I remember my grandfather.

Not my namesake, since he died before I was born, but my mom’s dad…Grandpa Sal.

Since I was the first boy born into the family (my mom is the oldest of 5 girls); my grandfather would do handstands for me.

He used to walk from where they lived in Coney Island all the way to where my parents lived…about a couple of miles away…just to see me.

I could remember him walking me over the bridge over Coney Island Creek; the brand of cigarettes he used to smoke (Viceroys); and the smoking table where he used to keep them.

I even remember when he was taken to the VA Hospital (he served in World War I right after coming here from Meta Di Sorrento), and feeling left out when I couldn’t go up to see him.
I was only 3 going on 4.

But you can imagine how a kid would feel not being able to see someone so near and dear to them.

That’s why Friday, to me, is unofficially “Friday with Nicky”.

It’s not Friday unless I go and see my grandson.

And even though I don’t have the stamina to walk the 5 or so miles to see him, I’m still lucky enough to have him nearby so that I could spend at least an hour a week playing with him.

Here’s what a typical Friday morning looks like:

They say grandchildren change you.

It’s true…take it from me.

Now I know how my grandfather felt.

I guess I should start on those handstands!