Tuesday, June 29, 2010


My grandfather on my mother's side, Angelo Ercoli, was born on July 17, 1899 in Pisa, Italy. He died on June 28, 1964 in Willingboro, New Jersey. He changed his surname to Ercol after he immigrated to the United States in 1921. I remember him well. He taught me about gardening. He was the steward of a large and productive garden situated on the back half of his property in Beverly, NJ. His garden had a path through the middle, and on either side of the path, supported by a sturdy fence, were grapevines, which gave us large bunches of purple grapes every year. He loved to grow asparagus and tomatoes and raspberries. When I was young, he taught me how to hoe his spacious asparagus patches. I was skinny and weak, and invariably, my mother would have to take me to Dr. Coopersmith afterwards to treat my strained back. I did not have the courage to tell Pop Pop, as I called him, that I was hurting, and so I would continue to hoe beyond my strength. Many times, he would take the hoe from my hands, as he stood next to me, and show me again the proper way to perform the task. He had the good sense to maintain a compost pile in his garden into which he threw his scraps and trimmings. He would have a load of cow manure delivered to the back of his garden every year, and I would help spread it around. I enjoyed his company and attention. He was very, very strong physically and stern, but he always treated me well. He taught me how to bend and cover his fig tree for the winter. I owe him a lot. So, I have named my garden after him. It is not nearly as wonderful as was his garden, but I think he would be pleased with my efforts. Here are some pictures of it, which were taken by the Lovely One this morning.


John said...

Nice Job!

Jenna said...

I'd never heard that story about your grandfather, Dad! I loved it! And your garden looks beautiful! Can't wait to see it grow! Keep us updated.

Hannah said...

Look at all those veggies growing away! I love it! So are you going to post updates on your garden?