My Father Was a Firefighter and Vendor of the Paper

by Artie Jr.

My father lived in Columbus, Ohio.  His parents passed away and he began working as a fire fighter.  He came to Cleveland and then went to Sandusky where he met my mother, a small Italian woman who would feed anybody.  He married her and later had me.

We moved to Parma where they bought a house and later lost it.  He then left Parma and came back to Cleveland where he started working for Volunteers of America and bought another house.  They had 4 more children besides me: Becky, Betty, Tina and later, they had my brother, Tommy.  Tina passed away from what I believe was a brain aneurism.

Things got a little rough.  He left the Volunteers of America and came to NEOCH and began selling the Grapevine.  He really liked selling the papers and liked the people he met.  This is when the office was on W 25th  St.  Brian Davis was very helpful to me and my family. 

At that time, I was working at Goodwill and was accused of stealing.  After I left that job, my father introduced me to the paper and I began working as a vendor too. It was nice to go out and meet people.  If it wasn’t for NEOCH, I wouldn’t know what to do.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to wear a bag.  When my mother passed, my dad got weaker and weaker.  He was put in a nursing home. My sister came and took him home with her.  He died at her home.  Brian was very helpful during this time and came to visit my dad at the nursing home.  He was also a very good boss. I still enjoy being a vendor and the support I get from NEOCH.

Copyright Cleveland street chronicle April 2016 Cleveland, Ohio