Although my family moved from the neighborhood in 1955, the fire had a great impact on my life. Many of my cousins are survivors but the tragic death of my childhood friend Diane Santangelo had a powerful and lasting influence. We spent many happy hours together as young children...exploring under the porches on Hamlin Ave., buying penny candy at the corner store and swimming at Garfield Park. I remember her beautiful long braids, her smile, and sharing our creative early childhood imaginations. I wanted her family to know that she will always be remembered with love.
-- (Marilyn Recchia Maul, Friend)
Diane, my little friend, this is perhaps the hardest memory I've had to post. On that dreadful afternoon of Dec 1, just shortly before the fire, you and I were in the basement restroom, playing around, swinging and laughing on those pipes/bars, having a good time and hoping we would not get caught! You were so small and tiny, that I had to lift you up to reach those bars. I was afraid that you would fall and get hurt, so I waited until you were done before leaving.
My little Friend, I have kept this memory of you in my heart, but your family needs to know that you have not been forgotten by a friend. I can still see you laughing and swinging; it brings a smile to my face, and at the same time sadness to my heart. Rest in Peace my little Angel Friend. When I get to Heaven with you, we will laugh and swing again.
-- (Joyce Peneschi, Friend)