In a relatively recent Blind Confidential article I wrote that my father-in-law, Tony Vecchione, had fallen victim to a freak automotive accident and into a coma resulting from his head injuries. In the time since then, the medical decision was made by his doctors and family to remove him from life support and he passed away. My wife Susan and I just got back from Boston where we attended his memorial service. I would like to thank all of the BC readers who sent us notes of support and friendship during this difficult time.
When I think of Tony Vecchione, my late father-in-law, I think of the loves we shared. More than anything else, we deeply love his daughter and my wife Susan. Each year, Tony and my mother-in-law Betty would spend a few weeks here in Florida visiting us and avoiding the Massachusetts winters. We had already started planning to see them this month when Tony had his accident. I will miss hearing him interact with Susan, demonstrating his great affection in nearly everything he did with her.
One of Tony’s most prized possessions was a photograph of a six year old Susan beside a grouper as big as she which she had caught that day. Tony and I shared a love for fishing, especially in Florida. I remember the day when I put him on his first redfish and how he seemed as excited as a little kid as the big shouldered fish yanked out line and made his reel scream. Of course, Susan caught about four times as many fish as Tony and I combined and he cheered her on with each one.
After that day fishing the Miguel Bay area, we returned to the house he and Betty and he had rented for their winter vacation. Betty took the redfish filets and prepared an amazing Cajun style blackened sea food dinner. Tony and I very much love Betty’s cooking. Her skills in the kitchen rival those of any great chef and over the past twenty years, I enjoyed many, many meals at their table.
I could go on with many more things we both loved. Jazz, for instance, was a passion we shared. Tony loved the Dixie and Big Band music, I preferred Miles and Coltrane but the sound of jazz brought joy to both of us. We shared a passion for left wing politics and for the ideals of fighting discrimination and hoping for social justice. We both loved the Boston Red Sox and we both got to experience the once in a lifetime joy of watching our team actually win a World Series. We shared many more loves as well.
Tony Vecchione was 77 years old but was in terrific health and was highly energetic. This freak accident actually caused us to think he may be the first person we could describe as having died young while in his late seventies. Susan and I will miss him greatly as will the rest of his family and his large number of friends.