nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 23 Dec, 2020 11:00 am

Living in the moment this Christmas Eve

Living in the moment this Christmas Eve
Preparations for “The Eve” spanned days when I was a kid, as they had for generations. Grandpa Tony invited everyone to his Italian pre-Christmas feast. Born into a family of 12 during the Great Depression, he couldn’t afford much. But Tony Mascolo of Coney Island left a rich holiday legacy.

Grandpa Tony invited everyone to his Italian pre-Christmas feast.“Come, taste the mutzadel en carrotz,” Grandpa Tony hollered.Grandpa Tony passed away over a decade ago, leaving an irreplaceable hole at our celebration.My cousins and I still couldn’t stomach the squid or the smelly smelts, but I showcased the seafood because, for me, it meant Grandpa Tony.

Visions of Grandpa Tony singing along as Sinatra crooned “White Christmas” on the record player plagued me.The vino still flowed, and the laughter about Grandpa Tony did too.

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