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~ Chapter 61 - "Max" ~

~ Chapter 61 - "Max" ~

~ "MAX" ~

~ Max in Korea during the war ~ His mom would send him a hand warmer, I recall, as he always talked about how cold his hands were in North Korea ~

~ National Guard outfit with photo taken at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas for advance training that was the same outfit that Max belonged to with me Nick in the top Row left side ~ We however were never called to any skirmishes during any wars from 1957 to 1963 while Max who was in the same outfit was called to the Korean War ~ You go figure ~

~ Vinnie Gallagher who was the first guy to join the National Guard Outfit on Cropsey Ave in Brooklyn ~ Max, Vito, and I Nick followed by joining too at later dates and also a friend of mine named Steve Limongelli that I worked with at MetLife joined with me and our training was done together as I recall ~ This week I received a Book written by Vinnie called, "A Time To Remember" and it is a book that is much more than I expected ~ There is a section in the book that is a, 'Tribute to Max Ries" and I have learned many good things that I never knew before ~ 10/26/17

~ Steve Limongelli bottom row, left side of the soldier with the helmet on ~ Steve and I both joined in this National Guard Unit together and we also worked together at MetLife ~ My room mate Hoot who was from Dallas, Texas is sitting to the left of Steve in this photo ~

~ Max during his younger days, second from right side with Vinnie Gallagher to the left side of him with their other Club Members and friends too ~

~ My sister Angela now at age 85 and her 2 daughters Liz and Diane ~

~ Max's younger son Paul with his wife and my brother Vito who was in the same National Guard outfit that Max got me and Vito started in also with his wife too ~

My family before I got married and my sister Angie who Max would marry ~ My sister met Max at a sweet 16 Party in Yorkville, Manhattan NY that was celebrated at an apartment house just a few houses away from 1710 1st Ave where we lived at that time ~ Also present in this photo is me Nick, my Mom Rosa, my Dad Michele, my Brother Vito and my younger Sister Dolly ~

~ Twins that were born to Max and Angie in Astoria , Queens, NY with Mike Ries on the left and Jim Ries on the right ~

~ The Bayville House that Max refurbished and took care of in the best way that he knew so that his family was protected from the cold of the winter and heat of the summer months ~ There was an extension added later on the left side of the house known as the party room ~ In the early years as shown, there was a brick driveway leading to the front of the house and horse and wagon would take people to the house from the dirt road up front ~ I presently have about 2 or 3 bricks that were used to build the driveway in my back yard ~

