Toritto – A Life In Pictures – #13


In 1977 we had a new daughter. In view of our history having children she had been rushed from delivery for a thorough evaluation.  An hour later I was told she was fine.  We celebrated and her mother and I took her to her Charlotte home where she quickly began growing up.


It was strange at gfirst having a normal child.  We constantly looked for signs of trouble but she grew and developed right before our eyes.  Of course we still had Michael who as years passed was now approaching 5 years old and there was no support system for us in North Carolina at the time.

Michael, the month Marie was born.

And so I set up a business trip and visited my former colleagues who had also left New York and taken senior positions at New England’s oldest trust bank, Rhode Island’s second largest and a major player in the gold markets in Providence.

Rhode Island was a leader in this nation in closing it’s institutions for the “feeble minded” and implementing community based facilities for the disabled.  Not only did my colleagues offer me a job but they took me to visit Trudeau Center.

The Trudeau Center has been a Warwick landmark since the early 1960’s. Born out of a necessity and belief that people with disabilities should be allowed full citizenship within their own communities,  Arthur & Evelyn Trudeau along with a legion of supporters tirelessly sought to create services such as special education, recreation, and vocational training.  Today, the Trudeau Center has an annual budget of $26 million, most of which comes from federal and state aid, and operates at multiple sites around Rhode Island.  We became one it’s early first families and beneficiaries.

And so after bringing Michael to Rhode Island for examination to ensure his acceptance into the program we decided to move to New England.  

I was advised to live in an adjacent school district to the Trudeau Center so that there would be no question in receiving services for Michael.  We settled in West Warwick, a working class town populated by Italians, French-Canadians and Portuguese, where one usually didn’t find Yankees or bankers.  Within a few years we were right at home. I purchased the home of a retiring town doctor.  It was our first older home.  There was nothing new in New England!

This was our old corporate banking floor.  It is now the student lounge and library for the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the nation’s premier art schools just down the hill from Brown University.  I worked for years in front of the far window on the right.

At home we remodeled the kitchen, papered and painted in and out.  Marie and Michael got bigger.  Michael was picked up each day at 8:30 by the Trudeau bus and returned to us at around 3:30 giving time to JoAnn for our daughter.  She fed Michael breakfast, Trudeau fed his lunch and I did dinner.  We got written reports from his caregivers in a little notebook each day which I still have.  They provided us respite care so we could take little vacations.  It was a god sent and I fam forever indebted to the good people of Rhode Island.

And then it happened.

We had another baby!  JoAnn had been advised not to take the pill for medical reasons (it was still fairly new at the time) so we tried to be careful.  After having no children for 10 years we had four children in 6 years.   Seems now we couldn’t pass each other in a hall without a pregnancy.  We went through all the agony and tests again.

“It was the afternoon of June 3rd, 1979 when she had her first pains. It was her 34th birthday and would have been Danny’s birthday. He would have been six  years old that day.

“I’m not having this baby today! I’m just not!!” “You’ll have it when you have it!”

“No I won’t! Not today!”.

And so she stayed still on the couch as the pains increased in intensity and frequency.
“Please please let me take you to the hospital!!  I’ll need a derrick to get you out to the car if you wait much longer!!!!”

“Not yet!!”

Finally she agreed it was time and when they got to the hospital she was rushed straight to delivery. He went to the men’s lounge as usual.

Within 45 minutes came the announcement over a speaker : “You have a daughter!”  The guys in the waiting room thought it unfair.  “Hey, you just got here!”

It was June 4th when Pamela came into the world.  Her mother simply would not have her new daughter on June 3rd.”  – from “Sons”

We now had three children in pampers!



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Toritto – A Life In Pictures – #13

  1. beetleypete says:

    Such a crop of memories in so few photos. Some unbearably sad, others life-affirming.
    I am wondering if this would make a nice book. Something to hand down to CC, so he can see the history of his family in pictures, as well as words. Might be worth getting a few copies printed.
    I wish I had something like this about my own family. I really do.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. paolsoren says:

    We are really starting to look after our people better now. Thank God for people like the Trudeaux.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jennie says:

    Another wonderful chapter in your life through photos. I can only imagine your roller coaster in digging up the photos and then writing the words. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lara/Trace says:

    While you’re writing this book, think about writing a book about banking, too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.