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creativity

Write every day: Celebrating my uncle, Joseph Gagliardi

My favorite times during my childhood were at my grandmother’s house in West Hartford, Connecticut. We’d go at least one weekend a month and during my summers growing up, I’d spend extra time there with my sister. My Uncle Joe, and all my aunts and uncles, were a part of those times. He and my Aunt Lorraine, his wife, took us to Mystic Seaport and it remains one of my favorite childhood memories. All the beautiful animals and lunch by the water giant ice cream cones. I remember his deep voice and laugh, his love for baseball, and how much he loved his family—especially his daughter and grandchildren, my cousins.

Uncle Joe was as kind and loving as he was brave, tough, and smart. He was in the Navy during World War II on a ship in the South Pacific. After he came home, he became an engineer and worked hard all his life. He could fix literally anything. He took such excellent care of my grandmother, who was his older sister. To be honest, I think he was her favorite person. He visited her several times a week every week during her whole life. Checked on her. Helped her with anything she needed. She loved having him visit. That was just the kind of person he was. He helped everyone, and everyone loved having him with them. He was a wonderful role model.

We lost him this week, the last member of his generation in our very tiny family. My grandmother’s birthday is this coming week. She would have been 101, and I miss her every day. I’d like to think that somewhere, for her birthday, she’s getting to be with her favorite person again. RIP, Uncle Joe.

 

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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