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Remembering AJD SR. with John Delricci

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Remembering AJD SR. with John Delricci

Christina: Hello, everyone and welcome to a special episode of I am Christina Diarcangelo. Some people might say most of our episodes are special based on all the different guests that I interact with in my professional and personal lifetime, but today I'm really excited we're shooting a podcast in honor of my father Albert J Diarcangelo senior it's important to say senior because there were two of them, my brother as well my father. For most of the viewers and listeners passed away October 13 2015 from stage four liver lung and stomach cancers and so today I have one of his friends, also my friend and colleague John to talk to me today about some of the things that he interacted with my dad over the years about and maybe some of the hmm I don't know lessons or impressions that he left you know on him within his lifetime. Welcome John.

John: Hey, how are you today thank you everyone and that I really want to say thank you to Christina because this is uh it's special to me you know your father uh as you know was just a special person and uh he came into my life in a in a really difficult time you know like I was telling you earlier you know I really think uh you really have a hard time finding yourself when you're 18 and 21 you know um I went to college I got myself into trouble I was a little bit of a drinker and a fighter and uh I got I got kicked out of school and my father was an old, Frank Rizzo cop kind of like your pop it just that Stern you know good guy just to you know Heart of Gold but he's going to tell you how it is you know so I come home and my Pop's like listen my son. There’s three things that are gonna happen here you're either gonna go to work you're going to go back to school or you're going to the military but you're not going to be sitting on that couch sleeping every day so I try to go back to school I had a high school sweetheart I got engaged to she's a very great girl and a lot of things going on at that time between a relationship and trying to find yourself and here I got the turnpike job I worked two years summer up here in college and I got transferred to people and a lot of distributes guy goes hey you know it's a lot of the same but it's not the same first day who do I meet your pop now it was a match made in him it really was he he looked at me I looked at him we were kind of scoping each other out on the city guy coming into a suburb shed I find out he's a New Jersey Devil fan and we're all fire fans there I mean he's like the Antichrist he took me on their swing and he was just an outstanding man he was just an outstanding man and that he's like son what do you want to do in your life you're going to be a bum. you're going to be if you're a worker he kind of took me under his wing kind of like that Mentor coach, Father Figure best buddy and it was it was really a great relationship he really uh he's dear to me I I believe a lot of My Success is is what AJ gave me gave me the building blocks to be a better person to be a better employee and just to be a better person be a straight shooter don't be a bull crapper you know what I mean and you got a lot of that Christina you know yeah.

Christina: yeah

John: look how you're structured look how we get along so well yeah we're in our faces we're honest we're truthful

Christina: that that's absolutely right and you know regardless of whether or not I do a corporate job you have a corporate job now but you started off blue collar I grew up blue collar my heart is Blue Collar even though I don't do a blue collar job it's how I was raised so my work ethic is very different I feel than a lot of my colleagues who grew up in a white collar environment because I feel like we work harder um no offense to my white collar brought up people but I feel like we've seen a lot of different things in our lifetime you know that was shown before us and we were taught that you work hard because listen the United States was built on the backs of the blue collar people let's just call it a space fade

John: Yeah, you're right and and like I said I think that the biggest thing that your father left me was never forget where you came from don't ever forget that you know it's a struggle nobody nobody gave us anythingyou know and no nobody nobody gives you that Playbook to say hey this is how your life's gonna go and it's going to be a b c d and e we got our Goods we got our beds and we got our uglies and I think what defines you is you know what your dad instilled in US is you pick yourself up and you move forward youknow uh your dad was uh a very strong good-hearted person I just remember him you know he would never tell us how sick he really was but we knew we would never want you to know and he would he would get cancer treatment on a Monday and be back and work on Tuesday on a jackhammer who does that

Christina: mm-hmm

John; A Diarcangelo, because he you want to show you he didn't forget where he came from and regardless of what obstacles he had in his life the work was never going to subside he was going to keep it up

