Ann Fisher’s Story
Hi, I’m Ann. I’m not here to sing for you today. Rather, I’m going to tell you my short story.I was born Antoinette Paula Colascione, on March 2, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, to Theresa Madonna Colascione (later Vingo) and Salvatore (“Sam”) Colascione. World War II was raging, people did not yet have tv’s and being a milkman was a popular job. I came into the picture smack dab in the middle of what was to become a family of five kids. My older sister was Providence (“Cookie”), and my older brother was Joseph (“Joey”). A few years later, my little brother Salvatore Jr. joined us, and last, but certainly not least, my baby sister Regina was born.
A few years after 1944, my parents moved from Brooklyn to the “Country”. That’s what people in the City called Long Island. It was still relatively rural, with lots of farms, but it was considered fancy because, as opposed to the City, the houses were not attached, and we had our own driveways and yards. First, we lived in Carle Place, then we settled for the duration in Hicksville. We were a restaurant family, and my father did pretty well with his pizzerias. That being said, when we came of age, we were recruited to work for the family business. I was a waitress, with no salary, and worked for tips. I was also a bookworm, which most people don’t know. During my teens, I made a few of my closest friends, friends that stayed with me throughout my life, and you know who you are. How lucky I am. I graduated Hicksville High School in 1962. My parents did not promote college, so I never went. I did a little modeling and singing, but my father did not want me in show business. I resented him for that, but as it turns out, it was probably the right choice as it is a seedy world, especially for a woman. Tired of being told what to do, I told my father that I was getting my real estate license and not working in the restaurant any longer. He told me I would regret that decision because he would be taking his car back and no longer financing my needs. It took me less than a year before I drove home in my new car and showed him my independence. Although he lost some of his prowess that day, I could tell from his reaction that he was also proud of his daughter. For the remainder of the 1960's I worked in real estate in the Westbury-Hicksville area. Then I met and married Charlie Fisher. He had daughters from a previous marriage, and I welcomed them and took care of them as my own every weekend. My darling step-daughters are Lisa and Kristen. In 1970, Charlie and I moved to Plainview, and I wound up living in the Plainview house for the rest of my life. I loved that house. That same year, I gave birth to my very own child, a son, Charles Jr. (“CJ”). Three years later I had a daughter and named her Teriann. These children were gifts from God. I became a stay-at-home mom, which was not at all unique in the 1970's, I made dinner almost every night, I threw birthday parties and pool parties, and enjoyed my family to the fullest.
In the early 1980's, my marriage to Charlie got very rough and fell apart. When I realized that there was no saving the marriage, I decided to go to court reporting school so I would have a means to make a living on my own. I invested in a stenography machine and practiced for hundreds of hours in the house, listening to tapes and typing away. After a time, Charlie told the kids he was moving out. Except for cancer, this was darkest time in my life - a failed marriage, two kids to support and no established career. Many a time, I felt like I couldn’t tread the waters. I had always been a Catholic, but it was during this period when I really started to lean on God and strengthen my faith. Then, it happened, New York Telephone called me about my application and hired me. I said goodbye to the people I had met while being a part time court reporter and headed into a solid job that lasted until retirement. Somehow, I managed to put my kids through Catholic elementary school, then sent my son through Chaminade, Notre Dame and Fordham Law and my daughter through St. Anthony’s and Manhattan College. It was like the loaves and the fishes, the money was just there as I needed it. Yes, I fretted all the time about the bills, but God helps those who help themselves and I worked pretty darn hard during those years. I never did marry again. I was close once, but the gentleman’s job moved him out of state, and when he asked me to marry him and move with him, I had to decline. I had no intention of disrupting my children’s lives. I was distraught because the relationship had to end, but at the same time, the choice was not difficult for me. Children first. After my kids finished school, and I was headed for retirement, I began a whole new chapter in my life - singing and being a grandmother. My son CJ met and married my beautiful and dependable daughter-in-law Tara, and my daughter Teriann met a married my handsome, intelligent son-in-law James (“Jim”). In 2002, my first grandchild was born, a boy named Andrew. He made me a grandmother and I welcomed the new position. In 2004, my granddaughter Cassandra and my grandson Matthew came into the world. In 2006, my granddaughter Shannon was born. In 2008, my grandson Alexander joined our family, and in 2009, my granddaughter Victoria rounded out the generation. All three boys were born to CJ and Tara, and all three girls were born to Teriann and Jim. Through the years, I tried my best to attend every graduation, every sport and every music concert I could. And I tried my best to visit as often as possible and impart grandma’s wisdom and theories to their little minds. What more could a woman want? Well, not much unless she wanted a low-key singing career. Yes, after retirement from the telephone company, I began singing with my fellow musicians. First, in contests, then in restaurants, the Garden City Hotel, and in senior centers and churches. Because of my singing, I met some extraordinarily wonderful people, and we all became and stayed close friends. I was able to make people smile with my singing, and that was a great reward. I especially loved singing in the senior centers. It was a welcome break from t.v. and card games, for them to hear a little Patsy Cline and other oldies. What a good time we all had,
the smiles and laughter. And at the end of the day, I still looked forward to my little Plainview home, where I could sit by my fireplace with my dog, or sit on my backyard deck with a good book.
In 2019, I lost my mother Terry. It was a difficult event for me and reminded me that any of us could go at any time. So, in February of 2020, I took some of my inheritance from my mother and treated my children and grandchildren to a 10-day vacation in Hawaii. I certainly hope I made some unforgettable memories for them. It was later in 2020 that I faced a very formidable foe in the form of cancer. As most people would be, I too was very resistant to leaving my family and friends. Was 76 years enough? To a child or young adult, maybe so, but it sure doesn’t feel like enough when you get there. While I always had faith in God’s plan, even if he wanted me back after 76 years, I certainly did not understand why I was made to suffer through such a cruel and horrible illness. I should have helped other people more, I thought. Was I too selfish? Maybe I was too happy the last few years, and this evens it all out? Well, as I am finally home now, which was the whole point of my journey, I do understand. That having been said, just know this. If any of you, my family and friends, ever need something or just want to talk or vent, I invite you to call on me. I am here watching and waiting, patiently and kindly, and I am not alone.
Ann, Antoinette, Annie, Mrs. Fisher, Mom
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