Frank Scalia

Frank Scalia

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05/31/18 12:12 PM #1    

Ron Polito

Remembering Frank

Frank and I became friends in high school when we were both members of the “Rocket Club,” -- a thin excuse to blow things up.  In our pre-driving days many evenings were spent playing penny-ante poker with Fred Cianfrini (Class of 1960), Richard Scafetta, and Paul Wozniak in Frank’s kitchen or my parent’s basement.  We played “poor man’s,” setting the maximum anyone could lose; if someone went broke they could continue to play without an ante.  No one ever made or lost any real money, but the conversation and the competition was wonderful, at least for teenagers.  My basement also became a site for trying to make vodka from potatoes, with no potable success.

Once we had driving licenses (and could borrow someone’s family car) the poker games were interspersed with many hours driving the back roads of Genesee Country, until sundown with our junior license, late into the night when we had a full license.  We never accomplished anything substantial during these rambles, but gas was twenty-two cents a gallon and we were frequently accompanied by fifty-cent-a-quart beer from the Look-The-Other-Way convenience store on Washington Avenue.

After graduation, Frank went to the University of Rochester; I went to Boston University, but on school breaks and during the summers of 1960 and 61 we still found time for road trips.  With the “knowledge” gained in college, we became more cosmopolitan: German restaurants and bars in Rochester, the Palace Burlesque in Buffalo (with a mandatory stop at Paul’s Pies or Freddy’s Donuts on the way home), and the mysterious, to us anyway, Cheese Factory on a back road outside of Leroy, where the parking lot was full and the barroom practically empty – there was no restaurant.  

More routine, however, was the ritual Frank and I developed to pass two summer breaks.  He worked evenings at the Mancuso movie theatre and we would meet when his shift ended. We would usually divide our time between the Willow Creek Bend Inn on West Main Street and The Clinton on Clinton Street – frequently refueling with white hots at the Pok-a-Dot.  We often had lengthy conversations with establishment regulars, and one memorable evening were given a tour of a large and expansive chicken farm at three in the morning – after which we went into the house for thuringer sandwiches and to meet a none too pleased wife.

I didn’t return to Batavia after the summer of 1961; Frank and I stayed in touch for several years, but more infrequently as life took us separate ways.  In January 2017, however, we met for long, long lunch and quite wonderful reunion in Worcester.  Of course we talked of making this a regular event.  I am truly sorry that never came to pass.

Ron Polito


06/02/18 06:34 AM #2    

Constance DeJaniero (Moon)

I grew up with Frank we lived in the same neighborhood such great memories. He always posted a happy birthday message on our school websight. I ran into him and his brother last year at Target Frank came back to Batavia to visit friends every year. He loved to traval we share some of our places we went to. He look so good I told him he never changes. 

So sad to hear such a smart loving person had to be gone so early in life.

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