DiMola chips away at old memories of his grandfather, ice man Joseph DiMola
Ah, yes. More ice. You may remember my last post about ice, when I asked if anyone knew what the small ice pick was for. This time, I’ve got this vintage ice tray. I realized that I may be subconsciously searching out these ice-related items, because I’ve got a bit of a personal connection to the topic.
My grandfather Joseph DiMola sold ice back in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, refrigerators were just coming out, and people still used giant freezers to contain pounds and pounds of ice. My grandfather would sell it by the the 25 pounds — he offered 25 pounds, 50 pounds, 75 pounds or 100 pounds. My guess is that no matter how much you got, it cost well under $1. People would store the ice in their giant freezers and use an ice pick to chip away at it as needed.
My grandfather died in 1965 when he was 70 years old. I was born in four years later, in 1969, so I never met him. Twenty years later, in 1983, my grandmother Maria DiMola died and was buried next to him. Both of my grandparents had promised my aunt and uncle (my grandparents’ daughter and her husband) that they could all be buried next to each other.
But last year, when my Aunt Angelina passed away, we realized there wasn’t enough room on the original headstone, so they had a new one made and were going to throw the old one away. Obviously, I wasn’t going to let that happen, so I took it. Now it has a home in my garage.
It’s interesting how in 20 years, I hardly ever visited my grandfather’s grave. Now, I have his original headstone, so I can honor him and my grandmother every day. It’ll stay with my ’til the day I die.