There are some people who enter this world, bound to leave a positive mark on everyone they meet. Their legacy lives on, even when they are no longer around. For loved ones, filling in their shoes can be a daunting task. A wife of a beloved bartender from New Jersey who sadly passed has away has experienced just how daunting it really is.
Charlie Poveromo was a popular bartender at Grissini restaurant in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. “He was one of the finest gentlemen I had ever met,” said Tony Del Gatto, owner of Grissini. “Everybody felt like an individual to him. He spoke directly to people, his eyes never wandered. There could be 20 or 30 people at the bar that needed attention but when a person spoke to him, they were the most important person in the room.”
Unfortunately, Charlie passed away quite suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 57 earlier this year. According to his wife, Velvet Poveromo, he wasn’t only amazing at his job, but also at home. In a post she shared on Facebook she questioned how he had the time for working 6 days week, doing a lot of housework, taking care of his grandson as well as driving Velvet to her doctor appointments. Now that he’s gone, Velvet says, “Unfortunately, I have been forced to step into his gigantic shoes (he actually had very small feet for a guy) and I can’t figure out how he did it all!”
One of the many legacy’s Charlie left started around five years ago when New Jersey was suffering from an extreme heat wave. One day he noticed the men working on the garbage truck were sweating profusely, so he quickly ran into the kitchen, grabbed some cups and filled a jug with water to bring for them.
As Velvet recalls, he left to the supermarket that same afternoon to buy bottled water and bags of ice. The next morning, she writes how, “I watched as he went up to the truck and explained that, from now on, the cooler would contain cold drinks for them all summer long.” Word spread quickly around town about Charlie’s generosity and throughout the summer police officers, firemen, construction workers and anyone in need of a drink stopped outside their house to seek refuge under their tree to enjoy a refreshment.
Now that Charlie is no longer with us, Velvet wasn’t sure whether to continue with the tradition. “I thought about it and decided the right thing to do to honor my husband was to continue his commitment and tradition during the summer months,“ she wrote. As not everyone was aware of his passing away, she “left a note for the workers who might not have been aware of what had happened.”
One morning she was outside when she heard the garbage truck approaching. She wrote: “I watched in awe as each man stepped off the truck, the driver getting out to join them and in a straight line they stood together and saluted our home and me!! As is happening at this very moment, my eyes filled with tears and my body began to tremble as one by one they each came up to me, grasped my hand, gave me a hug and told me how very sorry they were and that no one had ever shown them the thoughtfulness and appreciation my husband had.”
It’s a moving story that goes to show that a little kindness can go a long way. Charlie went out of his way for anyone in his life. It goes to show that at the end of this life, the only thing that survives of us is in the memory of others, so we may as well make it a positive memory!