Christina: you know what was crazy and I don't know if my dad ever disclosed this to you so I apologize if you already know this but I just thought it was important to mention here is that you said he remembered where he came from and that's why he always worked so hard and showed up the next day well when he was um when his mom was pregnant with him he was the last one okay and so he was the youngest boy out of the Diarcangelo’s and my oldest Uncle as you know passed away already in 2018 and the middle one is still alive Pat and then now you know obviously my dad passed before Uncle Arty did and I ended up advocating for him and helping him um when he was starting to transition similarly to what I did with my father and why I started the non-profit Affinity patient advocacy but one of the things that happened to him when he was in vitro was my um grandfather didn't want my dad he didn't want him he didn't want another child he had a bad marriage with my grandmother they both drank too much and he threw her down the stairs and tried to kill my father and my dad lived and that was something that haunted him you know like with the cancer and things of that nature when I would spend one-on-one time with him as you know like I tried to spend as much as like time as I could with him but I lived in California I lived in North Carolina I came back here you know and then he got sick again and I was trying to help him with that and then boom my career just boomed you know and so I was trying to do all that stuff I got married and had a kid and so you know luckily dad was here for all those things but there were times that he would talk about that stuff like some of the dark times that he had he would talk about that with me especially at the end you know when it was just him and I in the hospital I would sit in there and like on my laptop work and I he would talk when he felt like talking and when he didn't feel like talking we could sit and quiet and listen to my Pandora Stylistics Channel.

John: I love it, I love it

Christina; which is still still on my Pandora you know because I miss

him all the time but like see there's a piece of him that you didn't even know so when you said that I wanted to see if you knew that about him because that was one of his driving factors he always needed to show even though his parents had passed that he was better and that he was somebody and he helped people he gave people a voice from a labor perspective when they didn't have one.

John: you're right he he just knew he just had that um Christina listen to me I did security a lot my life with clubs and stuff like that and you know I'm a good people person you know I I can really um you know look at somebody and figure out in five minutes if they're good or bad and you know I was in his company a few times after dinner and Christina the way he handles himself it just reminded me of my grandfather it just the black sambuca

Christina; yeah

John: the hand gestures the just the the calls

Christina: all the girls the blacks the onye shoes

John: and he just he just was like it's just a great like you know people could and this is the thing you either logged out or hate out there was no milk no there was no middle

Christina: No

John: I think that's kind of like us you either love us or hate us

Christina: Right, right

John: You know what I mean

Christina: right right

John: like we don't have time I said this to my wife the other night we don't have time for BS no but we get an incident or a problem Christine that's our job we fix things um and that's where your father was your fault they would come to your father with with a labor issue work issue yeah job issue he's not even the boss he's telling the boss how to remember Camille oh my God and your dad like I said he just figured stuff out he was a problem solver.

Christina: Yes, he was

John: You, know and and I always like that about him I like he was my friend and he was family

Christina: Yep

John: you know he just he's got that special place in my heart and you know you said that your dad died in 2015 and it doesn't seem like that and I'm gonna probably get emotional here but he's with me every day you know I mean like he really is like when I'm here I think about it when I'm at work I think about it you know what I mean and uh he left like I said he really left a great mark on me and uh I'm really I'm a better person for knowing your father

Christina: I really believe that we we I appreciate you saying that and I feel like our jobs is to carry forward his legacy right you're doing it still on the turnpike every day that was his home he was so proud when he got that Turnpike job and I I have his helmet I should have brought it over here today I I I just didn't even think about it but I have his helmet remember the one he used to wear with the devil that was on I have it here so when he passed away you know everybody started reaching out you know because I I I you know I released that he passed away when he passed away so that everybody knew that he passed away and I remember Valentin reached out to me and said let's have breakfast I know this is a tough time but let's have breakfast and I have something for you wow and he gave me the helmet and so that sits in my office and it's on a bookshelf that I can see with uh one of the pictures they took at the shop back in the day with him kneeling down you probably know this picture I have that and his helmet that sits in my office every day and then a wall of I have a wall of fame I have Babe Ruth over here when I bought him a Babe Ruth picture I have What a Wonderful World um inscribe that I bought him like a little art thing that I bought him one year for Father's Day because that was my ringtone when I called him and you know he was a cheap bastard so for him

John: Hello

Christina: they would die about all the diamonds in the bling get all my sparkly Diarcangelo pumpkin would be like you're spending so much money Karen what are you doing save your money for the rainy days

