To the Readers' Forum:
As granddaughter of the late Sam Paladino, I am overwhelmed with pride to think that a town loved him as much as our family did.
My grandfather was such a staple in the community, it is hard to believe that he was an even better family man. But he was.
Growing up with Sam Paladino as your grandpa was like living in a land of creativity, imagination and magic. He not only encouraged me to have a good attitude about life but he instilled confidence in me that has carried me throughout my entire life. He use to say, "Remember, you are responsible for your own actions" and things like, "dream big."
He was the best.
He sang and danced with me in his kitchen. I helped him with rehearsing his theater lines. He let me paint wooden figurines, he told me stories, he brought me on vacations and drove on school field trips. He helped with my school projects and homework. Every recital, every show, every school program he attended to support me. We went to lunches and dinners, he took me to Rotary and showed me off to everyone. It would take pages to write the rest. What's more is that this was while he wasn't on stage. This was grandpa being grandpa. He was funny, happy and so brilliant.
I know he knew I was so proud of him. I am glad I had the chance to tell him that too.
Our family now has another angel watching over us alongside our special angel, Grandma Doris. I will share his life stories with my children forever and try to make their childhood as magical as mine was.
Sam Paladino is definitely called a legend, but to us, we called him, "Papa."