Homemade Ravioli

A place for Quattrones, Betteridges, and Praticos to share our family stories, history, and heritage.

Pretty Darn Cool

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 6.55.11 AM

My cousin, Jeff Betteridge, (right) and his family.

Growing up on 10th Street in the 1970s and 1980s, I had plenty of family to admire. Looking back, I can clearly remember so looking forward to holidays because that meant everyone would be drawn back to gather at Helen’s, Connie’s, Beppa’s, and our house. When it wasn’t a holiday, most days were me and all of the Italian women in the family.

When Jeff Betteridge moved in with Helen I remember thinking he was so cool. He was a carpenter. He grew a beard. The older girls in the neighborhood would stop me and ask about him. What isn’t cool about all of that? He was pretty darn cool.

Yet there was something else that happened when I was about twelve years old that still sticks with me today.

Jeff played ice hockey with during the Father-Son game at Springfield Ice Rink in Delaware County. We’re talking early 1980s. He stood in as my “dad” for the game to make sure I had someone to play with. I can’t remember if I asked him or my mom asked him or how it all came down, but I remember him playing with me…and I remember he was the best “dad” on the ice.

I’m sure Jeff and mom remember different details about it–apparently a really fat dad fell on my head at one point–but the most important thing I wanted to share from that story is how much I admired Jeff (and still do) after that night. He became more than just cool to me. Over thirty years later and I still get to say thank you.

Thanks, Jeff! I’ve never forgotten it.

About Brian Kelley

Middle school teacher, co-chair of our ELA department, and co-director with PAWLP. Follow me on Twitter @_briank_.

12 comments on “Pretty Darn Cool

  1. Kathy Betteridge
    January 27, 2015

    I just read your post Brian and it makes me want to cry (in a happy way). Jeff is still a great dad. In large part, he is who he is because of the loving extended family in which he grew up. That is a gift that our own (nearly grown) children still benefit from. It’s humbling to learn that a small (seemingly insignificant) act can mean so much so many years later. Our faith teaches us to plant the seed and God will bring the increase. I believe your story is an example of that. Thank you for sharing it. We look forward to following your blog in the future.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Jeff
    January 27, 2015

    Brian that is what it’s all about having each others back whenever they need it. I was reading your post this morning on the train and was sobbing like a baby. we had a great thing going on 10th street. I can still smell the smells of meatballs, sausage, pork frying and homemade gravy on Sunday afternoon. While we chased each other through the house out the back door into Beppa’s house out the front door and down the street to Helen’s. Then we would take a break and go to Annie’s candy store and buy a bag of candy before we ate dinner. What a great way to grow up we sure didn’t realize how good we had it then did we. One old coach to a little younger one I will always have your back CUZ.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. goodman52015
    January 27, 2015

    That was really nice Brian. Jeff is a great Dad, such a nice story. I hope I’m doing this right. I can’t figure out how to post pictures. Lol. I’ll get there. Thanks for doing this. Some of my best memories growing up were on 10th Street. Like when my grandma (Bepa) always made the homemade pizza on New Years day. My parents would let me bring one friend and they would all beg me to come down. My dad would let me sip some unknown substance from his flask while waking down broad street for the mummies parade. I was 21 of course. Wink. Lol. Loved those days. Good times

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ten Street was a place where we all meet talk about the happy times and worries we were going through. If someone could lend a hand they would. It was always done with love.

    When I saw the title Home Made Ravioli, my mind went immediately went to my Grandmother’s kitchen. When I was a little girl, about five or six, I thought I was so grown up because my mother would let me walk down ten street to go to my grandmother’s house. She lived at 2510 and we lived at 2536. She stood on the front step the whole time watching me. I would go into my grandmother’s and of course whatever was cooking I was offered some. Fried meatballs, raw eggs that my grandfather would have for breakfast, etc..

    But making Raviolis was always special for me, because I was given the job of closing them with the fork. When the job was done, I was allowed to roll out the left over dough and cut it into strips and when the ravioli were cooking, my grandmother would cook my strings of dough. You always had the feeling that you belonged to people who loved you. I always thought I would grow up and make them like my grandmother, Beppa and my mother. I never did, always bought them when they weren’t around anymore. But, when I look back to those days, they were so special and my memories will last with me forever.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. cherbett
    January 28, 2015

    Reading everyone’s post made me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because of all those we “lost” but happy that we are so fortunate to have experienced what we did and to have the famiy that we have. Sunday dinners at Nanys wasnt just a visit at my Grandmothers it was a day spent with extended family. So many celebrations on tenth street. Going from house to house, each having its own special treat. What I wouldnt do to be a little girl playing hide and seek in Nanys closet or to be eating a piece of Bepas pizza as Aunt Connie cut it with the black scissors.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joanl777
    January 28, 2015

    Well I just blubbered reading all this. Love you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. goodman52015
    January 28, 2015

    hahahahaha. Cheryl that’s so sweet you almost had me blubbering as well until I saw the black scissors comment about my my Grandmom. That is so funny she always used the scissors to cut the pizza. That pizza was so good. I also remember my Grandmother always had a dress on our ad I call them moo moos or house dress. Lol. I never saw her in a pair of pants EVER. She would be in the kitchen all day on Sundays. Ugh. I don’t know how she did it and she never complained. We’re so spoiled if I’m in the kitchen for over an hour I am whining. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Josephine Betteridge
      January 28, 2015

      Thinking about the black scissors, I always cut my pizza with a scissors. I was shown that by my grandmother and Beppa.This has me thinking of Beppa, how she was when she got older and could not do the things she always did.   Aunt Connie was a gem, she had the job of keeping her busy and happy and she did a great job.  After grandmom had passed. Beppa’s job was done.  She had helped take care of my grandmother when she got older with dementia. Aunt Connie bought her tons of wool and had her crochet blankets for all of us. That kept her busy for a long time.  She did all this with eyesight in one eye.  But she still cooked her RAVIOLI and PIZZA……when we asked her to.  May you rest in Jesus arms forever, such a beautiful person.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. mbqhclover
    January 28, 2015

    No wonder I cut my pizza with scissors! My kids look at me like I’m nuts! Love you Beppa, our angel in heaven.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. joanl777
    January 29, 2015

    Oh you guys are killing me! Got to stop the tears.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Linda orcellini
    January 29, 2015

    I am not a Quattrone or a Betteridge but most of the kids call me Aunt Linda because I have been a friend with Joann and Joe Betteridge for 65 years. We have played,laughed, cried, vacationed, been in each others wedding parties, vacationed together, Godparents for each others children, etc. This family has always made ME feel like one of the family. I really love them all and am grateful for being my closest friends that I found in my early youth. I admire them and they are still growing. I always joke that their family reunion photos look like a cast of thousands. God Bless you all.


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