Posted by Steve Lettau on Jun 28, 2018

By Joe Queenan in The Rotarian 

The last time I broke bread with my former college roommate Chris, we dined in a nondescript Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Philadelphia. A few months later, Chris would succumb to kidney failure, heart failure, and a bevy of other illnesses. 

Also in attendance that evening were two of my childhood friends, Joe and Richie, and Richie’s wife, Mary. Mary had been taught to cook by Richie’s mother, and each time I ate at her house it was like going back 50 years to the glorious era when Mrs. Giardinelli held sway over the kitchen. Chris had met Richie and Mary only that morning when they unexpectedly showed up with mops and buckets and volunteered to clean his house from top to bottom, taking eight hours to do so. Because of his illness, his house was a wreck.

“You don’t even know Chris,” I told Richie, marveling at their generosity.

“We know you,” he replied.