Making Pap Pap proud
An open letter to my grandfather, three years after his passing.
Pap Pap, on your deathbed, I sat by you, held your hand and whispered, “I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I will join the military. And I will make you proud.” Last year, I knew it was finally time to put in the effort. Now here I am. Three years after your passing, I am Airman Pascali.
At the veterans home that we thrived at, you taught me a prayer that you prayed every single time you were in pain due to nerve damage. “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Immediately, I memorized it. At the time, I didn’t know the true meaning behind it. Now, it all makes sense. During my final PT test at basic training, I screamed this prayer repeatedly throughout my last lap during the run. My body was in so much pain, but I knew that if I stopped or slowed down, I’d have to go through extra training. That prayer worked. It was my best run time yet.
My name around here is your name – Pascali. There is so much pride in that name. From the Italian roots, to the ancestors who also served. There were times at basic where I would hear it in a negative connotation. I felt as if I disgraced the name. However, when I got issued my name tapes, I thought of you. When I graduated, I thought of you. When I heard “Airman Pascali” for the first time, rather than “Trainee Pascali,” I thought of you. All this time, you’ve been in my heart.
It is not only an honor, but it is an absolute privilege to be motivated by you – a Navy veteran, a retired Philadelphia police officer, a father and a true role model. I know what my dreams in life are. They all involve the same thing – keeping your legacy alive.
I love you forever. Be with me.
San Antonio, Texas (formerly of Somerton)
Change mowing schedule
Found out from Peter Kurtz of the Pennypack Environmental Center that Parks and Rec has a maintenance schedule for its meadows that includes a yearly mowing down of the meadows.
The one area that was mowed down was 958,000 square feet.
In 2014, 1,500 trees, shrubs and grasses were planted and completed, an important habitat for birds, pollinating insects and cover for wildlife.
Instead of elimination of the meadows for the 2 months every year, wouldn’t it be productive to mow half this year and the other half next year so the birds, plants, wildlife and pollinating insects don’t lose their homes yearly?
According to the Phila. Inquirer (5/21), the 10 states with the highest vaccination rate of at least 1 dose was 64%. Eight of the 10 states were in the Northeast or New England and voted for Biden in the 2020 election. The bottom 10 states with the lowest vaccination rate, with the exception of Georgia, all voted for Trump. Eight of these states were in the South and those getting at least 1 dose was below 40%. We are even polarized in matters of health.
Another school district fiasco
The School District of Philadelphia announced classes will resume on Aug. 31. I remember the school district started the week before Labor Day a few years ago and it didn’t go too well. The temperatures during those early school days were extremely high. If I’m not mistaken, the students were sent home early because of the extreme heat. I guess the school district didn’t learn from its own history. I guess it’s hard to learn from history because it’s been changed to fit everyone’s agenda. Good luck to the students and teachers. Hopefully, it won’t be a reincarnation of the last fiasco.
Action needed on rentals
Landlord accountability. That has been a dream until I heard Take Back Your Neighborhood’s plan to create a sticker system that would identify rental properties and give neighbors an avenue to contact the landlords when there are issues with their properties. The plan would include a city licensing fee that generates money to hire quality-of-life inspectors, provide required training for any landlord who is licensed and have landlord contact information readily available to the public.
There’s already a sticker system with fines in place if someone doesn’t want fliers, why not one for absentee landlords and their invisible management agents?
Can I get an amen? Just last night around 9, there was a car parked in my one-way street with music blaring loudly, and it was a rental tenant’s guest who stopped by to share a bong in the street. I have no idea how to contact that landlord. And last week there was a basement conversion with no permits listed on the city’s website. I watched it being built but we know L&I does not have the resources to handle the many violations that occur, plus they require the landlord’s cooperation to inspect the premises. It’s a major problem in the Northeast, and I welcome the new plan of action.
At least Larry is safe
DA Krazy Krasner claims he has another 4 years because he won the Democratic primary.
Unlike several thousand Philadelphians and despite his policies, he has personal bodyguards at our expense.