I’m madder than the great-great grandma that told her kids not to buy her green bananas because she feared she would die before they ripened, then survived to see the yellow ones turn black and have to be thrown out, over the fact that all those pennies I saved during my 70-plus years on this planet aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.
Look, you all know the old expression “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but the ol’ Screecher is here to tell you that it’s a bunch of hooey! I mean, what the heck can you buy for a penny these days? I remember putting penny after penny into those bubble gum machines near the doors at Woolworth, but I haven’t even seen one of those in years. The bubble gum machines, too.
And you know something else? You can’t buy anything for a nickel, dime or quarter, to boot! And how about a fin? And what of the sawbuck! Nada, zip, and zero!
Worse, by saving all these pennies and not spending them, you’re crushing the local economy. And you know something else? You can’t take it with you! In fact, every dead guy I know hasn’t spent a dime since his last breath. And he stiffed his relatives with the medical bills, because he didn’t give them the code for the ATM machine! That’s right, the automated teller machine machine!
Of course, I’m not advocating you spend lavishly on stupid things. You all know Carmine has short arms and deep pockets. But I know a bargain when I see one, and I always get the best value for my money. I mean, that’s why I vacation in central Jersey. Bang for the buck!
And take those Ramen Noodles as another example of getting something great for less. Look, you know and I know that there is no way those things are made with real food, but the chemicals those scientists use to make it taste great! And at 20-cents a pack, I’m addicted to them — even if you don’t want to get within 20 feet of me and Tornado about a half hour after I’ve eaten my daily dose.
Now’s the point in the column where I tie all this together into some interesting point: I got a great deal for the Bensonhurst West End Community Council’s (BWECC’s!) 51st Gala at the fabulous El Caribe Country Club. And you all know those guys know how to cook — and throw a party.
This year, we will honor Victor Iacovano as our “Man of the Year.” Here’s a little bit about why he is so awesome:
Victor was born in Brooklyn in November of 1967 and attended PS 202, JHS 278 and Madison HS. He is married to a Brooklyn girl, Nicole, and has three kids. He lives in New Jersey now, but we won’t hold it against him.
He is the son of Nicholas and Agnes Iacovano, and his dad was a custodian engineer in District 21. On top of that, his mom was a secretary in the schools for more than 30 years.
He is a graduate of Brooklyn College with two master’s degrees.
He began teaching in 1989, and his first teaching assignment was at PS 238, where he taught physical education — to Stephon Marbury (good job!).
He was transferred to IS 303 and in 1990 and 1991 he was the junior varsity baseball coach at Lincoln HS, where we won a championship his first year.
He became an assistant principal at 303 in 1999. During the past 12 years he helped transform 303 into one of the premiere middle schools in the city. He was part of the team that introduced the self-contained, student-owned classroom model in sixth grade then seventh grade with tremendous success and accolades from the Department of Education. It helped raise math scores as much as 60 percent over that time, and the school has received an Â“AÂ’ on its progress report four of the last five years. No other District 21 school has achieved that.
During his 23 years at IS 303, he has supervised many academic and extra curricular programs, and has been involved in many fund-raising efforts. He initiated the largest fund-raiser out of all city schools for the Make-a-Wish foundation, where students raised close to $10,000 with a basketball shooting contest.
But he is most proud of the fact that he has been a part of IS 303 for most of his life. He says that it is a joy everyday to provide the best learning environment for the children of this great community for which I have served for three decades.
“You know you have been around a while when your former students are sending you their children,” he told the Screecher (that’s me). “I hope to be around for many more to come. As I always say, ‘age is just a number’!”
Well, thank you Victor for all the years you served, taught, educated and helped our youth.Congratulations and auguri per cento anni.
Screech at you next week!
Carmine Santa Maria's column appears every Sunday — and will continue to appear every Sunday — on BrooklynPaper.com. Reach him at [email protected] if you have the guts.