Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

Here Comes St. Jude!

When was the last time someone unexpected came to your house? When I was a kid,¬† once a year the old man (old to me, at least) who was collecting for St. Jude’s Hospital showed up at the door. We would yell “St. Jude is here!” and my father would bitch and moan under his breath because, even though my parents had 6 kids to feed and dress, they always gave something.

Besides St. Jude, we had a veritable parade of regular visitors: Freddy Rapolla (the butcher), Ralph (the barber), Jimmy Vaccarelli (delivering fresh baked Italian bread), Dr. Olini and the dry cleaner. When Grandpa moved in, Dugan’s Bakery showed up twice a week, with his cheese stollen and doughnuts. We didn’t have a milkman – that was Dad – but every other kind of deliverymen and service provider arrived at our door in a steady stream. As a kid, I loved having all these visitors (I called them my “boyfriends” – shades of things to come, I guess), along with all the family members who dropped by, mostly unannounced.

Now that we have supermarkets and strip malls, this lifestyle has virtually disappeared. No one drops in without giving you ample warning. You’re lucky if Comcast shows up when you have an appointment. And how many of us would welcome an unplanned visit from our sister in law or uncle?

It’s too bad; all those visitors taught us about socializing. We learned how to talk to adults, how to treat service people right, how to be a gracious host. Everyone now seems so cocooned in their homes,¬†insulated from the outside world, as though being cloistered was a good thing.

And they don’t get to smell fresh-baked Vaccarelli bread.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011 at 10:48 AM and is filed under My Pet Peeves. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Jade Greene says:

    I miss those days, too. Your mention of the Dugan man brought a smile to my face. If memory serves, it was Entenmann’s in a pink checkered box.

  2. Camille says:

    Don’t forget the Fuller Brush man, Avon Lady. They really were the good old days! I feel sorry for today’s kids. They don’t know how to socialize or even have a conversation. We were lucky… we grew up in a better time in a great small town part of an amazing family.

  3. Susan says:

    What a lovely post and sentiment, i.e., excellent reminder. I notice today’s parents on their phones instead of interacting with their children, from strollers on. We now have a full generation of people who interact technologically but haven’t any face to face skills, other than, perhaps walking right into others.

  4. Barry Jay says:

    Haven’t thought about Vaccarelli’s bread in years. They used to delivery to S&D Supermarket around the corner from our house. Being the devilish children that we were, we would either try to snitch bread from the truck or taunt him with cheers of “Vaccaelli, bread is smelly, hurts the belly”. We loved it when he chased us away from the truck.

  5. Dick H says:

    Last time was about a month ago when my alarm went off for no apparent reason. Two police officers showed up. The did offer my offered cup of coffee. Very frequin exciting. No one drops in on us unexpectedly anymore. Wanna drop in? Sorry, were busy that day.

  6. Phil says:

    Well Lucille, I’d drop over your house today…but then you’d be expecting it….

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