June 2015 Newsletter
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June 2015 Newsletter

June 4, 2015

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This publication is intended to educate the general public and is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter print edition or text edition is copied in its entirety.

Richard A. Pignatiello - Attorney at Law


Legal Insider
Seven Hills Law Director
April 2015 Edition



Not Just A Name, But An Example To Live By

Richard E. Pignatiello

My wife was in the drive thru at the pharmacy. In the backseat was our youngest son. And the pharmacy assistant had just asked my wife, “Which Richard?” My wife provided our oldest son’s date of birth. And then they waited.

My son said, “So, Daddy is Richard, and Grandpa is Richard, and my brother is Richard”. Yes, my wife said. He went on, “and the other Grandpa is Raymond and I am Raymond.” Yes, my wife said again.

And then he asked, “Couldn’t you guys think of any new names?”

Before we married, we made a deal. I would name the boys, she would name the girls. We had our first son, and we named him Richard. Carrying my father’s name has been one of the greatest honors of my life. So I gave my son that same gift. And we named him after my father. Yet we all carry different middle names so there is not a senior or junior among us, which is just the way my mother likes it.

My wife asked me early in our relationship where my sense of humor came from. I said my father. And she responded, the guy at the head of the table who doesn’t talk? But my father is funny. And patient. And smart, so very smart. And hard working. By the time my wife met him, he was perhaps a man of few words as he took his place at the head of the table. He was content to just take it all in. The chaos that comes from a large family with his wife, four sons and their wives. And eventually many grandchildren.

My wife has said she has found him to be so completely without ego when it came to his sons. He just loves. Fiercely. If we hit the home run to win the game, or caught the touch down, pinned the wrestler in record time or hit the best drive off the tee, he was thrilled. But not once did he feel it was a reflection of his parenting skills. And when we made mistakes, he hurt along with us. But it was our lesson to learn. Many of them the hard way.

My Dad

With a growing family, and little work available, he struck out and with a partner. Together they created and ran a union plumbing contracting business for 21 years. And they ran their business on a handshake until he retired. And my father’s handshake covered every possible contingency that no legal contract, no matter how well crafted, ever could.

And no, I don’t recommend that.

He spent 44 years as a plumber earning a watch in his retirement that he cherishes. But also the aches and pains in his shoulders that remind him of the 4 feet long 30 pound wrenches he used daily.

As a high school student, I would go with him to a job site. One of his clients was the Standard Building. On this particular Saturday morning, he had finished soldering. He stood back and looked. I was perhaps 17 years old and anxious to be out of there and with my friends. And then he began to take it all apart and do it all again simply because he didn’t like the way it looked. This weld would be in a ceiling, behind a panel that would be invisible to everybody but him. When I asked him about it, I said, “No one will ever see it”. And he said, “I see it”.

Our first son? We named him to honor my father.

When our second son was born, my wife and I never had a discussion. I named him after my father-in-law. He was the kind of guy who was your first telephone call if you were in trouble. Or if you wanted to be.

Raymond J. Lavery

But whatever you heard he was, or whatever he looked liked, he was so much more. When the Church couldn’t find a teacher for an unruly class, he stepped in. It had been his wish for his life to teach history. And when that class moved on, he stayed on. But in the 1950’s, just as my father followed his into the plumbing business, my father-in-law followed his father into Carpenter’s Union Local 11.

For a career path he didn’t want, he excelled at it. When he put down his tools, and earned a job as an organizer, he changed lives for the better. He pushed through what was at that time a very unpopular $0.25 per hour pension contribution. He went job site to job site. There was animosity among the rank and file who wanted nothing more than to keep that money in their pocket. Never shy, never humble, he told them they would thank him someday. And they did. In the decades that followed, it was rare he could go anywhere that people did not come up to him and shake his hand. They sincerely thanked him for their retirement that was made better by his ability to see the bigger, long term picture.

My father-in-law

My wife remembers when he would hear of a family in the neighborhood who was out of work or suffering from a long term illness. Her father took up a secret collection of food, money and toys so that the family would have a Thanksgiving dinner on their table, presents under their
Christmas tree or help with utilities.

You never had to wonder where you stood with him. He told you. He had no fear which served him well in his career and he suffered no fools. The positions he took, his willingness to be the voice for those who could not speak for themselves sometimes made him unpopular. He was never interested in being loved. He was motivated by what was right and just. And he was fond of saying, if at the end of your life, you can count on one hand the friends you have kept, you’ve had a good life. As people stood for two hours in a line that never ended to pay their respects, I only wish he could have seen that he was and had always been both. Loved and respected.

Our second son? We named him to honor my wife’s father.

“Couldn’t we think of any new names?”, he asked.

