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YOU CAN'T DO THAT N****R

di Dick Di Lano

Dickie's dad Tony worked on the Pennsylvania railroad since he was 16. He was born in Capracotta, Italy and came to America with his mom at eight years old. She committed suicide by walking in front of a train one night in the fog as he and his mom were hurrying home after picking asparagus in the fields of Burlington, New Jersey. When his father picked up with another woman, Tony ran away from home to his Aunt Frazini in Freedom, Pennsylvania. Just North of Rochester up the Ohio River. Tony met Mildred Argento at a St. Anthony Church Festival and married her and had Dickie as their first born. Six years later, they had another son named Jontonio, that turned out to be a great basebal pitcher. Then he went on to college and owned an Advertising and Desing Company. Tony also tended bar three nights a week in a bar called The Boulevard Inn in East Rochester to make ends meet.

Ronald Smith, Smitty's dad, was from Richmond, Virginia, son of a slave but Smitty never new of this and neither did Dickie or anyone else in town for that matter. Mr. Smith worked at PBI, Pittsburgh Bridge and Iron, as a mill right.

  • D. Di Lano, You Can't Do That N****R, Dorrance, Pittsburgh 2022, pp. 16-18.