This page is dedicated to Dad/Grampa/Uncle(and to everyone who knew him a friend)
Just started and will be adding lots in the future
Last Update - March 11, 2012
There are so many positive things about dad and I would like to share a few of them today.
Dad had many gifts, but one of them was his fantastic memory. We were so lucky to hear his wonderful stories. It was like having our own “HISTORY CHANNEL”
He would tell us stories of life during the depression, wartime and after the war. All his history stories as told by dad included what family life in Cobalt and area were like during
these times. Dad managed to keep these stories filled with positive stuff like the booming Cobaltand the characters that lived and passed through our home town.
He told stories of meeting his love of 70 + years and the struggles and challenges of building their first home. This home was and is the “LOG” foundation of our family.
The only sad stories dad would tell us were about friends he had lost that he had a deep bond with like.
Bill Gabbani, who he grew up with and worked with in Kirkland Lake in the early years
Bill’s dad, who dad told us shared his same passion for the outdoors
Roy Miller, who dad said was the best shot he ever knew.
Ray Gareau, who may have been a better story teller than dad.
We knew dad told us these stories to make sure that these special people in his life were not forgotten. As I mentioned, dad had a passion for the outdoors and
always would feel right at home with everyone he met that also loved the outdoors. Dad used this passion to teach us about life through his appreciationand love
of nature by sharing his outdoor stories. Before we knew it we were part of his stories as he was of ours. Here is a very small sample of childhood memories of our
dad we would like to share with you.
Dad the teacher
We were taught at a very young age how to be very very good …….. dew worm pickers.
Dad also taught us the anatomy of fish as we would gather around him to watch how fast and smoothly he would fillet a fish.
Dad taught us how to turn a normally mundane task like making a “Western” into an entertaining event.
Dad taught us how most things could be repaired with hay wire, tape or glue
Dad taught us how to be a good friend
And finally dad taught us to be our own person.
Dad the entertainer
Today we look back on their small living room and remember when we were growing up, it was often filled with family and friends enjoying singing and
dancing, and of course listening to the music provided by the volunteer who would play the often out of tune piano.
We all quickly learned the lyrics of songs by Perry Como, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra as dad and friends would sing along at a volume that anyone
would recognize as that of being truly among friends.
Dad enjoyed the company and entertainment of family and friends whether it was at our house or at theirs. He also enjoyed the larger social gathering that
would occur often at Portage bay at the main lodge.
Dad also entertained the kids
Dad knew how to make a routine daily event memorable
From installing a swing in the basement for us to practice touching the logs with our feet so he could go about his business of making wine and sausages
to challenging us to push the car from the inside while
coasting down the old dump hill on our way to Portage Bay.
He also even went so far as to build us our very own indoor skating rink by converting our garage into an arena. Of course when we got older we realized
that this was natural occurring winter event as we
lived at the bottom of a hill and the garage often got flooded.
Dad just knew how to make the best of the situation.
Dad the provider
Dad worked in many of the mine camps in Cobalt and knew almost everyone who
passed through the mines in his working years. Dad could always find a good word
for everyone he worked with.
In the early years, the mines did not pay well and that may be the reason dad became
a such a good outdoorsman. Or it could be he had six kids. Either way dad always had
food on the table and wine in the basement.
His stories and the way he led his life set our moral compass. By following his lead we too
can find our Golden Pond.
............................You’re a RICH MAN JOSEPH !!!!
Gramma and Grampa show how to fish
Click on Photo below for fishing trip results
A Eulogy From the Grandchildren of Joseph Chitaroni
An absurd number of Chitaroni's packed themselves into a small bedroom in Cobalt to brainstorm ideas for the Eulogy that was to be presented at our
grandfather, Joseph Chitaroni's funeral. I took those ideas and wrote this short lighthearted piece which I think helps us remember what it was he meant to us.
On behalf of all the grandchildren, I would like to read a short piece on what Grampa meant to all of us.
He was a great influence on eachand every one of us and I am honored to be the one chosen to deliver this, and it actually seems fitting
seeing how he always told me in confidence that I was his favorite.
But really, he told us all that. Each and every one of us. And he was never lying. His favorite person was whoever
was sitting next to him at the time. Whether it was in the basement next to the wood stove as he served
us partridge stew, in the gazebo as he told us that same old fish story over and over, or in the boat
as he handed us sun boiled pepsi’s that would burn our mouths. Grampa loved us all the same, he was proud
of all our achievements and accepted us all regardless of our flaws. He was always very involved in our lives,
and knew most everything about us... except for our names. Instead he resorted to calling us pistelinos and pistelinas.
We knew Grampa during the latter half of his life; a time when he became a real softie. The partridge
he hunted with such persistence in his younger days were now his ‘pets’... and this is the same
man who had a bullet with Chico’s name on it... while he would once boast that
“a fartin’ man is a man to hire” - in his later days he had developed a clever system to blame
his farts on the closest dog. Despite his transformation into a softie, he held many valuable pieces
of wisdom which he passed on to all of us; some of which he would claim to have learned from
an “indian up the river”... who many of us assumed was just a tall tale, but it turns out he was real!
That’s the thing about Grampa, you had to sift through many of his tall tales to get to the good stuff.
For instance, despite what he might have said - he did not ever actually ride the strawberry
roan, nor was he ever a cowboy in the old west - I remember actually believing that one
- and you could generally subtract about 5 inches from the length of any fish he claimed to have caught.
Grampa was a teacher, always trying to help us prepare for the future. He taught us to save
our money... because he might one day need to borrow $50 from us. And he taught us that it was
important to find a partner in life who shared all the same interests... as him. Like fishing, and hunting
and hockey. He also taught us about what was really important. He taught us about
God’s country and how to live a stress free life close to nature. He showed us where to find
the fish and how to clobber them. He proved to us that you don’t need to wear pants to sport
a holstered six shooter, he taught us how to do grampa flips, tie jigs, pick worms, set up
sneakers, how to clean fish, make sausage, pack moose, catch minnows, and drink wine.
He showed us that a millionaire’s meal doesn’t have to cost a penny, and that
if you don’t like it... you can go eat someplace else. Most importantly he taught us that
the most valuable thing in life are friends and family.
I know that he left this world proud of the people we have become.
Each and every one of us; his favorites. But as he would say - ok, lets save some stories (bullshit)
for some other day.
Slide Show Video by Lindsay