My son’s math homework was not going well. I was at City Hall that night for a meeting, and my wife finally said to our son, go ask the college girl. So with his text book, paper and pencil in his hand, he walked across the street. She wasn’t home, but her father Greg answered the door. It had to have been a long day for him, as he was still in his suit from work. He invited our son in. And he sat with him at their dining room table, and helped him with the homework.

One Saturday afternoon, my youngest son was walking his bike home. He was many homes away when my wife saw him coming and headed his way to help. But before she could get there, our neighbor Dale called to him. Although he was in the middle of a home repair project, he got his tools. He stopped, kneeled down and fixed the handle bars that had been stripped.

More than 25 years ago, my wife took a position with a firm whose name bore that of its founder. She worked for him and learned from him. And when she struck out on her own, her relationship with him and his wife turned to friendship for our entire family. Otie has been more than a mentor and advisor. He has been one of her strongest supporters believing in her when she had doubts. She said his guidance has been so gentle, so subtle that only after she hangs up the phone does she realize he never answered her questions directly but instead helped her find her way by asking more questions to uncover the answers she possessed all along.

And then there are the baseball, soccer and basketball coaches. Men who gave up their evenings and weekends to benefit children not their own. Who ran more than drills and taught much more than plays: Gary and Steve. Dennis, Dave and Mike. Das, Dennis, Matt, Pete, Mario, Alex, Frank and John.

On vacation with both sets of grandparents

Or our neighbors, Lou, Carl, Jimmy, Walter, Bob, Pete and Nick who have offered a helping hand, advice or their tools even when it wasn’t convenient for them. And my brothers, who have loved our children as though they were their own.

So when my son asked if we could have thought of any new names, the answer is yes. We just chose the names of the men who first showed us how to live. And how to love.

Happy Father's Day.

 Once In A Blue Moon

The expression “once in a blue moon” is used to denote a long span of time between the occurrences of similar events; it has nothing to do with the color of the moon. But where did the term come from?

Normally, there is one full moon per month, meaning three per quarter. For hundreds of years across a wide swath of cultures, the full moon for each month has been given its own name. In the 1800s, the Farmer’s Almanac named the full moons, at least for our culture. For example, for the second quarter, April is “Pink,” May is “Flower,” and June is “Strawberry.” With months being various lengths, occasionally one quarter will garner an extra (fourth) full moon. The third of the four full moons is the de facto “Blue” moon.

However, in 1946, a misinterpretation of info brought about a distorted definition: When a month has two full moons, the second one is called the blue moon. Though inaccurate, it’s simpler, so of course it latched on.

Blue moons under the correct interpretation occur about once every three years (the next one is slated for July 31, 2015). And how often do you come across someone who knows this? Once in a blue moon, we’re guessing.

 A Jaw-Dropping Reptile

Although there are four species of anaconda native to the Amazon region of South America—green, yellow, dark-spotted, and Bolivian—“anaconda” generally refers to the green, the largest and most famous. They are nonvenomous constrictors, can weigh several hundred pounds, and may exceed 20 feet in length. They are the heavyweight champs in overall size among snakes, although reticulated pythons edge them out lengthwise.

To attain such girth, an anaconda utilizes stealth—despite its hefty size—to bring down prey consisting of wild pigs, tapirs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans, and occasionally even a jaguar. Anacondas live in swamps and slow-moving streams. Their nasal openings and eyes are  positioned on their head so as to enable them to remain nearly totally submerged as they lie in wait for unsuspecting victims. Their hunting motto is “strike, coil, and crush—then swallow whole.”

Anacondas can deliver a nasty bite. Four rows of upper teeth and two rows of lower will do that for you. In order to swallow large prey, the anaconda’s jaw unhinges to accommodate the task at hand. Fortunately for the rest of the Amazon’s wildlife, an anaconda can go for weeks,  sometimes months, without eating once it’s had a solid meal.

Anacondas are one of the few snakes to give birth to live young. Up to 30 little terrors may be born with the ability to swim and hunt immediately. Babies are approximately two feet in length at birth. Those that make it through childhood can generally expect to strike fear into other creatures for the next 10 years.

Contact Attorney Richard A. Pignatiello Today

We invite you to contact the Ohio law office of Richard A. Pignatiello at 216-524-1000 to schedule a free, initial consultation with our lawyer regarding your legal needs. We return phone calls within 24 hours. In addition to our regular office hours, evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. We offer payment plans.

The law office of Richard A. Pignatiello is based in Seven Hills, Ohio. We represent clients throughout the cities of Independence, Bedford, Parma, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Strongsville, Berea, Middleburg Heights, and Valley View, as well as Cuyahoga County and Medina County.

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