Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Q is for Quotations, Familial Quotations

You’ve heard of Familiar Quotations. Here are some Familial Quotations.

Marital Advice
James Moynihan, to his daughter on her wedding day, "Now that you’re married, you’ve got to make the best of it." Initially I found that sad, but after twelve years of marriage I see it as wise. I only want one marriage. I picked the right guy. Now let’s make the best of it. If you look at the Bean, you’ll see we’re on track.

Luisa Bertolo, to one granddaughter on her marriage, "Feed your chickens in your own yard so they don't go pecking in the neighbours yard!"  She told a great-granddaughter to never let a man have all the money and to not let them drink or play cards. She told another granddaughter never to marry a drunk or a loud mouth.

Cooking Advice
Helen Kazuke, when asked how much of an ingredient to use in a dish, "enough."

Lina and Luisa Bertolo, "eat, eat!"

Familiar Sayings
Luigi Bertolo, whenever we arrived at his house, "What’d you bring me?" When his brother Frank died years later, I could see him being met by Louie at the Pearly Gates with the same question.

Floyd Freamon, almost any day, but especially during an energetic game of Pass the Ace, "great gobs of rat shit!"  And a favourite of one granddaughter, "bless your pea pickin' li'l heart."

Mary Freamon, "well, shit."

Gordon Burrows, after a sneeze, "God bless my pointy little head." Or when confronted by something sticky, "that sticks like shit to a woolly blanket." During a long, detailed reminiscence, "but he’s dead now."

Luisa Bertolo, "mamma mia!" and "eh, what you goin' to do?"  Then there is "mannaggia!" and my personal favourite, "accidenti!" both of which are roughly the Italian equivalents of "darn it."

The Unexpected
Vanda Moynihan, after a couple of weeks in Italy, thinking back on buying a bunch of gifts in Loreto, "Kathy, I think we got hosed on the rosaries."

James Moynihan, after I confessed to kicking a hole in the wall (aiming at my brother), "well, that’s a fine kettle of fish."

Kevin Moynihan, in response to his father’s suggestions for repairing a fan on a wonky stand, "I do NOT need a screw!"

Gordon Burrows, a man known for long stories and corny jokes: "We were so poor, my parents had to cut a hole in the front of my pants to give me something to play with." That’s a nice one to use on your son’s new girlfriend. Lucky for me, I’m not easily frightened.

Last words
Lina Bertolo, from her hospital bed, days before her death, "Kathy, I’m finished."

Gordon Burrows, as the priest finished praying over him, "Amen," which means "so be it."

And here is one final bit of advice from Ma, Luisa Bertolo:  "go to church."  You can start this Sunday.


  1. Oh my gosh - that thing about Gordon Burrows saying "but he's dead now" sounded exactly like Ed's dad. The crazy thing about that, was that he was referring to someone that he had just put on our wedding guest list the week before (and no the guest hadn't just died that week).

    I really don't remember my mom dispensing marital advice, but in a parking lot the day after the wedding, my mom looked at me and asked "Are you really going to take his name?" My response to her? "Well, you took dad's."

  2. These are great! Gordon Burrows had me laughing all the way through, he sounds like he would have been fun to be around.

  3. Luisa Bertolo sounds like she would make a great character! great meeting you through the a-z

  4. Cathy: LMAO

    Susan and Nutschell: you have no idea how much we miss Gordon and Luisa! Thanks for coming by.

  5. These sound so much like my husband's Brooklyn family and my Texan family - really enjoyed them!

  6. My dad recently passed, one of my favorite quotes from his last few days was, "Man, this is really dragging on, people need to get back to their lives!!"

    He was hilarious all his days, and his quotes are precious. Thanks for sharing your family quotes!!!

    By the way, I used to live in Ottawa, I miss it!!!

  7. I have tears in my eyes, cracking up..that was GREAT!!! thanks for the uplift, I needed it. Reminded me of when Uncle Frank died and myself, Auntie Mary and Ma were in the room. Auntie Lena was by his side; right after he opened eyes, said something and died with us standing there. I went and got the nurse. The nurse is attempting to check his pulse / vitals and Ma was sitting there like Sophia from the Golden Girls with her purse on her lap saying, "Sandra, is he dead yet...?" OMG...too funny. These are great!