I remember listening to Sinatra as if I knew who he was while laying out Grandma’s precious pots and pans, the ones she concocted Sunday’s gravy in. Metal ladle and soupspoon in hands, I’d rig my kitchen drum kit up, banging on her pots ‘cuz Mom and Dad were working. This was before Guido Salvatore sold the store down on Blackwell Street blowing the profits on a weekend trip to AC behind Dad’s back. I guess he got payback years later, while on the outs, dying from cancer, being dosed up with the chemo. Yet somehow he took off like a bat out of hell to AC after his infusions. Maybe the docs put something strong in the batch, or he saw a priest and confessed his sins to God praying for absolute forgiveness. Or maybe the priest got permission from the Vatican to give him an exorcism cleansing his soul with holy water and all. Maybe Jesus, Mary and Joseph blessed him with some angels while on his last leg out—as he turned the corner in the final stretch nearing the finish line. Soon, “Sallie boy” only had a couple runs left in him-just short trips to the racetrack, He died like a champ, cold, lonely of heart attack, found with a winning Tri-Fecta ticket clenched inside hands at the OTB machine about to cash in after the Kentucky Derby Preakness. The last time I saw my step-grandfather Guido Salvatore, I was fourteen years old. He slipped me a hundred dollar bill for old times’ sake. But that don’t account for all the bops to the head I took from that old fuckin’ snake.