Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Emily "Drezza" Tramonti


Emily "Drezza" Tramonti - May 20, 1928 - August 21, 2022
Flops & Drez on a train in New Hampshire, 1983

I spent most of the summer of 1985 living with Flops and Drezza, the summer after we moved to NY, I wanted to be back in Rhode Island and they welcomed me to stay at Vancouver Ave.

Freezing in Disney World, 1985
For a few weeks I was Drezza's sidekick - went with her to do errands at Almacs, Daves, Silvermans, for milkshakes and grilled cheese at Newport Creamery, and to work - at Warwick Prescription Center, the small local pharmacy she worked at for decades. I was 9, and she trusted me enough to let me count actual pills for actual prescriptions. I typed the labels on a real manual typewriter and put the warning stickers on. I tried my absolute hardest to get everything right and I think I did. I would charge her something like $3 a day for this work - kept track on an envelope - and she paid me. What a racket. 

Playing along with our house being an "inn"

Then she would take me to Thorpe's and I bought paperback books, Born Free about the lioness. I'd play rummy and watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with Flops and later after he went to bed watch Murder She Wrote with Drez. 

Flops & Drez watching Chris play basketball at Whitman

It was around this time but during the winter, holidays, Thanksgiving probably when Drez fell out of her chair laughing at my impression of Flops' cousin Mary and Uncle John. I will never forget it, she was laughing so hard she took a knee and slapped the carpet in front of the puffy floral fabric covered chair in the corner of her living room surrounded by Hummels. (Mary- "Uncle Dick you are such a tease. If we look in the dictionary next to the word 'tease' would be a picture of Uncle Dick" and Uncle John walked into a chair and said "excuse me" to it. You had to be there.) 

With Uncle Tom at Lenny's in CT

She would make a whole Thanksgiving dinner for 10 and then bake a special pie for me - chocolate pudding in a flaky crust with whipped cream on top just for me. I would share but it was for me. 

Reading with Henry

I told her I liked getting mail and when I went to UNC freshman year she sent me hundreds of cards, I mean one almost every day, hallmark cards and notes and Readers Digest clippings, I still have them all in a box. 

Listening to Jojo at Angela's shower

She didn't like to talk a lot, she didn't like to eat a lot, she liked to read a lot and rearranged furniture a lot. 

Trying on shoes at TOPS Asheville, age 85

After the Prescription Center sold, Drezza worked at Country Curtains until she was 90, when she finally retired. As Chris said as a little kid, "Drezza is bossy in a quiet kind of way." I never heard her raise her voice. 
With mom & Aunt Jan

She liked chocolate covered raisins and lemon cookies. She was loyal and gentle and responsible, she put her family first. She liked mysteries. She never had her ears pierced, always wore clip ons. She liked things being neat and tidy. She liked having high quality things and taking impeccable care of them. She liked castles and historical estates and inns and flowers. Her hair was puffy blonde perfection, she was five foot one, five foot three with her hair. Her clothes were neat as a pin. Always. She drank a cup of Lipton black tea every day with whole milk and real sugar. 
She hated cats and birds.

With mom and dad on Mount Mitchell

She was the best grandma, the best Drezza. I am so lucky.