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A Sense of Direction

Goodbye to an old friend

June Donohue
Posted 9/10/21

His name is Natale Lucarello. Some of us called him Luke and others called him Nat. At the assisted living facility where he spent his final days he was known as the Music Man.

Luke could play the …

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A Sense of Direction

Goodbye to an old friend

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His name is Natale Lucarello. Some of us called him Luke and others called him Nat. At the assisted living facility where he spent his final days he was known as the Music Man.

Luke could play the accordion and the piano. Since the accordion was too heavy for him to lift when he got older, he stuck with the piano and would play it once a week for the other residents. I attended his funeral yesterday. He died two weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Several of his friends could not attend due to poor health. One has Alzheimer’s, another Parkinson’s and still another is recovering from a serious operation.

At the restaurant where the repast was held, people were remembering the column I wrote about Pat in February 2008. Some were wishing I had brought it. I will repeat some of what I wrote.

Nat would say that living with Pat was like living with Lucille Ball in the ‘I Love Lucy’ show. The story was about Pat behind the wheel.

The first incident I heard about was when Nat was taking a shower one day and he heard a loud crash. He yelled out to his son asking what had happened. Michael answered “I think Mom just drove through the house.” The house had an attached garage and Patricia had put the car in drive instead of reverse, and they now had a rec room.

When they were living in the Bronx, and their kids were little Pat was out shopping one day with the children in the car. It was an old car and it broke down on Fordham Road. Two young guys saw her dilemma and began pushing the car to the curb.

Patricia asked them if they’d like to buy the car. They had $25 between them and the deal was made. “I think Mommy just sold the car,” Michael said. “How will we get home?” Debby asked. Well they had $25 so they took a cab.

While still in the Bronx, Patricia was selling real estate. She had a builder in the car one day and she wanted to show him a piece of property. As she looked at a map she heard someone yelling. She asked the builder if he heard it because she couldn’t see anyone. But the voice was demanding that she move her car.

“Where is that guy?” Pat wanted to know. “I think he’s under your car,” was the reply. Pat had backed over an open manhole and there was a man in it. It was a one way street and the street was blocked off at the other end but Pat had backed into the wrong end which caused a bit of a panic.

Over the years, Nat got a bit upset when he heard about another accident that Patricia had. Pat was finding it a bit stressful to confess to Nat that she had had another accident so she asked her friend Dee to be at their house to give her courage when she told him. That might have been the time that she was passing a bus as it was pulling out into traffic or maybe the time she was trying to avoid hitting an animal.

All of their trials and tribulations provided us with some light moments during a sad occasion yesterday.

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