An era is gone. Ginger Marchesci was the last of her brothers and sisters to pass. She had six brothers: Boone, Fish, George, Albert, Tony, and Louie, and one sister, Mary. One of her most memorable moments was going to Italy with her brother, Tony and his wife, Lucy.
When I was a little girl, I remembered going to my Grandpa and Grandma Guida’s house for fourth of July picnics. All of Ginger’s siblings and their spouses would be there, plus all of Grandpa Guida’s siblings would be there. He had six sisters, and one brother. I used to think the yard was so huge with everyone talking, laughing, and arguing. What’s an Italian family without arguing?
My brother now lives in Grandpa and Grandma’s house. The yard has gotten smaller. There are no more crowded Italian barbecues. When we go there, we all fit under the patio. I miss all of my great aunt and uncles and I hope they are together with my Grandpa Guida cooking Italian sausages.
Aunt Ginger’s first job was working at the Canning Factory with her mother, Mary Damico. They used to walk over the 20th street viaduct together. She also worked for Samsonite, and Continental Airlines. She also worked part time at Jim’s Pizzeria, and Pagliacci’s. She was also an officer for the woman’s auxiliary at the VFW.
Aunt Ginger leaves behind one son, Bill Weiser, and his wife, Maryann. They had three beautiful children, Tom, Susan and Tim. Aunt Ginger also has three great grand children—all boys. They all live in Albuquerque. She used to love to talk about her grandchildren and her lovely daughter-in-law, Mary Ann.
Billy was a contractor and built his own house. His wife Maryann decorated it. Aunt Ginger used to say how beautiful it was. Both she and Grandma used to stay at the house. Aunt Ginger was so proud of Billy and MaryAnn.
Aunt Ginger used to love to go to Georgetown and fish with her brother, Albert. Like her, Billy was not only a hard worker, but an adamant fisherman. Her legacy lives on.
When my mom decided to marry my dad, she also decided to become Catholic. Aunt Ginger was my mother’s sponsor for confirmation and the two of them developed a strong kinship. She had a very strong Catholic faith and passed this belief onto my mother. Once again, Aunt Ginger’s legacy lives on.
Aunt Ginger used to dress to the tee and would buy her clothes from Amter’s. She and her friend, Birch, would double date with my parents and they would go downtown to dinner and then a show. She passed her love for fashion on to her niece Beverly, who still dresses to the nines, so her legacy lives on.
Aunt Ginger was very generous. When my sister and brother-in-law started their family, Aunt Ginger would always buy them diapers. Theresa and Mark never asked her to do this, but Aunt Ginger insisted. When Aunt Ginger would go visit her son in New Mexico or go to California to see her nephew, Ron, my mother would often take her to the airport. Aunt Ginger wanted to pay for the gas, but Mom would never take it. Mom would find stuffed money in her purse or left in the car. Aunt Ginger wanted Mom to know how much she appreciated her time. When we would go out to dinner, Aunt Ginger would want to pay for the meal and my parents and aunts and uncles would say no, but Aunt would ambush the waiter insist on paying and she did.
Her nephew, Bobby Damico, used to do her taxes when she lived at Holy Family for years. She always wanted to pay him, but he’d never take any money. She’d call him and ask him over for meatballs and spaghetti and he’d come over for a great Italian dinner. Once again, she gave what she could.
In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Like the widow, Aunt Ginger didn’t have much, but she gave away all that she had.
She passed this onto her nephew, Lenoard, my dad. He often will grab the bill and say “shut up, it’s taken care of.” Or he’ll help his children out of debt by fixing a car or loaning his car or signing loans to start up a business. He never asks for anything in return, so Aunt Ginger’s legacy lives on.
Aunt Ginger also was an avid golfer and a competitive bowler if you know my dad this was definitely a legacy she passed on to him.
Aunt Ginger loved to play the Rummy card game. If she knew the card you wanted, she’d buy it, just so you couldn’t buy it. But then her nephew, Ronald, came up with a new rule. Each player would get three poker chips and each poker chip represented one buy. Aunt Ginger used to give the evil eye when she used up her buys or she couldn’t buy her card. She cherished the game, but what she really cherished was playing with her family whether it was here in Denver or out in California. She passed this onto her nephew Ronald, her legacy continues.
Aunt Ginger and my grandma were very close. They were the dynamic douo. They belonged to the Mount Carmel Altar and Rosary Society and Aarp, Grandma would often travel with Aunt Ginger to go see her son, Bill, in New Mexico or fly out to see Ron and his family in California at Easter. They would make enough ravoli for an army. Aunt Ginger and Grandma would fight and argue, but they were tighter than thieves.
One time, Ron and his wife, Dorothy and Aunt Ginger, and Grandma were all staying at a hotel in San Diego. My aunt Dorothy decided to rent a movie for them—Good Will Hunting. Good Will Hunting was a great movie, but if you took all the cuss words out, it would be a silent movie. I often chuckled thinking of Grandma and Aunt Ginger watching this movie and their gasps and the shocked looks on their faces. Aunt Dorothy has never lived this one down.
Like Aunt Ginger and Grandma, I’m close with my sister, Theresa. We fight and argue sometimes, but mostly we laugh, whether it’s about how our clothes fit or something silly on our favorite show, Supernatural. Theresa’s the first one I reach out to when I have a problem and I know she’ll always be there. I’ll have to do is ask. I think Grandma and Aunt Ginger were like this, so once again, Aunt Ginger’s legacy lives on.
All of my grandparents and now, Aunt Ginger, are gone. Whenever I go to the cabin, I think of Grandpa Guida. He left this for all of us. Each night, I snuggle in an afghan Grandma Guida crocheted and I think of her. I have a brown bowl that was my Grandma Smith’s and it’s my favorite bowl. Whenever I take it out, I think of her. I have a pair of blue faded scissors that were my Grandpa Smith’s that I keep in my bedroom. They are my favorite pair of scissors. Whenever I use them, I think of him. But what I will always remember from Aunt Ginger is the corning wear sauce pan she gave to me one Christmas. It’s white, has flowers on the side and has a brown lid. She gave this to Mom, Bev, Theresa, and me. This was years ago and I still have it. It’s my favorite sauce pan. I always think of her when I use it. It was just a small little pan, but once again, Aunt Ginger gave all that she had.
Rest in peace Aunt Ginger and know your legacies live on.