Dear Pat Cooper,


Christmas Eve-1969

     By the 1960’s she would go to the famous Fulton Fish Market located near the Brooklyn Bridge along the east river waterfront in lower Manhattan with my Aunt Carol and Aunt Maria at 5 o’clock in the morning. A couple of times she took me along for the ride and the experience. It was awesome! At the fish market my grandmother talked, joked, and bargained with the men insisting on getting the freshest fish for the best prices. After about an hour they loaded up the car with bushels of fish then drove back to my grandmother’s house in Park Slope Brooklyn where the real work of cleaning, preparing, and cooking the fish began.

     This film was shot in 1969 by my aunt Carol Caputo and her film class from NYU. Due to the cost of editing 16mm film she never completed it. Twenty years later she took another look at the footage and it brought back so many wonderful memories that she wanted to share it with everyone. I hope you enjoy this cherished video of our family and I hope it will bring back memories of your own holiday dinners.

     My mother and father got married on December 7, 1952 and they had a football wedding. This is the same Italian Wedding that my father speaks about on his first album called, ‘Our Hero’. This comedy skit made him famous and was written by both my mother and father in one week back in the 1950’s. My father then brought it to a writer to have it edited and tweaked. My father never gave my mother any credit for it.

 What is a Football Wedding?

     A local sandwich shop or delicatessen would make all kinds of sandwiches which were wrapped in waxed paper and then when all the guests were in attendance at the wedding someone would stand by the huge table of sandwiches and when someone wanted one they would shout out “Give me a Meatball Sandwich ” and the attendant would throw it across the room to him like a football and this would go on for hours until everyone had enough to eat and drink.

- Never before seen pictures of a young Pasquale Caputo (Pat Cooper) before he became famous.

- Never before seen classic photographs of my parent’s Football Wedding.

- Never before seen treasured pictures of my grandparents.

- Never before seen pictures of both sides of my family, the Caputo and the Nola families.

 Family Photos & Video

     The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates back centuries. Like many Italians, the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” consisted of a variety of shell fish and white fish served in delicious sauces and salads. My paternal Grandmother made it special for our family every year starting way back in 1952 and she continued this tradition all of her life. This was her Christmas gift to all of us and another memory she made for everybody with her love, generosity, and her delicious meals.

Christmas Eve at  Grandma’s House

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Grandma at the Fulton Fish Market-1969