Paternal grandfather Arthur "Ike" Battaglia fought in WWII in the Philippines, where he built the showers and made alcohol (under the table) for his comrades. Ike became a furrier in New York City, and sustained this career, making fur coats, well into his 80s. He maintains a full head of white hair, claiming one should only wash his or her hair weekly. He wears a sweater, collared shirt, dress pants, and loafers daily. He has just turned 98 and unfortunately, still regularly operates an automobile.
Maternal grandfather Salvatore is a veteran on the Korean war. He grew up in Queens, NY, took the train every day to school at Brooklyn Technical, and went on to work for The Bell Telephone Company for 30 years before retiring early in his 50s. Sal taught me to whistle, work with wood, and hand-write letters by hand whenever possible. He currently recycles jokes from when I was younger, as well as serves as the head of the Architectural Home Committee at his 55 and older residential community.
Father Richard Battaglia began working at Home Box Office, Inc. in its infancy in New York City in the late 1970s. The company expanded to the West Coast in the 80s, and upon enticement, my parents relocated to Malibu, Agoura, and finally, West Los Angeles. Since leaving LA's all-consuming Entertainment Industry, he has studied and become a chef through the New School of Cooking Culinary program, eating, bicycling, and practicing yoga his way through the world.
I am something like all of these men.