All the neighborhood kids wanted Angela to play whenever they got a street hockey game going, but sometimes they weren't kind in excluding Jimmy Weckerle, who had Down's syndrome. Angela quickly made it known that if Jimmy didn't play, Angela didn't play. She played, and so did Jimmy.
Not the first save Angela made as a goalie, but the first "poke check", as natural and graceful as a cat. How happy she was to get her own leather goalie pads at age nine. A 1.10 goals-against average in her first season on a boys' hockey team. Her first goalie mask, that I made out of cardboard. The spiderweb painted on her first plastic mask. Her face encased in goop, when our friends Bev and George Coleman's son Scotty made her first "real" fiberglass goalie mask.
Trips she went on with the family. To Disney World in Florida; to Cape Cod; and to Washington, DC. She loved the displays at the Smithsonian, especially the models of brain surgery techniques. Trips to Gettysburg and Philadelphia, and to Danville, Illinois to visit her aunt Connie Miller. Every time we drove to Illinois, she'd ask "do we have to go through Ohio?" Fishing in the Vermilion River in Danville with her brother and cousin Tara Steht (now Wright). A family "routine" whenever we were on the road a little too long: Angelo: "I'm hungry!" Mom: "I'm thirsty!" Angela: "I gotta-go-th' bathroom!"
When we left on a trip, she'd ask, "Dad, where are we going?" I'd tell her, "To a huki-lau!" Trips to Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, and to Valley Forge. When we travelled, she'd look for "Stuckey's" shops, or count Volkswagens, or out-of-state license plates with Angelo, or look in the tour book for a motel with a "poo-ul". When we got there, she'd compete with Angelo to see who could guess the number of the room we'd be in.
Trips to Corning Glass Works; our memorable trip cross-country to California, in 1976 --- via St. Louis, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Estes Park, and Yellowstone (and a stop in her favorite state, Minnesota). Angela and I hiked to the bottom of Bryce Canyon. When we got home from our cross-country trip, we noticed that the photo we took while down there appears to have a "bigfoot" in it. While fishing in Mary's Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park, Angela snagged a line. On the end of the line was a hook, and on the hook was a rainbow trout. Another fisherman must have lost his catch, but we enjoyed it for dinner.
We travelled Route 66, and in California, she loved the names of the towns - San Luis "Obeespo", and "Peesmo" Beach, where she named the local ground-cover plants "french-fry plants", because of their thick angular leaves. We visited the Bongiovanni and Cernuto side of the family, including our cousins Joe and Angie Cannon. Joe's a butcher, and when we went to see him at his shop, Angela pressed her face against the meat case like a kid looking at penny candy. When Joe told her she could have anything she wanted, her eyes got as big as saucers. She chose two huge steaks.
When "Big" Joe and Peggy (O'Neil) Cernuto visited Buffalo, they invited us to swim in the pool at their motel. Angela had a great time at the pool with Joe, and wanted to know why we couldn't live at a motel with a pool.We went on "Nature pilgrimages" to Allegany State Park every June, several times with the families of the "Mike Aronica Bike Club". Staying at #30 Beehunter Trail. Fishing for trout with Angelo at Allegany's Ryan Trail and Science Lake, or hunting snakes, or owls. All of us smelling like wood smoke on the way home. Vacation trips to Sanibel, Florida; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and Cape May and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Trips with her mom to Singer Island and to Panama City Beach: they drove down together, and her mom remembers her playing all her tapes of songs from the fifties to the nineties. Angela knew all the words. One day on the beach, she found the vertebrae of a crane, and wanted to keep it. She told her mom "I can make something out of it."