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Chapter - 59 ~ (Pending completion)

~ Bill Russo, Italian Art Sculpture and Umberto' s Restaurant ~

~ For those people and friends that are reading this chapter please note that (most) photo's will enlarge when clicking on them ~

This photo is of Bill Russo (left side) and Anthony Lofaso the owner of Umberto Restaurant in Little Italy ~ Bill Russo a FaceBook Friend recently posted an Italian Sculpture on FaceBook and I reciprocated by posting my "Caesar Statute" that I sculptured in '68 and he indicated that we should talk as he showed interest in placing it in a location to display it ~ I indicted that there were also other Art Works that I did thru the years and than posted those Art works too ~

These two High School teachers taught me enough to know about Auto Mechanics and Drafting to get me started in Auto Design, Mechanical Repair and Art work too ~ This man was my Auto Mechanic Teacher

My Drafting Teacher in High School was the second man on the right side ~ The first man on the right side was the High School Principal

I was selected to do the Year Book drawing of Joe Montana's great sports abilities over all the other students that participated in this contest and this drawing was put in the '53 student year book

~ Caesar Sculptured in '68 by yours truly ~

~ My Dad's '49 Chevy turned into the following car back around '54 in his garage by yours truly ~

~ From a catalogue after I thought of a new design for this Chevy I was able to purchase two Caddy Fins and had "Fender Bender" a body and fender shop weld them to the '49 Chevy rear fenders with fill in solder so that they looked like the real thing and then I removed all the trim from the outside replacing it with my own trim from various other cars and gave it 19 coats of paint ~ The tires were covered with a white silicone covering to give the appearance of white wall tires ~ For the full story with my friend Eddie Fisher and his family click on this link ~

~ Gazebo ~ that was built by me in the early '90s ~

~ The cupola on top of the gazebo was also made by me using scrap wood and the roof was made out of copper that I formed into a copper roof and the copper was purchased at "New Dorp Coal and Lumber Yard ~

~ A neighbor called Frank that lived across the street from my Father-in-law Jimmy not only helped Jim and Uncle Gus scrape down and paint with varnish our Living room and our bedroom floors while we were living in Sunnyside, Queens and were on our honeymoon in Puerto Rico but he also was kind enough to give Elizabeth and I the roth iron that is holding up our "White Horse" sign that you see laying on our Gazebo floor for the winter ~

~ Starting to build my Bamboo Fence in 2016 ~

~ Completed Bamboo fence that I built from my supply of Bamboo that I grow in my backyard so that I have my own lumber yard lol ~

~ Porch also built by me in the early '90s and just before the Gazebo ~ As you can see I'm with my two handsome Grandsons Eric on the far left side and Dean on my right ~

~ In side of Porch on a snowy day ~ Photo taken through the storm door window ~ The green house in the background where Tony Russo RIP the cabinet maker lived also was the artist that made Mayor Dinkins famous " Dinkins headboard" that was constantly in the public news ~ For that story click on this link ~

~ Shed built in th late '60s by yours truly and photo taken through the storm window door ~

~ Another view of the Porch and shed ~ Notice the the paddio that I built in '65 ~

~ This is a view before the porch was built, from the back bedroom, of the brick paddio that I built in '65 for my wife Elizabeth and our baby daughter Donna enjoying the warm weather on that day ~ Notice the new fence that had just been built with neighbors Mark and others that had recently moved into their new home ~

~ Lovely summer time view of shed ~

~ Ladder abandoned by some strangers as garbage but Elizabeth and I gave it a new life in our landscaping ~ I believe it to be a retired "Spencer Tunick" ladder lol ~ Ohh my, my computer just went down, must have been due to my sexy "Tunick" comment lol ~ See video below installed today on July 13, 2017 ~

~ Match stick drawing contest that I entered in '55 ~

~ Katzenjammer Kids of '53 ~

~ "Henry" art work done in '53 ~

~ Bugs Bunny the cavity driller and cleaner of teeth lol ~

~ The horse whisperer has been around since '74 lol ~

~ '53 drawing of a "Horror Comic Book" cover ~

~ 'Men's Adventures '53 ~

~ A friend on FaceBook colorize this drawing that I made way back in '53 ~

~ Another angle of "Caesar" only this time taken from the side view and with a pair of eyeglasses on him ~ lol

