Celebrate 2022: Giving, receiving – Local community leaders, readers remember well

UAlbany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings, Siena baseball coach Tony Rossi and Schenectady schools Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr.
UAlbany men's basketball coach Dwayne Killings, Siena baseball coach Tony Rossi and Schenectady schools Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr.

CELEBRATE 2022:

Gifts given
“I once drew a portrait of my sibling and me for my abuelo (grandfather), and wrote on the portrait “siempre en nuestro corazón,” which means forever in our heart. He hung that portrait up in his home, and it still hangs to this day despite his passing in 2020.”
— Anibal Soler Jr.,
superintendent,
Schenectady City
School District

“After beating Syracuse at [Madison Square] Garden when I was an assistant coach at Temple, I asked my wife to marry me right before the Christmas holiday! Not sure I can top that.”
— Dwayne Killings,
head coach,
University at Albany
men’s basketball

“The best gift I’ve given was to a young, maybe 7- or 8-year-old boy at Bleecker Stadium in Albany during the late 1970s or early ’80s. We played some Siena games there, and prior to the game during our batting practices, a few of the local kids would come to the fence behind home plate and ask for baseballs. This one day there were about four of them and three were aggressive, but this one was very quiet, standing in the back and not saying a word. So I gave the three kids one of our practice balls, and I called the shy one to the front and gave him a brand-new game ball. And the expression on his face was priceless when he received it and ran away.”
— Tony Rossi,
Schenectady native
and Siena College
baseball coach

“The best gift I have ever given was a home for my rescue pup/best friend, Skrappie Reardon.”
— Thomas Reardon,
superintendent,
Schalmont Central
School District

“My sister and I had a portrait done of us to give to my parents when we both lived in Boston.”
— Carmen Maciariello, Siena College men’s
basketball coach
and Clifton Park native

More: Celebrate 2022 – Traditions, Food, Gifts, Memories

Gifts received
“I am a sucker for a good personalized ‘tchotchke,’ or junk, as my wife would call it. My favorite gifts are usually personalized and have some significance behind them more than any material value. My wife gifted me a bracelet that has the name of my four children engraved in it. It is one of my favorite gifts ever.”
— Anibal Soler Jr.,
superintendent,
Schenectady City
School District

“I don’t ever ask for anything for Christmas, but the best gift I ever received since we moved to upstate New York, my wife gave me an AllSaints winter coat. It is perfect for the upstate winters!”
— Dwayne Killings,
head coach,
University at Albany
men’s basketball

“The best gift I ever received was a Stan Musial three-fingered Rawlings baseball glove in 1954. My first ever baseball glove. The only strange thing is, I played shortstop, so a right-handed glove — and Stan Musial was a lefty thrower.”
— Tony Rossi,
Schenectady native
and Siena College
baseball coach

“When I moved back to New York after living in southern California for almost a decade, the first winter upstate was forecasted to be extremely brutal. My staff and volunteers at the time (54 individuals) all got together and gave me a little plug-in electric ‘wood-burning’ stove for my apartment. The card said, ‘We wanted to give you our warmth.’ It was so touching and I still have that little stove. It lives on my porch, and I’m reminded of the warm embrace of those wonderful folks whenever I turn on its flickering ‘firelight.’ ”
— Louise Kerr, executive director of Saratoga Arts

“The best gift I ever received was my first computer from my (since) deceased father. It wasn’t as much the computer, but that my father observed that I loved to write and wanted me to have a medium to do so. I still have the floppy disks to this day.”
— Thomas Reardon,
superintendent,
Schalmont Central
School District

“My wife. She said ‘yes’ when I proposed Christmas Eve in Hawaii. Of course at an MTE [multi-team event]. We were on the beach.”
— Carmen Maciariello, Siena College men’s
basketball coach
and Clifton Park native

“A simple, likely inexpensive gift given to me by a person I did not know well. A lovely little box covered in a print of pink roses. Inside, two bars of rose-scented soap. And, as if it could be more enchanting, it is a music box as well. I have kept this treasure for years and I’ve always remembered when I play its refrain … sometimes a stranger knows to give something that makes them long remembered.”
— Marsha Piccolo,
Altamont resident

More: Celebrate 2022 – Traditions, Food, Gifts, Memories

Categories: Celebrate 2022, Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Life and Arts, Life and Arts, Rotterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady

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