The Story of Mario

Since I can remember, Mario Cavaioli lived in the house near the one I grew up in on Sixth Street.   As a young boy I guess I ended up playing the role of errand boy for the neighborhood, which was ok by me. One of the families I helped out was the Cavaioli’s – shoveling their walk and doing other typical teenager jobs.

72 Carter Street.  That was their address.  For most of the time I knew them, the family was made up of five kids and the mother. They were Italian immigrants and gave back to this country when four of their children went to WWII at the same time.  Two came back to settle in the family home.  Eddie – who many saw around town pushing around a shopping cart – was very proud to be born on the 4th of July.  He was shot twice in the war.  The second, Mario, was on a munitions boat that got hit.  People around him died and he was never the same.  He came home agoraphobic and developed other illnesses.  The brothers didn’t ask for any government assistance because they figured other people needed it more than them. They became reclusive with Mario never coming out of the house.  The role I had played for the family when I was younger developed into taking care of the physical property the best I could so the brothers could stay there, a difficult task considering they wanted no help and didn’t want me or anyone else coming in.  They wanted to shut themselves out.  They were afraid the “government” would find out how they were living and kick them out.  Their nieces helped by bringing food each week.  And for 45 years the Cavaioli nieces and I took care of the brothers.

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