John: I bought him a Jersey Devil hat it was a red one with a black rim right

CHRISTNA: I remember

John: It goes, hey uh you know why I like your sandwich tonight just because you bought for me and I it was because you lost and that's what happened the Jersey Jersey Devils beat the Flyers but I I said listen hat for hat if I win you buy me Flyers out if I win if you win I'd buy you a Jersey Devils he goes this makes this hat so much perfect yeah yeah yeah he loved it he just oh God the stuff and your dad being a psychologist for half of these guys you're working you know your dad says if I could write a book I'd have a best seller here he goes these are all a bunch of cuckoo birds

CHRISTINA: Cuckoo birds and she looks don't be a chuch

John: oh my God some of the stories though oh my God just just a great like I said I got great memories Chris like I really do like he was that like it's crazy how much effect he had on so many people there over the years Yoda matiotas the Terry McGowan

Christina: yeah

John: Chuck first these the you know Jimmy spadouties like your dad was just you know he he was in he was the guy he was the guy he just had the own I don't I can't explain it

Christina: yeah he was he never gave up and he always wanted to help people and even you know even still at the steel company he received calls from some of the retirees I'm sure you remember this too because it would happen on the job sometimes where they had problems with their pension or something was messed up and he you know would still help them because that's what he did you know he wanted to make sure everybody was protected and and cared for especially the spouses you know of the people who passed away that he worked with you know he how many how many funerals did he go to to make sure that he was there to support the family you know and he just he was he was a Class Act and then you know you remember when I was living in California he would come and visit me he loved to visit you know come out and do sessions on the art of listening in the pharmaceutical industry trying to teach these people to listen because you know no offense to my Pharma colleagues I've sent it plenty of times they don't always listen I used to be one of those people that thought I [ __ ] knew it all pardon me Ry Russell um that's my epd but it's true I thought I knew everything until I saw what I saw with my father eye to eye with all these patients seeing the Mayhem and the chaos that these people go through and they don't have help you know they only know what they know and that only gets you so far you know so just seeing all these things you know over the years and then his last you know last bit of time on Earth which is you know we're coming up to when he finally passed um uh seven years ago today he had had a big varicy blow and was back in Phoenixville Hospital and I went with Christian and the pope was here do you remember remember when the Jubilee happens oh my God he loved the pope and so here he brings the Philly Inquirer with him as he's going under his arm you know how he went under his arm as he's going into the ER he's vomiting blood he has a tub of blood you know that he's going in with his the paper under his arm he's holding the tub and my mom drops him off and he wanted the paper because there was an 8x10 color picture of the Pope in the feeling inquire so he won it he knew I would come down to see him and make sure everything was okay later that day once they fixed you know they put the bands in there to stop the bleeding that was happening and I went down with Chris and I remember obviously he couldn't eat very much because he kept blowing out you know from the liver not working the heart the blood wasn't going back and forth properly and they would explode these veins and he saved Christian Jello and pudding now Krish was three and a half at the time so that's what they did they ate the jello and the pudding all the time even when my dad was well so here he brought that Philadelphia Inquirer because when I got in there and we're comfortable and stuff Christian's sitting on the bed with him talking to him he says Christina, Christina open up the the newspaper so I open up the newspaper I go yeah that what he goes get that that picture so I get the picture and it's the pope he says hand that to Christian so I hand it to Christian and he says now Christian this is yours I save this for you this should go in your room in a frame your mom will put it in a frame for you but I want you to take this home with you so here he is blowing up he remembers enough to grab the newspaper because he wanted to make sure that Christian got this picture because he knew this would be the last last thing that he would give Christian while he was still alive wow Krish has yeah and Christian has this for I framed it obediently because you know I listened to what he told me to do and I framed it and it sits on his wall um as you come into his bedroom it's right there there's my race car pictures up there there's a locker room for the Yankees Diarcangelo is in there Mike the pope picture is in there so he a Christian you know fell in love with the Pope and we're Baha'i now so and so you know he had a stuffed Pope he would carry his little Pope around with him we still have the stuff Pope he loved the pope because my pop wanted to make sure that he had that influence before he passed away.