~ Staten Island Advance News Paper story of Snug Harbor's Art Show that I entered on September 8, 1968 ~

~ Paint set that I used for the following paintings ~

~ As I recall this painting was completed when I was about 14 years old so that it would date it at '49 and my sister Dolly returning it to me when she discovered it in her attic ~

I can't remember too much about this jockey and horse painting other than it was done in my earlier years ~

~ This painting of a sheep herder that I did back around '63 has got to be one of my favorites ~

~ This oil painting like all the rest of them is of an ocean wave crashing on the beach and I can remember doing much work on the wave in order to get that real look and feel ~ It too was completed in the mid '60s ~

~ This painting had to be done sometime around the mid '60s ~ It was only later that I started to sign and date my work ~

~ I painted this scene one day when I was not feeling very well and lived in Sunnyside , Queens around '62 ~ Good thing that I did not cut off my ear lol ~

~ Although I still have the mold that I used for this beauty it's no longer in good shape ~ This Family Crest was produced and painted around '68 ~

~ Some of my molds that I made before the final product is completed and produced ~ Also on the left side there are some of the old newspapers that I saved over the years that includes one that is dated May 13, 1932 that has Lindy 's Baby Kidnap Story on the front page and for that story click on this link ~

~ Daily News from May 13, 1932 covering the story of " Lindy's Baby Found - Slain " ~ For that complete story click on this link

~ This is the mold that I have for the Family Crest but with the mother mold missing ~ Maybe one day I will try to restore it ~

~ Catalogue that I designed in the late '60s and with only a few pictures of products that were made by me will be shown at this time ~ The letters LND represented Liz, Nick and Donna our first daughter as our second daughter Dina was not born yet ~

~ Hermes and Michael Angelo ~

~ The very first sculpture that I made with the use of wet cement when we came home to Staten Island after stopping at a statue shoppe in Long Island ~ It inspired me to make this head and boy did I have a lot to learn ~

~ My first and only cement Sculpture has been moved from behind the gazebo to the side where it can now be seen for everyone's view ~

~ Family Crest with and without background substance ~

~ American Eagles ~

~ Antique Hebrew Scholar and Colonial Eagle with Mirror ~

~ Michelangelo Plaque with three different background materials ~ Marine Velvet ~ Walnut Wood ~ Burlap Gold ~

~ 13th Century Spanish Soldier ~

~ Family Crest on Red Velvet with different background design ~

~ Various framed designs ~

~ Business Card and Hermes ~

While I'm discussing "Self-Taught" items I might as well present this photo of a fireplace I designed in my finished basement that was also built by yours truly back in 1981....There are so many books out there that are readily available for any one who would like to read and use them for building or construction, such as was accomplished in this case...(A click on this photo will enlarge it)...Incidentally, the two guns as shown in this photo are replicas from Spain and the large metal ring on the top left side was taken from a Beer Brewery that was torn down many years ago in Staten Island

~ Bed room wall that I built with each brick made by yours truly using a building material composition ~

~ Building wall continued with again the bricks made by yours truly and a closet for Elizabeth also added too ~ (Needs to be turned around)

~ Wall decor beams added by yours truly to ceiling and walls too ~

~ Columns and arches to ceiling made by me and added in the dining room ~

~ Finished basement including doors and fire place completed and made by the author ~ The man that I hired to put up the chimney refused to make the hole in the 12 inch foundation where the chimney was suppose to go thru so with a sledge hammer and chisel I did it for him and myself ~

~ Library, fireplace and finished basement completed by the author Nick ~ It was necessary for me to build a curved form that I laid onto the stove to hold up the very heavy real curved bricks at the top while the cement was drying and than the form was removed ~

~ Arches with fake bricks all made by Nick ~

~ Diddo ~

~ Window, door and leather seating chest under the basket with lifting seat for storage made by Nick in this finished basement ~

