In Memory

Anna Cercone (Gagnon)

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

10/27/14 09:02 PM #1    

Dora Skinner (Grady)

I knew Anna Maria all through Wayne Elementary.  She was a sweet girl and a good friend.

10/28/14 07:27 PM #2    

Nancy Gould (Gomoll)

I have great memories of going to school and growing up with Anna from elementary school right through high school. It is very sad to see that she is no longer with us.  

05/23/15 12:33 PM #3    

Dora Skinner (Grady)

I last saw Anna way back in the 70's.  We were both working downtown and went out for lunch.  Afterwards, she lit a cigarette and said casually  "Oh, I smoke now."  Sadly, she died of lung cancer shortly before the 40th year reunion.

06/09/15 12:28 PM #4    

Robert Ambrite


     In the summer of 1958, my mother gave me fifty cents and requested I ride my recently repaired Earl's Bike Shop Schwinn to the Hayes Avenue barber to get a haircut. "It's almost Labor Day," she said. "The next few days will be busy - the State Fair and then the cottage. After that, school begins and you have to look presentable. Now get moving!" School...ugggggh," I thought, as my bicycle tires jumped the curb and I raced toward the red, white and blue revolving barber pole. "Well, at least this year I will be in the portables with my buddies and away from the principal's office where Mr. Cross sits." I parked my bike outside the shop and took a seat to wait my turn. I was thinking that I did not want to get too much hair cut off - just a trim. This year I was going to Vaseline it back, comb in some fenders and maybe even finish it off with a waterfall. Yeah, very neat, maybe I'll even begin saying "Daddy-o" and "Dig it to the utmost."  I mean James Dean ain't got nothing on this kid. As I sat in the chair, my eyes looked down on the cover of Life Magazine and I saw her - Sophia Loren. Her Mediterranean beauty shook me to the core and I sincerly believe it was at that moment in my life that my hormones kicked in.

     A week later, I made my way to the beige brick building known as Wayne Elementary and, as I suspected, was assigned by our vice principal, Mrs. Lee, to portable #2. Because my name began with "A," I usually had the misfortune of being stuck in row one, seat one. Well, that, and the teachers wanted to keep their eye on me for some reason. Our teacher, Mrs. Ball, was no exception and immediately pointed me to my usual seat. As I placed my book bag beneath my desk, I glanced three seats behind me and spotted her - olive skin, warm brown eyes and silky flowing dark auburn hair. A true Italian beauty, Anna Marie Cercone. Was this what Paul Anka meant by "puppy love?"

     As the year wore on, Anna Marie and I became friends. I would tell her stupid jokes and she would smile politely. I would show off in science class putting Mr. Bachman's King snake around my neck, and she would smile politely. I would demonstrate my creative paper mache abilities to her in Ms. Doyle's art class and she would smile politely. And in the spring, I helped her plant her tomato seeds in Mr. Goniack's garden class... and she smiled politely.

     I lived next door to Dick Mountz. He was much older than I and actually attended Denby. Dick and Anna Marie's brother were All State track stars on Denby's very successful running team. One spring day, Dick invited me to attend an after school track meet so I could watch him run. I was thrilled. Sitting in the stands, I noticed that Anna Marie was also there. I sat next to her. We did not say much. We just watched and cheered for her brother and Dick. After the meet, the four of us went to Volcaino's Pizzeria on Hayes and Kelly for a pie and cokes. This was the first time I'd ever eaten pizza at a real pizzeria. I mean, Chef Boyardee pizza mix was as good as Rome to me. Afterward, Anna Marie and I jumped into the back seat of Dick's '53 Packard for the trip home. Jackie Wilson's Lonely Teardrops was playing on the radio, the sun was setting in the west. I reached out and touched Anna Marie's hand and she gently squeezed my index finger. Life is filled with many years, months, weeks, days and hours, but, unfortunately, very few moments. That was a moment.

     Anna Marie and I remained just friends until I left Wayne a couple of years later. The last time I spoke with her was in the eighth grade. But I will always remember the moment when our hands touched in the back seat of a,blue '53 Packard. May you rest In peace, Anna Marie, and thank you for being my first true Italian love.....well, you and Sophia Loren.

06/10/15 09:39 AM #5    

Judy EckFord (Beato)

Great story!   

10/04/15 10:46 PM #6    

Barbara ("b C") Wilson (Cotter)

Ann Marie and I were best friends, I visited her often at her house eventhough she was seldom allowed to spend time with others unless they came to visit her at home.  We were locker partners at Denby for two years and had several classes together.  I loved gym class, especially swimming class and those were her least favorite, she was rather fussy about her hair. I always thoght that she was the most beautiful person in the world, both on the inside and on the outside.  She was such a genuine  sweet, caring and gentle person, a true Miss America.

Ann Marie and I were at our locker between classes when Jan Hoffman  came up to tell us that President Kennedy had been shot. We stood there in disbelief and Ann Marie and I both were stunned over the terrible news.

10/09/15 02:00 PM #7    

Joyce Reynolds

Lovely girl!  I remember her at a pajama party (now called "sleep overs") with a bunch of girls from both the January and June classes senior year, and how much fun we had!

Joyce Reynolds


go to top 
  Post Comment