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My Grandpa Tremonti


(part 1)


my Grandpa

was born on the same day

as Ed Wood

& Thelonious Monk

& looked so much

like George Raft

that some people

were sure that it was him

(if you don't know who

George Raft is that

is your problem)

he was a gentle guy

who like bumble bees

for their help in the garden

kept wild birds as pets

smoked a pipe

& made wine in his house

every year he would pickup

100 boxes of grapes from

the train from California

& spread them out on his basement

(or base e mente) as my Grandma

called it) floor where the boxes

covered every inch

he would crush them with

his feet before putting them

in the masher

& made 3 barrels a year

& one small barrel of liqueur

he drank wine with every meal

& an egg in the beer for breakfast

sometimes at 5 am

he loved to go down to the

beer garden but rarely

did & was forbidden

by my Grandma to


whiskey but

had a bottle under the bed

in the spare bedroom

the bed there

was my Mom's

four post bed

that she had made

my Grandpa saw

off the four posts

so she cd have a trendy

Hollywood Bed

in the 1940's

he was retired from his job

before I cd talk

so he never had to go to work

the 18 years that I knew him

once when I was in Hollywood

at a diner in 1981, I met the

only person I had ever met

outside of my family

that had known my Grandpa

from work, this guy who I thought

was nuts and a liar

said he knew my Grandpa

from the Vassar Chrysler Plant

& that people called him

Monty short for Tremonti

instead of Vito which

 was too obviously not an

American name, it turned out he

was right & couldn't have known this

in any other way

my Grandpa's brother who liked

"to talk to the cows"

jumped to his death from the

Ambassador bridge at 15

after a painful & disconcerting

ear infection

his Dad left his Mom &

5 kids at 33 years old

she died a few years later

of "a broke heart"

he never saw his Dad

again, but 50 years later

my Dad found out that

he had died in a mining

shack explosion in


Frank Tremonti

blown to bits

maybe with another

family, supposedly

no one in the family

ever saw him again

after he left to make


to bring the rest of

the family over

but his son Frank Jr.

Might have tracked him


When he worked

at Chrysler as

chief inspector

 he would stump the

assembly line

workers by putting a

little lead from a pencil

on the head of the spark plug

& see if they cd figure out

why it was misfiring



[Originally published in NHS 2007, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs07/Tom_Peters.htm.]