Legacy Created on: September 2008
Legacy on until: January 2012
Legacy availiable via archive until: January 2016
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Tell me about when you got sent home

Oh man, was I happy.  The nice thing about coming out of the service was that they gave us an opportunity to go to school.  What I wanted to do was to go to a school to learn how to solder. In those days the radiator in automobiles was the thing that they had to keep repairing because it kept leaking and overheating engines. I thought that if I could get into a business like that my knowledge and skill would be what the business was based on and I wouldn’t need a lot of money or equipment to get started.  The service supplied me the funds to go to school.  What they did was send me to a radiator repair shop to learn. The person who owned the shop would teach me and the service would pay him. I was very excited.  The gentleman I worked for was a nice guy, but he at first he put me in a section of the shop where I prepped the radiators to be fixed. It required me only to clean, boil, and prepare the radiators, not solder or fix them.  I had to do the dirty work, and then take the cleaned radiator to him and he would repair it. After this went on for quite awhile I eventually said it was not really right. I was there to learn, not just work. So I reported it and after that I was moved into the other roomand he taught me how to solder and repair the radiators. He really took advantage of the government and me in a way at the beginning as he was being paid by the government to teach me a trade and using me as basically free labor.  Once I got all of that under my belt, I told him goodbye, and I opened up my own shop “Joe’s Auto Radiator Repair.” Then I became his competition.  My business grew and did very well. I bought a really nice home and went straight to the top.  At the end of the day the government was “A Number One” for me. They took very good care of me after I got out of the service. 


Back then in New Jersey the Mob was fairly prevalent and for the most part they were a good bunch of guys. I had some friends that were in the Mob.  I wasn’t a Mafia man, but the friends that I had that were in the Mafia were good people. It was an organization that for the most part wasn’t really hurting anybody. A lot of people think that they were bad, but they weren’t. They were good people. They just wanted to try to help each other, to help families, and to help kids.

After I ran the repair shop for some time, I got an offer to run a dude ranch, The White Horse Dude Ranch, located in upstate New York.  I ran that ranch for quite a few years. These girls would come from New York City up to the dude ranch and I had a lot of fun.  I was there for several years. 

After that I worked for a big floral company.  I would go from state to state interviewing distributors to sell floral products.  It was great. I got to see the whole United States and they put me up in the finest hotels. I got to meet a lot of interesting people. In later life I met my wonderful wife (Margaret Bottoni) and I am one lucky guy.  I’ve had a really good life and have been very fortunate. 


How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as a person who was liked and loved. I’ll tell you one thing about my life.  The one thing about my complete and whole life, and I’ve always had this about me, is that I’ve always tried to help whoever I could and do whatever I could for anybody.  And I don’t care how good or bad they were.  I just want to be there for someone so I can help someone do something. 

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