Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Yesterday afternoon, after work, I clicked on Facebook and was met with news - another person from my childhood has passed away.

As  I scrolled through my wall, memories came back, memories of a boy who couldn't wait to get home, because it was Wednesday.

On the North End of Boston, everyone knew what Wednesday was.  I grew up in New York City, and I am not of Italian descent, but I loved that commercial.  I never dreamed I would marry someone raised in that tradition.

Anthony! Prince Spaghetti Day! 

 I grew up and so did Anthony Martignetti (yes, his name in real life was Anthony), the boy in the commercial. Yes, he (and his TV commercial Mom) lived in the North End of Boston, where the action took place  Anthony was 12 when he was chosen for the commercial, which was made in 1969.

Oh those days when we could run through crowds without fear of getting infection.  Nostalgia.

Then reality hits.

Anthony Martignetti passed away in his sleep last night at the age of 63.

A cause of death was not released, but (apparently) he had non-COVID related pneumonia recently.

The other day, one of my spouse's cousins sent me a picture of my late mother in law and her, together during an event in 2014.  The cousin spoke of my mother in law's lasagna.  When my spouse made that lasagna for me almost 50 years ago, I knew I wasn't going to let him go (especially as I hate to cook).

No, mil's lasagna didn't use Prince pasta and spouse's family's pasta day was Thursday, not Wednesday.  His Mom used Ronzoni, a brand you can still find in New York City to this day.  Italians are passionate about their pasta, its shape, its texture and other fine points I've never quite "gotten".  I just love the end results, especially when fresh tomatoes come from the garden and I can go outside and pick fresh basil.

Prince? That's more of a New England thing, although nowadays, it is made in St. Louis.

But, at one time, it was manufactured in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Here, in fact, is the story of Prince Spaghetti.

I really do need to pass along one of my spouse's Italian recipes nowadays.  One of my favorites (no recipe needed) is fresh tomatoes served with fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil with a sprinkling of oregano.

And then there is my annual tomato sandwich.

But I could sure use a good Prince Spaghetti day every now and then. 

How about you?

P.S a postscript - I didn't know Anthony Martignetti personally, but, in that commercial, you felt like he was a friend, someone you would have wanted to know.(I would have loved to have eaten at his TV Mom's table, too.)  Guess I need to choose my words better next time!   May Anthony Martignetti rest in peace.


  1. I use Ronzoni and also like Barilla. Been ages since I made my own pasta. When I got married I swore I would never eat pasta again having eaten so much of it when I was growing up in an Italian household. Now it is one of my favorite foods, but my preparations are not remotely similar to what my mother made. (Of course I have since found out I have NO Italian DNA, lol)

  2. I grew up in the Boston area and do remember that commercial, iconic Boston North End, which is still a great place to go wait in line for amazing Italian food (and oh, don't get me started on the Italian street festivals).

  3. Wow, did that bring back memories. Loved that commercial and looking back on it, I still do. Love the happy mother/child reunion at the end.

  4. I live in the past. It’s peaceful there...
    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. It’s a good thing we have our memories. And even better when they come on video!

  5. I grew up in the Midwest, and did not taste spaghetti until I was in my late teens, and pizza either. But, oh boy, I do love it now.

  6. That is a truly great commercial. Sorry about your friend.

  7. I've never heard of Prince Spaghetti, but I live on the west coast.
    Let his untimely death be a reminder to all of us that pneumonia still kills.
    I noticed the pharmacies have 'flu vaccines available, so when you're getting that ask about getting your pneumonia vaccine.

  8. I remember that commercial. It feels like a piece of my childhood is gone.

    Y mother bought Ronzoni, not Prince, but ...

    The night before I was born, she made spaghetti and meatballs, it was my father’s favorite l

    I was born on a Thursday.

  9. That commercial is before my time. Sad he's gone, though.


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