Many of us would line up in the hopes of getting jobs working for the travelling carnies in their stands. Sal decided to make his own carnival in his back-back yard one year. He built small replicas of carnival games with odds and ends (and a lot of ingenuity) He even strung up lights so it could be held at night. There he was complete with an apron around his waste with small pockets in it for the nickels and dimes just like the real carnies at the real feast.Except Sal had a perpetual smile on his face.

Sal’s music collection was legendary and if we weren’t listening to albums in “Sal’s Basement” we were listening to it on 8 track tapes in Sal’s VW bug (also famous)
Sal’s basement actually became the hub of all social activity for the entire neighborhood.
You could go there literally at any time of day or night (as long as you weren’t cutting school or church) and the door was always open.

As time moved on I got married, reproduced and Sal bought a small house on Bay 49th there he began to build his early adult life. It was a small, no tiny house in need of much repair. Right up Sal’s alley, he amazed me with all the home improvement projects that he completed himself (adding a fire place, building stone walls) with no need for contractors. Right about the same time he also bought land in Arizona through a magazine add (not bad for a guy who worked in a candy store, the candy store itself could fill volumes with the stories of Sal that surrounded it. Actually it became known as “Sal’s candy store”). He told me of his dream to move to Arizona and build a house. Shortly thereafter he did. I remember when he moved “out west” I was sad, I cried, I was afraid I would loose him.

Well, the bond between us proved stronger than the geography and we stayed in touch. This was back before the Internet at a time when long distance phone calls were very very expensive. Back then I worked in the Telecommunications Industry so dialing long distance didn’t cost me anything. I was able to set things up so that Sal’s parents could also call him frequently with out worrying about the cost. This made things more tolerable, we couldn’t see him as often as we’d like but we could hear his voice whenever we wanted to.

Years went by and we remained a part of each others lives. When ever Sal came back east to visit his biological family he and I almost always got together for a face to face.
I loved each and every one of these visits and looked forward to them with great anticipation from the time I learned he was coming till we finally got together.

As life and time progressed my life took a few radical changes and I moved to Mexico. On my way there I drove (way out of the way) to Tucson so as to spend a few days at Sal’s house, the house he had always dreamt of building. Not many people get to live out their dreams only the special ones like my friend Sal. We had a great time during my visit. I got to see him, his hand built house, his pony and his goat (I never knew anyone else that had their own live stock). Sometime later Sal told me that when I left his house headed for the border he was sad, he cried, he was afraid he would loose me. No way! Again the bond between us proved stronger than the geography and we remained part of each others lives.

Fast forward some more years and I’m living in Vermont and now we are e-mailing each other frequently. Oddly enough Sal and I were going through some very difficult and very similar issues in our lives both at the same time. As true friends often do at times like these we leaned on each other. Sal was such a source of strength for me in those days that I doubt I would have made it through those times with out his wisdom, advice and support. Even as he dealt with his own turmoil he guided, loved and encouraged me through mine. Sal went on to survive his turmoil and emerged on the other side of it a new man. He reinvented himself, his life and career. He found his true calling (teaching) and his soul mate Leesa. Just as he assured me countless times if I could hang on during the tuff times there would be better times ahead he went on to realize his own advice, as I said earlier he always walked his talk.

On a number of his subsequent trips back east I was lucky enough to meet Leesa. The last time was surrounding their trip here last Easter. We had planned to meet at L&B and have “squares” for lunch one day while he was in the city. Turned out that he was at L&B the night before with his son and nephew so we changed the venue at the last minute and met at Roll and Roaster. During this lunch Sal & Leesa extended an invitation to me on behalf of Mary Lyn and Ronnie to come to their place in Pa. and spend Easter Sunday with them all. I was planning to spend that day with my children and grandchildren at my daughters house. I struggled with this conflict cause I hadn’t seen Mary Lyn since their mother passed away and thought it would be great fun to see her and Sal in the same place at the same time just like soooo many years ago. Instead, I decided to do the traditional holiday thing with my kids and theirs. When I told Sal to tell Mary Lyn thanks anyway he said “family comes first”. That’s just the way Sal was.