Fence arch way, attached porch and window built by Nick and installed by cutting a hole on side of house ~

~ all landscaping and low electric lighting including block work columns and wall done by yours truly and even the fire hydrant was painted with the traditional Italian colors of red white and green ~~ The driveway with the green bricks going through it was also done by yours truly ~

~ This grass blower and Vacuum was one of the inventions that I added my design and built it too ~ The design was the wood holder of the vacuum with wheels that I added because without it the individuals back would take the blunt of the heavy weight as it did not not need to be picked up but instead it could be rolled around while vacuuming the lawn leaves and grass to be turned into mulch ~

~ I'm saving this spot for two inventions that I developed ~ One was finished today while the other was done in the mid '60s ~ The invention that was done in the mid '60s was taking a can opener with a motor on it and turning it into a "grass edger" with a long handle so that there was no bending involved and also a trigger to turn the edger on and off ~

~ Chapter - 59 ~

~ Bill Russo, Italian Art Sculpture and Umberto' s Restaurant ~

~ The following comments and replies were copied and pasted word for word as taken from Facebook lol ~ Nick Mondelli January 7, 2017 ~ With the exception of Bill Russo, Mickey Burns, Scott LoBaido and Eric Michael photo's all photo's courtesy of Donna Dellavalle and Elizabeth Mondelli ~ If nothing else Bill Russo with the stroke of a pen has been able to bring many people together such as Family, Friends and others too ~


~ Bill Russo as requested photo's of art work done by yours truly including the porch too ~

I also built the bird house that you see in the Gazebo and made the cupola on the top without any plans and the roof is made of copper with the screens made from that wood that you see as a divider railing that is painted purple in some parts ~ All done by eye and no plans ~ The bamboo fence that is visible on the right side was made with my own stock that is growing behind the Gazebo ~ All the landscaping has been done by yours truly ~ And no I did not make the sign that is hanging with the name "The White Horse" but I had to repaint the horse and letters due to wear and tear ~ I purchased the sign in Rhode Island for 1 dollar at a garage sale and the rorth iron that it's hanging from is part of another piece that I took it from lol ~ Unlike · Reply · 4 · January 5 at 2:56pm · Edited

Diane Smith You are a man of many talents!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 2:52pm

Diane Smith The gazebo is fantastic I love it Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 3:16pm

Nick Mondelli Diane Smith Like · Reply · January 5 at 4:28pm Nick Mondelli

Write a reply...

Louis Montefusco Louis Montefusco You're a talented guy, Nick. Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 3:07pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Thank you Louis ~ Like · Reply · January 5 at 4:05pm

Connie Asbury Evans Extremely talented dear friend....this is wonderful... Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 4:34pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Thank You Connie lol ~ Like · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 4:37pm

Ron Zakary Nice hat! How's Liz feeling? Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 5:04pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Not to worry Ron but when I'm able to get her out here in the Gazebo wearing my hat than I'll feel better lol ~

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing Unlike · Reply · 3 · January 5 at 6:28pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Ohh and one more note is that the copper roof on top of the cupola never turned a patina green like it was suppose to do, so I cut down a long bamboo tree that you see behind the Gazebo and removed all the branches except for the ones on the top and put turquoise paint on those branches that I used as a paint brush for the coloring on the copper roof lol ~ I have reached an age where it is too dangerous for me to use a ladder again ~ Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:14am

Write a reply...

Lee Delgado Amazing. U r a busy guy. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 23 hrs

Nick Mondeli ~ Thank you Lee for introducing me to Liz back in '59 cause all this stuff was done for her ~ For that story click on this link ~ Unlike · Reply · 2 · 23 hrs · Edited Nick Mondelli

Write a reply...

Frances Egan The photo is beautiful . Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs · Edited

Dot Davis Good job friend. Unlike · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

Diane Ries Franc So talented! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 h


4 You, Frances Egan, Connie Asbury Evans and Diane Smith


Connie Asbury Evans What never cease to amaze. Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 4:35pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Thanks I feel my face getting red Connie as I must be blushing lol ~ Like · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 4:42pm

Connie Asbury Evans No need to blush Friend.. Blessed with talent..enjoy it.. Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 5:06pm Nick Mondelli

Write a reply...


