Tribute to George Brocato
Your Dad, My Friend
Fond memories of George have been etched upon my mind forever. Well not etched, really. Painted would be a better word. Let's face it, the man loved to paint. No, not a still life on a stretched canvas or an outdoor scene on an old saw blade - he painted his workbench, cabinets and storage bins repeatedly. Why? Who knows? Maybe the same reason he used paint pens to write BRO on everything. Sometimes he'd take another color paint pen and-add some creative dimension to B, the R and, the 0.
There was a place for everything; labeled, of course. Looking for wingnuts? They've got their own drawer. The machine gun parts did as well, along with various fasteners and any other small piece of hardware he had ever come across. It's a good thing too, because the man was virtually incapable of going to the hardware store without buying something, usually small, but enough to get his fix: two-part resin, strange yet tiny saw, fasteners of any kind, etc.
He put on some new jeans one morning before we went to the hardware store 'just to look at stuff'. Some light brownish, work-type jeans with pockets for tools and a hammer loop. After we'd been out a few hours I pointed to his leg and told him the sticker was still attached. It took some maneuvering for him to look down and swing his hip around enough to see it. When he finally peeled that long, clear sticker off he said, "Shit. Christ, don't tell Lorraine. I'll never hear the end of it."
One night I nearly puked in his truck. No, I'm not the Indian - have you heard that story? It's a doozy. Here's what happened. He had taken a big dip of Copenhagen about 20 minutes earlier and I realized he didn't have a spit cup in the truck. When I asked him about that he told me he swallowed it - all of it. Dip and spit both. What on earth . ..
George wasn’t the kind of guy to listen to doctors or vets. Did he know he wasn't supposed to eat nuts because they would trigger his diverticulitis? Of course! Did he wind up in the hospital anyway because he ate nuts? Of course! Did he act like he had no earthly idea why he was in so much pain? Of course! He had a Boxer dog named Sam that he loved dearly. Sam was about as fat and tight as a grilled knockwurst. Slim Jims, candy bars and fast food burgers were regular treats for them both. These memories make me smile and chuckle a bit, but what stands out the most is just how genuine he was.
Riding around Pittsburgh in that truck of his and listening to the stories of his life. His nemesis (the drunken Indian), a fire truck he drove back from Wisconsin; what it was like to be a constable , being a husband, becoming a father and how badly he wanted his children to be okay in this world. George Brocato was a man who appreciated people in his life, both family and friends.
He made it easy to like him. (Tim Powers)
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The Oakmont Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Oakmont, Pennsylvania. We are located at 628 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont, PA 15139. Our Curator/Archivist, Colleen McGuigan may be reached at: (412) 828-3022, (412) 607-4782, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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