John: That's unbelievable man like I said like he it just never shocks me with him and like the way we reconnect it you know me get me being sick and just yes things like things like that it's just an unbelievable he's here all the time. Christina like he like like I said like I really think I picked up a sister with you like talking to you and getting me through my stuff you picked up what your father left off with me and it's to me that's special Chris because like he was so special to me and the way he spoke about you and my relationship with so to have this relationship with you is really a great thing for me uh I really want you to experience my wife and daughter and my two boys I really would love to see your son and and really let him experience the farm I think your father would probably be laughing his butt off up there at us enjoying you and your son on a farm

Christina: yes yes yes

John: they're the things that would make me really feel good

Christina: yeah I would love it, you see like I I miss and like you know I my I love my brother. we all loved you know AJ but he had a lot of problems you know finding out on his deathbed that he was schizophrenic when he was dying of covid really wasn't a good look you know I knew he was bipolar but [ __ ] schizophrenic I remember calling you when it all went down before it hit because somebody leaked it remember on his side and it was a disaster and I had to call you out of respect because I didn't want you to find out about AJ dying on the internet for me releasing a public statement um but I missed that like I I don't I don't have a whole lot of family left you know what I mean saying so like when you came to me too it was so beneficial this is a beneficial relationship we have because I also need those things you know I need you know sometimes I have tough times and I know that if it's bad enough I can call you and say what the to listen to this does this seem right to you and you'll give me your honest opinion and sometimes a kicking in the ass when I need it and that's what you're there for too

John: like I said I think you really came into a great part of my life in that you know I was struggling there a little bit and it's weird that's how I met your dad I was struggling to try to find my way and it just weird stuff happens like that mirror image of you coming into my life how your father did Christy tell me thatain't weird seriously strange

Christina:I know it's so weird and then some of the conversations that we've had that you've told me about stuff that I didn't know where I was suspicious about certain things um familial wise in my family and then having having that ability to be able to confirm like Hey listen does this does this seem like does this make sense to you do you know anything about this

John: we our relationship you would think that we knew each other for 30 years like I never got cautious with you oh my god did I get off the phone did I did I say the wrong thing we've always had a open relay and it's awesome I I love our relationship I I really do

Christina: you know we've we've got to thank him for it because you know it's his his his reason why we're we're together and he wanted us to be together because he probably knew that we needed to help each other the families needed to come together again you know that's what he was probably trying to do and especially you know I can't wait to meet your kids and your wife because Chris is also nine and a half he'll be ten so he's a good age you know you play with the boys your daughter he's tough he's but he's also empathetic and kind to females so he he loves girls I mean come on he's he's a d archangelo you see his necklaces and [ __ ] like come on yeah what was just funny was um

John: you know I always look at this like you know my my wife goes like this to me the other day you know we went to a horse event and um the one lady's like yeah I don't know how my son's gonna adjust you know he doesn't like the dirt and all this stuff and he's really not an outdoorsy guy about 30 minutes he's there making mud pies with my kid in the corner

Christina; yeah just be a kid like stop get away from your phone and your Nintendo switch and whatever else you're doing and go out and play that's one thing I I know I've observed with your kids online you know and my son you've I've seen him up they love to be outside their children just like we were when we were raised we were raised to be outside you didn't come back inside until you were told to freaking come back inside you stayed outsidethere was no oh it's too hot oh I'm tired I just I want to sit on the couch I need some comfort no there is no goddamn Comfort get on your little bike and ride your bike go play some baseball basketball football whatever the hell you your hearts desire go swimming you've got everything

John: let me tell you something and that and that's my my wife is a big advocate for that she does not let our kids uh stay in the house you're going outside you're going on the trampoline you're going in the woods you're workingon the barn you know you're doing something on the farm where you're you know staying active she and and listening you know what's crazy interesting their boy their friends and their girlfriends they love coming to the farm because yeah being outside

Christina: yeah it's with one for it I love that stuff you know like just being outside just taking like we as you I know you saw we've been going to Cape May a lot we love to be we'rewater science we love to be near the water and we're just sitting on the beach hanging out him and I and it's the best time running around the beach throwing balls and stuff just being outside with you know the environment is so nice yeah

John; and I love it like I really uh I'll tell you though if you ever would have told me 20 years ago I'd be married to a cowgirl I said you're crazy your father probably laughing his butt off a country pumpkin you know what I mean but yeah she and it's weird and I got and listen to me you know it takes a lot to to get things going right in a family and that I'm lucky I got a great partner but you know a lot of [ __ ] there too