In Astoria, Queens NY Max had allowed me to use his Spray Paint Gun when I painted my '57 Plymouth down at the corner house in one of those garages that my parents owned ~ Max had paid me a visit when I was painting that car but had to leave with all the paint fumes ~ When I finished painting and stepped out of the garage I found out what those fumes can do to people as I was flying high ~

~~~ * Chapter 61 * ~~~

---~~~ * "Max" * ~~~---

~ Clicking on those pictures shown above will enlarge some of them ~


~ For this weekend we decided to go and see the new movie film with Denzel Washington that was named "Fences" ~

This is our second venture into a Movie House since Elizabeth broke her Hip on December 11, 2017 and as she is now using a cain on a more permanent basis, we decided that this would be good way to spent the afternoon ~

There was a scene in the film that bought back a flash of memory for me when one of the actors left some cash on the table for some of the family members ~ It made me think back to this following time in my life ~

"What did you say, what ? Max is dead" ~ I had received the call while working at MetLife and was all broken up ~ Frank DiSansa who saw me in this unstable condition came over to me and we discussed the matter as I knew it at the time ~

He referred me to Bill Benziger the Manager who told me to go home and I spent about a week at the funeral parlor with my family ~ My mom carried on at the Funeral Parlor that was traditional for Italian European Women at that time ~ Not understanding this tradition I consoled her as best I could to no avail ~

The worst possible words that anyone would want to hear ~ My older sister and her 5 children were living in the Bayville House that my parents owned ~ Angela was living in that home and it was nothing but Happy times for them while living in that house ~ It was a gigantic home for their family and gave them lots of room for their large growing family ~ Including the Basement, there were 4 floors of living space and each floor was unique in the way that they were put together ~ I can also recall that after Max passed some neighbors came over to the house loaded with cold cuts and all kinds of other good food ~ I had answered the ringing of the bell when it rang in the kitchen and when I saw them I was not able to talk because of the tears that were building up in my eyed ~ I still have visions of that moment ~

~ Also after Max was put to rest my Dad told me of how those very large columns in the front of the house were termite infested ~ He said he had called some people in town about it but no one ever showed up ~ I suggested that without knowing how to do the repairs our selfs it would be just too much for Angie to handle the house alone ~ It was later decided to sell the house and Angie moved up to the house that she now has on Mountain View Road ~

I recall that Max had started a project of upscaling this home with changes that he made to the second floor bathroom, and the hall floors ~ He was always working very hard in making these changes and keeping the house in tip-top-shape ~ The children as I recall were too young to help their Dad so he generally worked alone ~

I recall that Max was working in a private home at the time on their furnace that sometimes I would also work with him but not on that day ~ Max wanted me to learn the business as Max told me that my Dad was willing to back him financially in an Oil Truck Business but I was not old enough yet to understand the facts of life and that we have to work at some sort of job in order to make a living ~

Anyway when Max was working in that private home the male owner explained to me over the phone that I could not speak to his wife who was there with Max and was having a difficult time with the situation, that he was not feeling well and asked her if he could lay on her couch for awhile until he felt better but he never did get up again ~ I called the police department that were investigating this matter and they told me I could go there but I later decided not to go as I was also having a hard time with his passing, his doctor too, who said that Max was suffering from blood clots and finally the military and received much help from Vinnie Gallagher who served time with Max in Korea during the Korean War ~

I can recall that while living in the Astoria House in Queens, NY where Max and his family were living upstairs and we were talking about my working with him in cleaning oil burning furnaces and it was agreed by both me and Max that I would get paid only if we made more than he would normally make ~ Cleaning furnaces was done by bringing a vacuum tube through the window basement of a home and vacuuming away the dirty surt in the furnace. It was dirty job and my mom did not want me to do it because she was the one who had to wash my cloths ~ For me it was better than nothing because I had to work at something but it did not last very long as I had to move on with my career ~

I can recall that Max would also have a night job spray painting elevators ~ He had a large family and needed to do whatever it takes to support them ~ Max had allowed me to use that Spray Paint Gun when I painted my '57 Plymouth down at the corner house in one of those garages that my parents owned ~ Max had paid me a visit when I was painting that car but had to leave with all the paint fumes ~ When I finished painting and stepped out of the garage I found out what those fumes can do to people as I was flying high ~

This excerpt was taken from Chapter 19 and I copied and pasted it here for this story as it concerned Max ~ It can be seen in the comment section of Chapter 19 by clicking on this link ~

"...The following comment was placed on the "ClassicCar" website a few months ago when they made reference to a '47 mercury convertible and my brother ~ in ~ law Max (RIP) owned a '47 Chevy Convertible ~~~ "Nice, nice car that '46 Mercury Convertible with the wood trim I do say.!!!...I just Luv it...Looks a lot like the '47 convertible Chevy my brother ~ in ~ law (RIP) left in my care when he went off to Korea to fight them there bad guys...If you had your photo machine set-up I would have included his Military Photo too...While he survived Korea, even after a Locomotor Train mangled the Duce and a Half Truck that he was driving, he later passed at a young age while on the job back in the States...Thanks very much for posting the Merc and the wonderful Memories it has created for me.!!!..."

Fort Bliss, Texas located in El Paso, was where Anti Aircraft Artillery and Nike Training was accomplished at White Sands Proving Grounds in 1957 and approximately 50 miles from Roswell, New Mexico Area 51 with UFO activities. One can see me ( Nick Mondeli ~ Author ) holding the flag by it's tail end to keep it from flapping in the breeze ~

Vinnie Gallagher ~ He served together with my brother - in - law Max in Korea ~ When Max was delivering wounded soldiers to the Mash Hospital and after leaving them at the Hospital, on his return trip, the truck that he was driving was hit by a Locomotive Train and he ended up in the Mash Hospital too ~ I later enlisted (1957) in the same National Guard outfit on Cropsey Ave, Brooklyn as Max and Vinnie were in and the sergeant in charge ( Sgt. Morrow ) who was also in Korea with them showed me photo's of the truck that the Locomotor had hit and I then could not believe how he survived that accident as it was so badly mangled...? There is also some talk that it was not an accident as Max was told it was safe to cross the train tracks (at night time without head lights on) when it actually was not safe...Vinnie went to see Max at the Hospital during that Korean Incident...Vinnie was also very helpful to my sister Angela with the veterans paper work when Max later passed away in 1966...

Photo of my brother - in - law Max while he was serving in Korea can be seen above ~ Although he survived the Train Incident in Korea, he later died at a very young age of 37 (1966) in a private home while repairing their oil burner...

~ Getting back to my first and second paragraph where I mentioned Denzel Washington with his new film "Fences" and made this following comment too, "There was a scene in the film that bought back a flash of memory for me when one of the actors left some cash on the table for some of the family members ~ It made me think back to this time in my life" ~ Well the purpose and reason for this mention was that after Max passed I was sending cash to my sister Angie in an unmarked return envelope for a little bit of help for her to get along some what ~ Angie later put 2 and 2 together and found out that it was me ~

Nick ~ January 23, 2017

~ Max is being protected by his beautiful Angels now ~

~ First film we saw after Elizabeths recent accident was "La La Land" ~

~ Second film we saw after Elizabeths recent accident was "Fences" ~

Video and audio clips

~ La La Land Trailar ~


Profile of nickmon4321

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nickmon4321 on Nov 3, 2017 said:

~ Hi Vinnie it's me again ~ I don't think that I ever sent this story to you about Max but thought to myself that it is something that you might want to see especially with your new book that you wrote called "A Time To Remember" as there may be some more interesting things in it that you did not know of ~

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nickmon4321 on Nov 3, 2017 said:

Hi Nick , That was a very touching narrative and well written and interesting. Like you, my brain still keeps the images of those times. Let me add a detail or two... You mention SGT Murrow that was SGT Mario Mauro who was one of our four gun commanders in Korea and his older brother was First SGT Bill Mauro a great soldier we all learned from but, Bill did not go to Korea with his brother. Back in 1949-50? Bill Mauro and his family had their tragedy you will read about in the book... the images still fresh in my mind. Me and Lee went to a Hawaiian Luau Party at the big mansion in Bayville?? 1961 -62 ?? and it lasted so long I went home to relieve our baby sitter and took both our boys back to the party. The images of the Angels at the end of your writing was particularly touching because I mention something close in the book. You know, Bob Dema who lived around the corner from Max and his Mom, baptized Max aboard the troopship on the way to Korea. Very best Nick, Vinnie

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nickmon4321 on Nov 13, 2017 said:

on May 24, 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 ~

~ Gina Baker - Vintage Photo Website - 11/13.17 ~

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