My uncle Giacinto worked very hard to establish a solid foundation for his family, as most immigrants did when hey were given the opportunity to settle in America. My father had a very successful shoe repair business. OK, I know what you're all thinking, how cliché, Tony the shoemaker from Italy. You can't make this stuff up. Anyway my father was getting tired and wanted to scale back, his own sons showed little interest in being a shoemaker and taking over the family business. My Uncle Giacinto was also getting tired of working so many hours in various construction jobs. Physical labor really starts to take a toll. When my Uncle Giacinto approached my father and told him that if he was interested in selling his business he would be willing to buy it. It was a perfect match. My father worked for years to build up a faithful clientele and a business that did well enough to support a wife and five children. It would have broken my father's heart to see his hard work go to the hands of a stranger. So he taught my uncle the trade and my father was able to start to pay attention to his already failing health. In a perfect world, everything would run smoothly. Both parties would continue to abide by the terms of the original agreement. Well, without getting into the he said, he said. So many years have passed and it so insignificant it doesn't even matter. Needless to say, my father and my uncle argued about who was right.
When neither party was willing to give in, who do you think got caught up in the middle? You guessed it, my mom. However, my mother wasn't going get caught up in the mess. After all, she worked full time, had five children, and had plenty of household duties to take care of. Her plate was full. There was little time for petty nonsense. However, when you don't deal with a conflict right away, time seems to fly by and the years add up until someone who was very close to you has now become a stranger. Until that fateful Christmas Eve when my mom ran into my Uncle Giacinto at the fish market.