As we parted company that day while Sal and Leesa pulled away I was sad, I cried I was afraid I would loose him…………

Patty Ayers (Life Long Amigo)
September 18th, 2008
My brother Sal was twelve years older than me. I the 45 years that I was blessed with having him in my life, he never fought with me or had an unkind thing to say to me. Well, unless it was in the form of a joke that, by the way, only he thought was funny. My earliest memory of my brother was him teaching me how to spell my name. He started with the letter P. He patiently explained how Paula started with the “p” sound and proceeded to teach me the rest. I was so pleased that I now knew how to spell my name aloud. I went running up the stairs to share with the rest of my family my accomplishment. I shouted when I got to the top “I know how to spell my name, listen, P – I – G – Paula!!!!” That was typical Sal.

Sal never called me by name the first 25 years of my life. Being the youngest Paula in the family, most called me Baby Paula. Sal called me “The Bubb”, as sounded in bubbala. It was quite interesting explaining to my friends why I was called the bubb which sounded to them like boobie. What a great name to be called. How can I possibly leave out the other lovely nickname Sal had for me, Plootz. What a fine strong name for a little girl – Plootz! Never knew where that one came from.

Once, when looking through family photos I asked why there were so few photos of myself as a baby. It never entered my mind that by child #3 you simply take fewer photos. Sal explained to me that I was found in a garbage pail on the corner of Bay 48th street and Shore Parkway, in front of “Milo’s House”. They heard crying coming from the pail and, of course, there I was. That is why there were so few photos!!

Let’s talk about “the basement”! I remember exploring the basement both when Sal was AND wasn’t present. Oh the wonders I would see as an 8 year old! I would help myself to his rolled up half dollars to treat myself and friends to the ice cream man. He never once complained about it or brought it up to me, but did ask my Mom to have me stop. One basement favorite of mine were the 2 large ears glued on the walls – “The Walls Have Ears”, he would say to me. Then there was the black light and the ceiling splattered with day glow paint. My dolls loved having parties down there. Sal’s friends enjoyed my dolls parties too. My thumbalina doll would stretch and move under the blacklight. When it stopped moving his friends would encourage me to turn the doll on again. They would pass around the suede pouch filled with “their grape juice” while I drank mine. I remember tasting theirs once, somehow it wasn’t as sweet as mine and didn’t taste as good!

Anyone who enjoyed Sal’s company in the basement knew of the large steel bell that hung at the bottom of the steps. There was a long string attached to it at the top of the steps. My job was to pull that string and wake him up. Many a time I found it unattached – and wondered how!! I would then have to wake him up manually. The phone would ring – Is Sal there they would ask?? Who is it I would nastily say. I soon knew the people I should run down the stairs and wake him up for – only to run back up and say – still asleep. As I got older I got real good at it – especially when the candystore would call looking for him.

Mary Lyn referred to the sweet smell of sauce filling the house at 3:00 a.m., yes that was typical. So was the 2:00 a.m. piano playing. Of course that was the basement piano or we would have all been up with him more often. How I loved to watch, and of course listen, to him play the piano. He played not with his fingers, but his soul. His foot would always be keeping time with his music. As a child I wished I had that passion for playing as I struggled with my weekly piano lessons. Still do.

My favorite holiday was Valentine’s Day thanks to Sal. As a little girl, not quite yet a teenager, I always looked forward to the great big heart shaped box of candy he would bring home from the candy store for me. It was always so lacey and beautiful and it made me feel so special. He could have gotten me a stuffed animal or something else suitable for a child, but that huge candy box just made me feel like a big shot. My friends and I would ooh and ahh over it every year!

As I grew older – right before he moved to Arizona, I think it finally hit him that I was not a little girl anymore. He found out I was dating someone he knew from the neighborhood, so Sal tried to warn me about boys and their intentions. At first it was awkward, but soon I knew it was genuine. I still remember those exact words he said to me. It was at this point in my life when I really got Sal. He was always supportive of me and was ready to listen at any given time. “How can I help” he would say. That in itself was enough for me.

I am thankful for the many great memories I have of Sal, from growing up to present and consider myself fortunate to have them. Stealing a three word line from Sal – “In any event” – death comes to all. But, great achievements build a monument to the people who are no longer with us. My brother’s death has brought me to truly see his monument. His achievements inspire me to want to be a better person. A better mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend.

When remembering Sal I experience both tears and sorrow mixed with smiles and laughter. I will never forget his contagious smile, long hugs and his “I Love You” at the end of each phone call. I look forward to the day when memories of my brother bring only laughter to my day and warmth to my heart. But right now, my heart is filled with sorrow. As the tears stream down my face while sharing my thoughts of Sal with you, I’d also like to share with you a quote from the author Washington Irving -

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief … and unspeakable love.”

