Donald P. Paolucci
We lost another over the weekend, our longtime neighbor, Donald Paolucci, who left us Saturday at the age of 89, nine years my senior. Those of us, seniors of retirement age, knew Donald as an icon in our town's tapestry. His final photograph pictured him handsome to the end. I always admired Donald's composure, his self awareness, how he carried himself, and, especially, his clean and neat natty attire.
Sunday evening was Donald's and wife, Daisy's, tribute to their children and their grandchildren. They gathered Sundays each week around 6PM to break bread together in an old fashion family gathering long forgotten. In these days of hustle and bustle a family gathering is a tribute to the past when the Family was the centerpiece of community life. Hats off to the Paolucci Family.
My first recollection of Donald goes way back into the late 1940s or early 1950's when I watched him jog around the island at Manatawny Park. Our family lived at 220 Manatawny Street directly across from the island and, I believe, he lived on York Street. Sometimes joined by others, I surmised they were getting in shape for local football games the social clubs engaged in. I too was engaged in football but at the high school level. I never spoke to them because I was a teenager and they were men who had served in WW 2 - they were members of The Greatest Generation.
I have lived for 41 years at N. Evans St. most of these years as Paolucci's neighbor. Donald and I spent many afternoons on my front porch talking about Pottstown and, most often, sports. If he spotted me while coming or going ( Donald always seemed to be on the move), he would come over and sit a spell. Since both of us were afflicted with similar medical problems we had plenty of notes to compare. When this topic got too heavy Philly sports took a beating.
I'll miss Donald but in Daisy, the energizer bunny of former writings, their homestead will continue to be the blossom of the neighborhood. We'll always think of the Paolucci's as the consummate Family's Family, a good neighbor, indeed.