T  O  O  L  S : A Personal Memoir  

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Following the death of our late father, John Occhipinti, in October of 2003, I expanded on the eulogy I had earlier written for Dad, and began reflecting and writing even more about Dad's life and our family memories. The more things I remembered, it became even more clear how much Dad had taught me over the course of our lives. The best part was that I felt Dad sitting next to me as I wrote Tools. I also felt Dad listening as I read aloud my latest chapter and lesson.

 In June of 2007, Ric Cua, then president of our Italian’s In Nashville Club, invited me to share some original stories I had written from my rough draft of Tools with our members. Our club members meet once a month to conduct business, socialize, and bring a delicious dish to share. Prior to the start of our evening meal, I read a couple of my stories. I asked everyone if they wanted to hear another story, and they kept asking for more. Now, if you have ever been around a group of hungry Italian-Americans before a meal, you know how dangerous it is preventing them from eating. I knew right then and there that my
Dad and his stories were special. After concluding my readings, I was asked repeatedly for copies of the book. Members were so gracious, complimenting my stories, my presentation, and sharing a story of their own. I realized afterwards, that I should reproduce these stories as an audio-book. So, I spent the next nine months recording the stories in a friend’s professional digital studio, and working with another friend’s company to design the graphics.

"My father wasn’t famous. No statue will be erected to honor his lifetime feats nor will his portrait be hung somewhere for the world to admire and pay respects to his achievements, big and small. He was simply an ordinary, decent, first generation American, son of Sicilian immigrants, hard working steel worker, church going man who loved his family, and was loved by them. The purpose of my writing this book is to pay tribute to my father and share the many lessons he taught me. The greatest lesson being that even an ordinary life can be extraordinary."

(an excerpt from introduction to "Tools" ©2008)

From my family to yours…enjoy!

                                           -------Tom Occhipinti


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