Yes, this certainly is overwhelming grief, but my unspeakable love for Sal will remain with me forever.

I’ll miss you big brother.
Paula Sayage (Sister)
September 16th, 2008
Sal was a part of my life for six and a half years. He very quickly become the love of my moms life. He soon became my "stepdad". I loved Sal from the day I met him I knew that he was a nice welcoming person. As the time went on I became even more fond of him. I would love to go to his house on the weekends. Jumping on his trampoline with Bella was one of my favorite past times. I have been on many trips with my mom and sal. We went camping, we've gone to california, and most of all he took me to the place of my dreams - New York. He invited my mom and me into his family and into his life. I adore Sal and how happy he made my mom.

They were explorers they went to Egypt, Italy, China, South America. And many other places. It was there goal to go to every contient and they were so close. They adored crusing together or even just spending the afternoon hanging out.

Christmas was also another good time with sal, the sicilian seafood fest.

I will miss Sal so much and I love him and all of his family. We are so blessed to come together in this time of need.

We miss you and love you Salvatore!!
Thanks for everything!
Emily Irwin ("step daughter(ish)")
September 12th, 2008
I only had the extreme pleasure of being with Uncle Sal three times. When we first met, I was standing on the corner of a busy NYC street waiting to meet at a restaurant for dinner. Uncle Sal walked right up to me and asked, "are you Melissa?" We had both only seen each other in photos, but his greeting was such a warm one, clearly wanting to get to know me, and I knew right away who he was because I could see the resemblance to his sister Mary Lyn, my soon to be mother-in-law.
We had dinner in a New Orleans style place and he talked about his travels, music and the arts. It was so obvious he had a passion for this world and the beauty it possesses which sometimes might be hard for some to see, but not Uncle Sal.
Our next meeting was at L&B and I can attest to his sister's story, he loved his squares and the quantity was always endless. If there was more pizza left, there was more eating to be done. That day, Uncle Sal looked at the L&B place mat of a map of Italy and showed us where his family came from. His interest in his family's ancestry was genuine and I loved that he always was looking for more about where they came from.
The last time I saw Uncle Sal was Easter. These are my happiest memories with him, when he drank a bit too much wine fed to him by his lovely lady Leesa, who smiled saying she loves a drunken Sal. We played word games at the table with one of his handheld gadgets and the most I remember is laughing hysterically most of the day.
My time with him was short but so memorable and heart warming to me. I can easily get down on this world sometimes but Uncle Sal gave me hope that there are people who really care and bring something more to our existence. I am heartbroken that he is gone but so happy that I had the time I did with him and can remember him at a time when he was happiest in his life. I will miss him always but can take solace in his family that is now my family, also knowing that we now have the best guardian angel taking care of us from heaven, in a home constructed of all his favorite things, with his favorite music on loop and many new friends to show his love to.

Melissa Favara (Niece (to-be))
September 12th, 2008
I have had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and loving Sal all of my life. I was two years younger than he. But, my big brother, Sal, embraced me from the very start.
As children we played together in the same sand box on the roof top patio of our grandmother’s garage. We’d chase each other between the many sheets that hung low on twisted clotheslines. When the sun beat down upon us, Sal would open up our umbrellas (mine pink, his blue) to give us shade, always opening mine first and handing it to me. For my fourth birthday, Sal presented me with a green wristwatch and was so excited to do so, that he choked on the pizza we were enjoying in our grandmother’s outdoor kitchen. On holidays Sal and I were always nattily dressed. He was so handsome in his hat and tie, with that perpetual smile on his face. As we grew older we moved to our own house (not too far from grandma’s though). On Wednesday afternoons we would go meet her on the corner of Cropsey and Bay 48 as she returned from the downtown clinic. In her hands were two bulging shopping bags, usually filled with goodies for Sal and I. His favorites being Chocolate Cow and M&Ms. Time passed and we grew, as did our love of camping. Often, we’d set up a make shift tent fashioned from a broom stick and a blanket between our pushed together beds. We’d read comics by flashlight (Superman and Spiderman were his favorites, although he read Archie comics too) and munch away late into the night. Sal soon upgraded to a real tent, which we first pitched in the yard directly behind the house. We then graduated to the back lot where electricity was available via a heavy duty cord that ran over a pole from the back of the house. We cooked hot dogs over an open fire and had marshmallow fights that stickied our hair. We dipped our hands in melted wax from candles that Sal had brought home from his service as an altar boy. We played Brisk under the stars, exercising the lingo of the game - leash, loads and the deuce of cauliflower – which would eventually be played under the street lamp in front of Jack Jingles and Betty Behinds’ house with Sal wearing a dealer’s shade atop his head with a toothpick hanging from his mouth. Sal soon engaged his friends in camping. Those camp outs became a weekend ritual; every one of them presided over by our mother wordlessly watching through the rear bedroom window. We grew, as did Sal’s love of camping. Backyard campouts turned into glorious days of camping in New Paltz, New York, sun bathing and skinny dipping in Little Falls. Sal’s white VW bus became infamous for toting his many friends and various supplies to that upstate haven. Before that VW bus there was Sal’s VW Bug with its contact papered hood, hub cabs and various body parts. When he first got that car, our parents called him “Rosie” (as in Ring around the Rosie), because all he would do was ride that car around and around in circles.

