Mashed potatoes

I often write about how when you spend your entire life in one place you get to the point when almost every death has an effect on you.
And you never know what that effect will be.
So when I read the obituary of Carmen Montagna, I of course thought about how long I had known him, how friendly he was every time I saw him, how his brother Sal loved to remind me that when he was a kid he was my parents’ first paper boy. But mostly I thought of mashed potatoes.
We had run into Carmen and his lovely wife, Nancy, at the Star Asia buffet a couple of years ago and Nancy told my wife she just had to try the mashed potatoes. She didn’t have to tell Mary Kay twice. Ever since, every time my wife plopped a scoop of mashed potatoes on her plate, we’d recall how Nancy Montagna deserved credit.
I told Nancy that at her husband’s funeral last week, and she said, “Well, did she like them?”
“Oh, Mrs. Montagna,” I said, “she liked them.”
And that made her smile.

Ed Ackerman