September 1 Dad would be celebrating his 113th birthday. He was born in New York to Vincenzo and Angela Nardelli Grassi in 1907. He was the oldest of five children, Paul, Tess, Connie, and Nick. Brother, Paul, died when he was 12 and that was a traumatic event in the family. Joe enlisted into the Army on March 28, 1941 for the duration of WWII and was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia, when he met Helen Kirksey. They were married in Washington DC on November 19, 1942. He was overseas for the duration of the war and returned home in January 1946. He was always easy going and held various jobs which included waiter, bar tender, short order cook, and luncheonette owner. The last was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He enjoyed working with people. During the Depression, he sold pineapple juice on the beach. It’s really important to share stories with members of the family because each person has part of a story. We don’t all remember a story the same way. My brother recalls discussing my Dad’s nickname with an old friend of the family and he said that because he looked like a Greek he was known as Joe Pineappolis. One day there was a knock of our door and a gentleman asked for Joe Pineapple. That was how Dad was known then, Joe Pineapple or perhaps it was Pineappolis.
Happy Birthday, Dad!