P.C.Pop with Pablo

Michael A. Carone – In Memorium

In Family, Italian, life, Malavenda, Men, Pablo Malavenda, Uncategorized on March 18, 2017 at 4:25 am

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August 17, 1955 – March 13, 2017


Good morning. My name is Pablo Malavenda, and I am one of Michael’s nephews. On behalf of my wife Kristin, my kids, Max & Zoe, and myself — I wish to offer my sincerest condolences to the family — especially Ann Terese, Marissa, Michael, my Mom, Lucille, and my Uncle Jimmy. I so wanted to be with you today — but am not able — so, I thought I’d share with you a few stories of one of my favorite people ever — my uncle Michael.

My memories of Michael go back to the 1960’s & 1970’s — growing up in a big Italian family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins — who gathered every Sunday at our grandparent’s home for a big pasta dinner. Michael was only one year older than my brother Peter — so, although he was our uncle — he grew up with us and was very much a part of our generation of cousins. We loved and respected ALL of our uncles and aunts — but Michael was ours — in a special way.

Each Sunday, my grandfather, John Carone, got up at the crack of dawn, started the tomato sauce and meatballs — and then walked to church. On his way home from church he stopped at Shorty’s and bought candy bars for all of the grand-kids. BUT — he didn’t give them to us — he gave them to Michael to distribute to us at his will. Michael took us to his room — and had us earn the candy by picking up his room, doing push-ups, making his bed — and if a quarter didn’t bounce on his bed, he made us make it again — until it did. Eventually he would give in and give us our candy bars. The truth is though — we loved it!

Michael and my brother Peter were the leaders of this gang of cousins — or should I say “boy-cousins.” (My sister, Marybeth, was the only girl cousin and although she was tough enough to keep up with us, she often chose to hang out with all of the aunts and get pampered.) A motley crew we were — it was Peter, John, Jon, Scott, Tommy, Todd…and me. This was Michael’s turf — so, he would lead us in games — mostly baseball, football & basketball — and on adventures in the neighborhood. After dinner, when the Mr. Softee truck came through the neighborhood — my grandfather bought twin-popsicles and each of the cousins got a half — but not Michael. He got what he wanted. And again — we loved it!

During the summer months Michael spent many of his weeks with our family in Meriden — and we loved having him. Once my brother Peter spent a week with him in Hartford — but that ended badly with Peter getting his foot caught in the spokes of a bicycle and needing to go to the hospital — and Michael felt awful.

That whole era ended when my grandparents decided to move back to Franklin Avenue — but before the move was complete, my grandfather died suddenly. This is when my grandmother, Phyllis, asked my mother, Lucille, to take over the Sunday meals — and she did. Not much changed except the location — all the cousins were there and Michael still led us through our Sunday activities. We were now all entering middle school and high school — so our relationships began to evolve — and as the cousins got more athletic, the games got more intense.

As the least athletic of the bunch — I was sure I would be cast aside — but Michael wouldn’t let that happen. He tried to teach me how to catch a baseball — to no avail — but eventually I became the permanent pitcher or permanent catcher — and always the score keeper. He made me feel special, he saw me, he included me. One of the highlights of my early life was when Michael agreed to be my Confirmation sponsor. He attended Confirmation Mass in an awesome pink suit. He looked so good the pastor approached him and told him he loved his suit. I selected St. Michael the Archangel as my saint — and Michael gave me a gold medal of my saint — which I have not taken off since and wear to this day. Much like St. Michael, my Uncle Michael was a warrior — he protected me, he defended me and he made me a better person.

When I was accepted to attend UConn — I had no way to get to campus. I eventually moved into my grandmother’s apartment on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Bond Street and took the bus each day to the UConn Hartford Campus. Michael was living there at the time too. When Michael and Ann got engaged — he moved into an apartment in Wethersfield and asked me to be his roommate until they were married. He didn’t need me — but he knew I would be more comfortable in his apartment with my own bedroom and not on a cot in the living room of my grandmother’s. I cherish that time I spent living the life of a genuine Italian on the “avenue.” I went with my uncles and cousins to the South End Italian Club, I was the scorekeeper for the South End Yankees and helped plan Michael and Ann’s wedding with the help of Rosemary, Ann’s sister. What an incredible experience for a kid from Meriden — and Michael was at the center of it all.

Soon after those glorious days, Michael and Marissa were born, and a new generation of cousins was emerging — Anthony arrived and Jamie was getting older. Our generation of cousins was also getting married and having kids and drifting apart. When my grandmother passed — Sunday dinners continued but the focus had shifted to the younger cousins. To me, Michael was still the bright light of the family. Before our eyes Michael became a man, a husband — and what a joy it was to see him become a father. Michael had so much love for each and every one of us — but the love he had for Michael and Marissa was boundless. Even though he now had a family of his own — Michael always reminded me that he loved me, he would protect me and most importantly he was proud of me.


I was so happy that Michael met my wife, Kristin, attended our wedding, met my two kids, and attended both of my two kids’ Christenings and their first birthday parties. Soon after that Michael had his accident — but my family and I had wonderful visits with him twice a year — each time we traveled to Connecticut from Indiana — for the past 15 years. Our most recent visit was in December — and we got a lot of hugs in.