2 Dean Dellavalle and Connie Asbury Evans


Connie Asbury Evans Lol...I remember them. Good job Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 4:35pm

5 You, Frances Egan, Dean Dellavalle and 2 others


Diane Smith Thanks I especially like the porch Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 3:13pm

Angela Mondelli Ries I still have that head, for many many years! Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 2:42pm

Angela Mondelli Ries I don't think I ever saw that, but did see the porch in the back! Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 2:44pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Donna Dellavalle ~ Connie Asbury Evans ~ Bill Russo ~ Unlike · Reply · 2 · January 5 at 4:46pm · Edited

Palma Mingozzi Funny thing about the art, though we put it aside it comes back to tell us take us out of the box. Hope to see a lot more and ask for some advice on the sculptures. Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 5 at 8:19pm

Nick Mondelli ~ Your right Palma it was time to come out of the box ~ Image may contain: sunglasses Unlike · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs

Palma Mingozzi Nick Mondelli lol Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

~ Since we have at least three celebrities that have participated in this story, I would like to see if Clem Caserta who recently called me on my home phone is also willing to give me a "LIKE" ~ This link will take one to Clem's "A Bronx Tale" story ~

Other "LIKES" received from : - Nick Mondelli, Connie Asbury Evans, Dusty Billings-Lilien, Diane Moden, Eric Michael, Kenneth Franc, Jennifer Egan, Nelson Ho, Frances Egan, Carmine Mondelli, Diane Ries Franc, Mickey Burns, Scott LoBaido, Lance J. Reha, Rachel Wiener, Bonny Bisset, Jo Cavallo, Carolyn Mac, Ed Perfield, Michael Rebaczonok- Padulo, Leny Servana Coyle, Jim Kardaras, Dean Dellavalle, Nick Herring, Kristy Katheryn Swaney

Nick ~ January 7, 2017

~ Eric Michael with his wonderful friends ~

~ Scott LoBaido preparing his "Empty Chairs" for a night scene ~ For the story where Scott did a memorial for the people that died during the "Sandy Hurricane" on Staten Island just click on this link ~

~ Scott Lobaido on his third tour to paint the American Flag on Veteran Buildings ~

~ Largest American Flag ever painted by Scott LoBaido, or possibly anyone, on a roof top of a building on one of his tours to paint a roof top flag in every state in the USA ~ Just look at the small size of the automobiles in comparison to the large size of the flag ~

~ Photo of Scott LaBaido who has given this story a "LIKE" ~ Thank You Scott LoBaido and all my other family and friends too ~ A "LIKE" coming from Scott is a hugh compliment when one compares the great stuff that he has done ~

~ Some of Scott LaBaido's art work can be seen in this picture when I believe that he had them up for sale in the Fisher Warehouse ~

~ Photo of Mickey Burns who has also given this story a "Like" with Muhammad Ali ~ Another friend and TV personality has given me a "LIKE" right here as we speak ~ A man that has interviewed over 400 celebrities on his PROFILES TV SHOW like Ernest Borgnine, Joan Rivers, Muhammad Ali and many many more too ~ May I introduce Mickey Burns the best interviewer that I know of ~ The story of how I met Mickey can be found by clicking on this link ~

~ Mickey Burns can be viewed in this photo with former Mayor of NYC Mike Bloomberg and some of his other friends ~

~ Lance J Reha is a great director, screen writer and a producer of fine movies and even he gave me a 'Like' too ~ For more story about how I met Lance just click on this link ~

~ This photo was taken by my daughter when she asked her son Eric to step into the hole in the tree but instead he asked me to take his place so naturally I said, "Why not" and so here we be lol ~

~ My Daughter Donna when she was just a toddler ~ The swing and painting of Mickey Mouse was made by yours truly ~

~ Great Artist at the Staten Island Mall "Zhong - Yi Wu" of the WU ART STUDIO ~ To see this Artist and his fine work look at the video that you will find just below ~

~ Great Artist at the Staten Island Mall "Zhong - Yi Wu" of the WU ART STUDIO ~ To see this Artist and his fine work look at the video that you will find just below ~ Also to make this picture larger so one can see the detail better just simply click on it ~

~ Great Artist at the Staten Island Mall "Zhong - Yi Wu" of the WU ART STUDIO ~ To see this Artist and his fine work look at the video that you will find just below ~

~ Great Artist at the Staten Island Mall "Zhong - Yi Wu" of the WU ART STUDIO ~ To see this Artist and his fine work look at the video that you will find just below ~

Video and audio clips

~ Zhong - Yi Wu of Wu Art Studio is here at the Staten Island Mall ~


Profile of nickmon4321

522 car nuts gave this a thumbs-up. Do you? Thumbs-up


nickmon4321 on Jan 17, 2017 said:

Hey Dad,

Sorry it took me a few days to reply. I love your drawings and great chapter, thanks for sharing!

Love Dina

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 7, 2017, at 1:56 PM, nick wrote:

~ Hi Dina Sorry that I could not talk too long when You called as I was in the middle of a new project namely Chapter 59 ~ For this viewing click on the following link ~

Dad ~ January 7, 2017

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Feb 17, 2017 said:

~ Today on February 17, 2017 my wife and I went to the Staten Island Mall and while I was there I again met my friend the artist who has a cart for public viewing to show and sell his Art Work to the public ~ You can not imagine how great this man is when it comes to art work as all his stuff looks like photographs but he calls it better than photographs and he certainly is right ~ Anyway I humbly gave him a copy of this Chapter so that he can also see some of my art work too and I hope that he likes it lol ~

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Mar 23, 2017 said:

Nick Mondelli ~ Awesome ~ Palma there was a time when I was going to sculpture a tree stump in my backyard but instead I did this Art Work lol ~

~ Chapter - 59 ~

This photo is of Bill Russo (left side) and Anthony Lofaso the owner of Umberto Restaurant in Little Italy ~ Bill… AMERICANTORQUE.COM

Palma Mingozzi Hi Nick, I'm glad to see so much content on your website, you are part of Staten Island history, you should apply for a grant, have a documentary made and have an exhibit in Richmondtown.

Nick Mondelli

Palma Mingozzi You've got some talent Nick!!!!

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Mar 23, 2017 said:

~ Palma Mingozzi ~ Nick would you be interested in showing others your Art Work ?

~ Nick Mondelli ~ Maybe, it all depends ~

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 17, 2017 said:

on Jul 31, 2017 Nick said: ~ So that I have a memory of who I sent this chapter to I am going to keep the name and date of each recipient in this comment, but if any one wishes that I not mention their name in this area just let me know and it shall be removed without any hard feelings ~

arezoo.shahabi - 6/3/17 1979 - Hollywood Website ~ ~ Robert Rottenberg - 6/28/17 1979 - Hollywood Website ~ Scott Insert - Hollywood Website - 7/20/17 ~ Marina Herschhorn - Old Hollywood - 7/31/17 ~ Mary Ellen - '53 LIC Classmate - 8/8/17 ~ Claudia York - Joe Spinnel friend - 9/13/17 ~ Zhong-Yi Wu - Staten Island Mall Artist - 9/19/17 ~ Ratnakar Melavanki - Old Hollywood Website - 9/20/17 ~ Connie Asbury Evans - Very Special FB Friend - 9/20/17 ~ Frank my neighbor & Tortonno Pizzeria owner - Sept, 2017 ~ Patricia - Songs we forgot - 9/29/17 ~ Karen Rielly - Old Hollywood Website - 9/30/17 ~ Gregory - Facebook Friend - 10/1/17/~ Anna - Bonny - Sherry - of the Vintage etc Website - 11/15/17 ~ Eliane Marques - FB Friend - 11/17/17 ~

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 19, 2017 said:

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 19, 2017 said:

I do love Art, dear Nick! Congrats

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