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    In The Easy Chair: Joe Pizza

    AGE 56

    OCCUPATION Thirty-three years ago I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps (literally) and become a mailman. I am presently covering for the postmaster of West Kingston. I’m also the president of the Dante Society of Westerly. My aunt, Anna Turrisi, was one of the founders of the society. The cooking demonstration is named in her honor.

    RESIDENCE Westerly.

    BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Westerly.

    FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME Bicycling and/or running.

    PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT With my wife Bonnie, watching our boys, Christopher and Nicholas, grow into fine young men who make us both very proud.

    WHAT I HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR My sense of humor.

    TOP ITEM ON MY BUCKET LIST Develop a screenplay. A comedy of course.

    ALWAYS IN MY POCKET Wallet and phone.

    WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP I don’t think it was a mailman.

    PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST My mother. My mother was a kind, calm and patient person who did things without a lot of fanfare. I think I inherited some of her traits. An old friend once told me that I lowered his blood pressure by just being around him.

    FAVORITE AUTHOR Franklin W. Dixon.

    BOOK I’M READING NOW “1776” by David McCullough.

    FAVORITE SONG Any song from the late ’60s or early ’70s that has a long guitar jam in the middle and lyrics that don’t make any sense.

    FAVORITE MOVIE “Harold and Maude.”

    FAVORITE TV SHOW “Wheeler Dealers.”

    FAVORITE PET Oscar and Telly. They were gold fish we had for a very long time.

    FAVORITE FOOD Any meal prepared by my wife, Bonnie. They’re always delicious but in addition, she makes each dinner an occasion and presents every dish in her own special way. At our house, dinnertime is always a time to relax, catch up and laugh.

    AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK Zero. My generation grew up before the Internet was invented. We never missed a beat. We must have talked to our friends.

    TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE The ability to laugh at oneself.

    PET PEEVE Clutter.

    FAVORITE QUOTATION “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul.”

    MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD Champlin Glacier Park, part of the Westerly Land Trust’s walking trail off of Tom Harvey Road.

    CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My family.

    LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME I swim like a rock.

    BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED Obey the Ten Commandments.

    ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE It is better to get in trouble telling the truth than to be fired for lying.

    IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD Delegate.

    IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS I feel like I already have won the lottery. I’m very fortunate to have my immediate family, extended family, friends and health.

    I DRIVE A Rivendell, my bicycle made in North California. The name comes from “Lord of the Rings.”

    I WISH I DROVE My bicycle more.

    ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Ice cream.

    IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE My grandfather on my father’s side, Cosimo Salvatore Piezzo, and my grandmother on my mother’s side, Theresa D’Gennaro Papa. They both passed away at an early age; my grandfather from influenza of 1918 when my father was just an infant, and my grandmother when my mother was a teenager. It would have been nice to get to know them.

    — Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro



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