As an excessive college scholar at Fontbonne Hall, a Catholic girls’ school in Bay Ridge, Pamela came to every football recreation at Poly Prep, the nearby boys’ faculty in which Robert and I were both college students. Now sixty-one, she long ago took the closing call, Romano, of her overdue husband. However after I noticed her lately, she had the same vivid green eyes and balletic grace that she had in her children. She instructed me the tale approximately her arm to demonstrate the bond that she and her brother had shared until his dying in 1984.
Robert has been graded in advance of me at Poly Prep. A smart child with wiry hair and glasses, he turned into usually laughing on the center of a gang of soccer gamers. He wasn’t large enough to play on the fantastic teams of our era, But from 9th grade on, he served as a manager for the varsity squad. Known to absolutely everyone as DiBo, Robert had close friends some of the gamers, and he took it upon himself to introduce new men like me to the crew, whether at a college or at Quick’s, the dive bar in which we frolicked on the weekends. (A sign over the bar stated STRICT Proof OF AGE REQUIRED, which, we joked, intended you had to prove you had an age.)
After the twins’ father died after they were in ninth grade, Robert was taken under the wing of Poly’s head football teach, a squat colossus of a person named Philip Foglietta. Fat and muscular, Foglietta becomes round five foot 5 and weighed well over 250 pounds. From the instant he’d arrived at Poly Prep, in 1966, he had ruled the campus; gamers, students, and associates all saw him because of the remaining macho man. The ones of us at the football team were desperate to thrill him, However, we additionally feared his wrath, which regularly found expression in his unique dialect of Neapolitan Brooklynese. (“Gamine Gotz, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” changed into a fave curse.) Via 1972, when Foglietta took Poly to the Ivy Prep faculty league championship, he was widely appeared as one of the exceptional high faculty soccer coaches in The big apple City.
Romano jogged my memory how an awful lot her brother had loved Poly Prep and the way near he changed into to the witty and profane Foglietta. She told me that Robert had maintained his friendship with educating lengthy after graduating and that he’d advocated Pamela to send her children to the school. Foglietta, in the meantime, advised Pamela’s oldest son that Robert turned into the first-class buddy he’d ever had. Even Mrs. DiBenedetto, the twins’ mother, had loved to educate: She invited him over for meatballs almost every Sunday, and he or she wore a gold-plated necklace given to her By means of the college to commemorate the 1972 championship till the day she died.
One day in March 1984, not long after graduating from Brooklyn Regulation faculty, Robert acquired phrase that he’d handed the Big apple Kingdom bar examination. round 4:30 the following morning, at a station on Thirty-fourth Street in Manhattan, he walked in front of an uptown IRT teach.