I was sad to learn my friend Al Provenzano had gone to his final “reward” this past March [Among the many who made us who we are, News, Dec. 26]. He held court at Caputo’s in Melrose Park (the cheese market) every day at lunch. I felt privileged to have know him for the last few years and was amazed at his timeliness and age. 

He was a quick wit and told great stories. One of the funniest was the one he told to his guests at his 98th birthday party there on Feb. 28, 2018. It was about his recent church visit where the pastor asked everyone to stand up and forgive their enemies. Everyone stood and did so. Except Al. 

The pastor asked him, if he was still sitting did he mean that he had no enemies? Al answered, “Yes that is correct, Father, I don’t.” The pastor asked, “How is that possible? We all have enemies. In true Al Provenzano form, he deadpanned his reply, which brought 50 people to laughter: “I outlived the bastards.”

Yes he did and was very proud of not only his war service (Purple Heart on D-Day landing and his license plate stated “WWII”) but of his longevity and his quirky birthday of Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1920.

I hope you can use this story to print a correction of his age as 98, and more about what a true gem this person was.

Ken Kirsch

Oak Park

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