When Sal was twelve our sister was born. We had a running bet on the gender of the new baby and I won. Sal’s debt was paid in the form of pink bubble gum cigars. Our house being rather small, Sal’s room was relocated to the basement. And this is where those of you who knew him in his teen years come in - literally. Sal’s door was always open. No matter what the hour, you were welcome to come in and sit and rap or listen to music or just chill out. Helping to create the mood were the music, the iridescent speckled ceiling, the day glow posters and an assortment of record albums that defied definition. Sal was clearly a man ahead of his time; an innovator; a peacemaker; a sage.

Coming from a solid Italian family, Sal loved to eat. It wasn’t unusual for me to come down the stairs at 3:00AM led by the scent of Sal cooking up some ravioli in the kitchen. “Have a seat and join me” was his usual refrain. Although he’d cook up some thing for himself in the wee hours of the morning, he did not participate in our family dinnertime cooking or preparation; that was my job. Needless to say, the double standard reigned in our house and Sal routinely sat in “The Do Nothing Seat.” That detail changed later on in his married life, when Sal became the cook in his family. Let’s talk L&B… You could never keep count of how many ‘squares’ Sal could eat. When you’d ask, you never got a straight answer, just an empty box. Other favorites were Chinese food (Egg Foo Young) and of course, Roll and Roaster. And Sal never met a bagel he didn't like - particularly those from Monticello.

Although Sal moved far away, I always felt he was close by. Our frequent visits and more frequent conversations through the years, only served to reinforce those feelings. I am so sad that my brother is gone. But, Sal, it seems, was born knowing the secret of the fox in The Little Prince (one of his favorites, if not his favorite, novella)… “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. And I will always see Sal with my heart.
Mary Lyn Scalzo (Sister)
September 12th, 2008
125 entries
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"Happy Birthday Sal! Wish we were celebrating together. I'm going to get a slice and reminisce, thinking back on all the joy I knew because of you. What a gift your life was to all lucky enough to have known you! I love and miss you."
Leesa Irwin
June 2nd, 2019
"Who knew the absence of 1 person in my life would make such a profound difference? Then again, when you were here you made a profound difference - you changed my life, showed me all the possibilities, and made me a better person. I miss you daily!"
Leesa Irwin
February 28th, 2019
"Nine years gone, and I miss you each and every day."
Mary Lyn Scalzo
August 29th, 2017
"Happy Birthday in Heaven. Wish you were here. Love and miss you, Mary Lyn"
Mary Lyn Scalzo
June 2nd, 2017
"8 - 3 - 2 - 3. I miss you more than ever. Apparently it doesn't get better or easier or whatever well meaning people said would happen as time passes. Wish you were here, Sal."
Leesa Irwin
December 16th, 2016
"Missing you each And every day for the last 8 years, Sal. So many memories go through my mind ... Along with both Smiles and Tears."
Paula Sayage
August 30th, 2016
"What it meant to lose you, only those who love you know. You will forever carry a piece of my heart. Missing you. Love, Mary Lyn"
Mary Lyn Scalzo
August 29th, 2016
"Merry Christmas, Sal. The 8th one without you here, but you are always in my heart and mind."
Leesa Irwin
December 25th, 2015
"I too have been thinking about you Sal, quite a bit lately. I'm sure it's because of your anniversary in Heaven tomorrow ... 7 years. How can that be??? you are missed each and every day! PLEASE, Keep sending your signs."
Paula Sayage
August 28th, 2015
"I've been thinking about you a lot lately. Miss you tons."
Emily Irwin
August 26th, 2015


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