Christina: yeah yeah you know you know my pop was in there with all this stuff with with Pooler and you know what shook out in my marriage and you know some of the things if things would have been a little bit different if he'd still be here not that I'd still be married but I'm just wondering if some of the things would have been a little easier for me you know what I'm saying um he was alive you know and so you know that's been tough like trying to do that a lot of that stuff by myself but it's because he made me who I am today like if I didn't have his blood running through my veins and his spirit and his heart I don't I I would be I wouldn't be as successful as I am as strong as I am you know getting knocked down getting back up getting knocked down all the time and that's what we both share you know there's so many things that you and I shared because of him and we are so blessed to have that and and I'm thankful I'm so thankful that you know we reconnect it and you know we've been able to talk and and share some things that you know sometimes we needed a little support with and I really want to come to the farm during the fall with you guys because it's the best time to come like the bonfire and all that stuff like yeah and we could have some good food I like to eat see there you go and listen I could smoke some good food yeah ,yeah let's do it you know like Hey listen the you know Italiano's we like to eat

John:we got some good homemade red wine too

Christina: yes that's right I remember the guy that was selling it

John; oh yeah he this is your father right here hey Google can you give me another battle of mine I'm a little empty

Christina:a little empty yeah and I would come home from Cali at first thing he would do he would dance is uh and and so we're gonna have to wrap up because I know we're running a little bit over um as soon as things he would do is take me to the wine store I need to pick out some wine because remember I would always teach him how to drink cost us across prohibitive wines to taste it like a million bucks because I lived in California and I knew what I was doing and luckily had lots of friends and I just love one and then so we would do that and then I remember one time it was what the Jay-Z talking about the first one the New Yorksong and he was driving the Buick he was driving the big gold Buick right my mom's Buick from my my grandfather he's bopping a log and he's singing to the song and he looks at me he goes and I was like yeah yeah pop what he goes let me tell you something I would do her when I was young that's somebody it's like what I was like Dad come on’ oh my dear God like there's the filter where's the filter I'm not AJ I'm Chrissy like but I was I'm the you know I was the most like him so I understand you are you are girl and then you send me the song one time and I needed it I was having a bad time that was when stuff was falling out in March and you said aprilish and you sent that to me and I was like oh it's like you knew like I gotta send this to her and I was driving with Christian and I was I was so like consumed in my mind with what was happening um and and you sent that and I I hit it and I I've listened to it I was like thank you and that's when I wrote you right away I was like I needed this so much I just mean it that like get go keep going don't give up you know

John; Keep striving and keep pushing forward pick yourself up and move forward keep push it he wouldn't he wouldn't want it any other way no Tony that was that he would not want you to get down on yourself you'd want you to somehow pick yourself up and get out of it yeah I mean really that was his that was his way and he you know I really think that structured me for a good a good working relationship and a good actually a relationship at home yeah because guess what I Christine my kids ask me stuff I don't lie to them no ask me about they asked me about marijuana drinking they asked me about [ __ ] guys listen to me there's one thing I will never do is [ __ ] you and give you false information because how are you ever going to trust me I'm your father that's right trust me I'm gonna blow smoke up your butt because I feel uncomfortable having this conversation no if you're old enough to come to me and ask these questions guess what you're old enough to hear the correct answer and the honest answer says that's not you know the right thing or the wrong thing but we will get by yeah yeah they're gonna know that they when they ask me a question they're going to get the honest thing

Christina: yep there's no bullshitting he used to say don't snow the Snowman right don't [ __ ] the bullshitter that was one thing that he stood firm on and that's the same freaking way I'm raising Christian there's no lying there's none of that stuff it's truth that's all we have to live by Our Truth integrity that's it that's all we have at the end of the day all right my friend we better wrap up thank you so much

John; I love you girl

Christina :thank you so much for being on

John: um thank you for this and uh I'm honoredI really am and uh like I said I am truly blessed that I had already out the arcangelo in my life and you've been doing my life girl thank you

Christina: well thank you so much and I'm so so blessed to have you in my life our life you know thank you again for being on today taking time out of your busy schedule to shoot with me and being on uh remember as we always say we are the same I am Christina d'arcangelo thank you

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