Nicholas Scalise

Warren Sattler's Testimonial    [Back]

I’m writing this on a Sunday and appropriately so, because it was on a Sunday that Nick and I first crossed paths. My home was about a mile away from Mount Carmel Church, which I attended each Sunday. After church I headed for Springdale Avenue and Bonazinga’s bakery. The bakery was about two blocks away from the church and was in back of a two-story house. It was at the end of a long driveway in a converted old garage! The smell of fresh baked bread filled the air!


Upon entering, you would see the oven and Mr. Bonazinga tending to the bread. I always bought two loaves, one of which was half eaten by the time I got home. Off to the side was this skinny kid, covered with flour. I didn’t know his name at the time.


I attended Lincoln Jr. High School and Tommie dePaola and myself were considered the top artists in the ninth grade. I learned about Wilcox Technical School and Mr. Lohrmann’s art class. I leaned at the chance to go there.


Coming from being the “Big fish in a small pond”, I entered Lohrmann’s class, headed for a big surprise. The first thing I saw was this tall, skinny kid drawing praying hands in charcoal! Oh, My! Now I has to start all over learning how to draw that well! That tall skinny kid was the same one who worked at the bakery.


Nick and I, Tom Nicholas, Bill Thomson, Siro Toffolon, Charlie Mays, and John Calabro became good friends. We named Nick “Norm” because he loved Norman Rockwell at the time.


After graduation, the Air Force and marriage, Nick and I found each other working at Famous Artists School in Westport, CT. We shared driving back and forth to Meriden, one week he drove, the next week it was my turn.


Nick and I had a lot in common. Both of us were raised by Italian mothers. Both loved art, both loved music and both loved laughter. Folk music was popular at the time and Nick and I would sing along. We had serious conversations, but one of us would always interrupt with a funny remark. I always think of Nick with that wonderful smile.


After leaving the Famous Artists School, Nick and I went our separate ways and didn’t come together again until many years later. Upon meeting each other, Nick stuck out his hand and said, “Is it your turn to drive, or is it mine?”


God Bless, You, My Pal!



Warren Sattler


Meriden, Connecticut