Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thinking about old friends...

Growing up at the daughter of a professor you get to meet an odd group of people. They were all eccentric, full of life and talk about things that many of us didn't understand. Their humor is typically intelligent and within the realm of the sociology department you learn to read people very quickly or lose interest.

I fell in love with them all. My mother’s lasagna during those dinner parties with laughter, alcohol and the warmth of the fireplace while I sat on the floor and listened. “Be seen, not heard.” I learned that early on, so I watched, learned funny stories and heard the newest discoveries and who was writing a book and the gossip within the college departments.

My father had a professor friend who taught art and was deeply Italian with an elderly father and aunt whom he doted on and took care of until the end of their life. His name was Vincent J. Bruno and I adored this man and his quaint, artistically driven home and lifestyle.

I remember dinner parties at his house with deeply aromatic spaghetti sauce fraught thick with basil and rosemary breads dipped in oils. I fell in love with food at his home, curled up on the couch under one of his many blankets listening to him talk about his adventures around the world.

He then moved into a loft apartment in downtown Dallas with one wall, the other three were floor to ceiling windows, the natural light brightening his many canvas’ and the place always smelled of oil based paints.

I remember one afternoon sitting in his loft for 8 hours as he painted a portrait of me for my parents. I snacked on dipping breads and olives, learned how to slowly simmer a sauce and talked about what I wanted out of life.

I went wild after that and lost touch with my parents friends, then one day Vince was gone, off to live on boat in Long Island, enjoying his life retired and within the mecca of artistry and form.

I have been searching for Vince for many years and got bittersweet news. I had at least found him.

Mr. Bruno (He would have hated to be called that) passed away two years ago and upon his death he might now have an idea of how much he meant to me as a young girl who loved the arts, his food and the deep love he held for his family.

You will be missed Vince. Thank you.

Vincent J. Bruno Obituary from Kenyon College


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Laura said...

You memorialized him beautifully! What a special man.

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