My friend Don Oddi passed away just over a year ago. At the time I was in England and completely devastated by the news. I’d seen Don just a day before leaving, hugged him and looked forward to seeing him when I came back. I spent 40 hours a week with him for a few years of my life and despite the 50 year age difference, I considered him a close friend.
I was less than impressed by his obituary in the newspaper. At the time I figured I’d clear my head and pay homage to Don by posting one of my own along with some of his famous quotes. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting Don could appreciate what a friendly guy he was. He had a million stories to tell, but more often or not he told the same ones over and over. How many times did the guys and I hear the one about Joe Leon and the famous triple murder or the story of Adrian dying at the desk?
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Don.
Written February 2009:
Dominic Oddi, or Don, as he was known to his friends, was 74 but told everyone he was 64. His parents were from Palermo, Italy and came over “on the boat”. He grew up on Arsenal Street and as a boy he attended Boon Street School. He’d traveled most of Europe when he was younger and proudly claimed to have been with a prostitute in every city he visited. Mr. Oddi was engaged once. His fiancee asked when they were going to get married and Don responded “But baby we were having so much fun.” She threw his ring in the snow. He worked at the The Inn for more than 20 years, making many friends in his tenure. He liked all of our girlfriends. He enjoyed watching boxing, Syracuse games, and World War 2 movies. He liked cream filled donuts from P & C and his favorite month was October because it was the perfect temperature. His favorite baseball team was the Yankees and he thought Catherine Zeta-Jones was the most beautiful woman alive. He owned a white Fiero, but loved to walk, even in the winter time. In the summer he would walk to Sackets Harbor. He’d have a beer every night with dinner, usually a Budweiser. He was good with the cash drawer, but hated computers and Ray Canale. Don is survived by his cronies, Jack Scordo and Andy Fiamano (who have sadly also passed since this was written) and all the guys who worked with him at The Inn. He will be missed very much.
Famous Don quotes:
“Jesus fucking Christ.”
“I’m just going to have a sip.”
“That Robert is a goddamn idiot.”
“Yeah Robert, he’s a Rhodes scholar. Graduated Magna cum laude.”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I met Hillary (Clinton) down at the Library? I said to her “You are beautiful!” and she said “Well thank you!””
“Guess who I saw the other day… and she still likes you!”
“Is Andy Foster still fooling around with that broad who does the drugs?”
“Jesus Christ look at the tits on that broad!”
“Yeah like that time Jack met the spy…”
“I said Trudy, he’s not asleep, he’s dead!”
“Thirty two, that’s the perfect age to get married.”
“Remember kid, every woman has her shelf life.”
“The only drug we had when I was younger was Budweiser. And Utica Club.”
“If he was really the son of God, why didn’t he get done from that cross and teach them a lesson?”
“Joe Leon… yeah, famous triple murder!”
“Oh Jesus, here comes Jack and his Bermuda shorts with the socks. He thinks he’s some kind of college kid. Like some 18 year old girl is going to be interested in him. He’d be older than her grandfather!”
“It doesn’t cost a dime to be a nice guy.”
“I don’t know what I’d do without you kid!”