I know for certain that Michael was carried to Heaven in the palm of God’s hands. He was greeted by St. Peter — who said “Welcome — come right in! I’ve been watching you since you showed up to that Confirmation Mass in a pink suit.” He immediately hooked up with his partner in crime, my brother Peter and they stormed in and loudly interrupted a serious game of setback with my grandmother, my grandfather, my father, Patty, Sonny, and Ronny. Heaven has a new angel who brings his laughter and his love and his light.


Dear Michael — I love you. I miss you. I thank you. And I’ll see you someday — on the other side.

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Bailey Hikes to Fight Hunger

In Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Uncategorized on September 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

To give online to Bailey’s Hunger Hike effort, click HERE.


12045609_984029394971942_151902064509167010_oHi, I’m Bailey. I’m a six-year old double dapple dachshund and a part of the Malavenda family. I know I’m just a little dog — but when I learned that millions of children go hungry, I decided to do something about it. I’m going to participate in Hunger Hike again this year and I hope you will support me. BTW — I will be “hiking” with Max, Zoe, Kristin & Pablo — so, a donation to me is also support for them as well.

Please SHARE my page with any of your friends, puppies, cats, and family who may be inspired to donate as well.

PLEASE dig deep and donate through me online. Donating is simple, fast, secure and tax-deductible. Any amount you can give will help!

12045305_984027898305425_5403212883575075102_oI’m excited to be a part of this annual effort again this year which raises funds for three fabulous not-for profits: Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank, and St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Mission. Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. I really appreciate it. Together we will be helping hungry children and families.You can learn more by going to the Hunger Hike website (www.hungerhike.org).

Thank you again for your support!


To give online to Bailey’s Hunger Hike effort, click HERE.

Father’s Day – Hey Groupon, I Ain’t That Guy!

In father's day, fatherhood, Malavenda, Men, Pablo Malavenda, parenting on June 19, 2016 at 6:20 am

fathersdayAs Father’s Day approaches — I once again have to accept the fact that I am not a “typical” dad. And my kids are used to explaining that our family is a bit “weird.”

Thanks to “Deal of the Day” websites and e-newsletters like Groupon & Living Social — we are further reminded of the stuff and activities that dads are supposed to like.

Groupon not only has Father’s Day deals that include cigars, meat (steaks), sports equipment, watches, recliners, grills, grilling tools, chain saws, lawn mowers, car detailing, beard grooming stuff, all kinds of things to help me carry my beer and keep it cold, and yes, ties — but they also have a post entitled, The Guide to Father’s Day Gifts. Groupon wants my kids to take me boxing, race go-carts, start a wood working project, jump out of a plane (tandem sky dive), taste a bunch of beers…and go to the shooting range (yes, guns), golf course, batting cage, rock climbing wall, go-cart track, etc. Not to mention that Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menard’s keep sending me emails promoting their gift cards as great Father’s Day gifts. Really?

Now, truth be told — I do enjoy some of these things, a few of these activities, and enjoy an occasional trip to the “hardware” store — BUT is this what they really think about fathers. Is this it? To be fair, Groupon has a deal for facials but they listed it under “wildcard” father’s day gifts.

These “Deals of the Day” sites have taken it to a new level.

My frustration stems from the fact that I was raised as a progressive, Mediterranean-American male – who does NOT fit any of the stereotypes of the typical man as defined by Groupon, the greeting card industry or by any marketing that is gender-based.


Greeting cards are the worst though. In general greeting cards reinforce all of the worst negative stereotypes about men, women, and several other historically oppressed peoples. Standing in the card store in front of the rack filled with greeting cards, I momentarily feel inadequate, left out, odd, and less than a man. I don’t golf, fish, drink beer, or demand dinner when I get home from a long day in the office. I DO cook and bake well; I work around the house; I respect my life partner (and still love her a lot); I love being a dad; I do laundry, iron, and put away clothes; I fill and empty the sink and dishwasher; I dress myself; and I put the toilet seat back down. Eventually I realize that I am very, very OK with NOT being the “guy.”


1963ish1 (2)My male role models in my family were studs – but they were respectful of their partners; they were romantic; could cook and did often; and dressed very well. They hugged and kissed their kids every day, said I love you to their wives, and went shopping, did laundry, and made dinner. Of course roles in relationships were different in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s – but I am a combination of their great traits and the expectations of modern times. Why then do the greeting card writers and marketing gurus still perpetuate these archaic, primitive, unenlightened behaviors featuring beer loving, Neanderthals, sloths, chauvinists who can’t cook and prefer hunting and fishing and golfing more than being with their family?

So what’s up? I doubt if the only Father who doesn’t fit their mold is me. I am sure there are other Fathers, perhaps the majority of Fathers, who can’t relate to the males depicted in these greeting cards. In such a competitive, commercial, and capitalistic industry – if it didn’t sell, they wouldn’t keep making them. So, who are these guys? – And who’s buying these cards or this stuff on Groupon? Are we just so lazy that we can do nothing more than surrender to the negative stereotypes of Dads? – No matter how offensive it is to both men and women.

Or it is that I – once again – am the only one who cares? (Probably not.)

So, now I must go and bake for the church brunch, hug my wife, do the laundry, drive my son to band practice, call my mom, text my wife that “she’s beautiful and I miss her,” sew my daughter’s shirt, tutor my kids in math, go grocery shopping, and get dinner ready for the family.

This is what this Father is doing – so, call us weird — but there are NO complaints here — because I’ve got the BEST job in the entire world!


Read more stories about growing up in my family and our traditions, check out these PC Pop posts: