Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mindy Costanzo

I was recently sent an article that appeared in the Steubenville Herald Star from my new friend Dave Monaco.  Costanzo served as Monaco's Godfather.  The article gives a great picture of the life of Emanuel Costanzo, another of the Pettorano immigrants who called our area home.  Enjoy the article.

Mindy Costanzo was best known to the area as the face of M&M Hardware for decades. To those who knew him best, he also was a loyal friend, generous and fun and active.  Born Emanuel Costanzo in Pettorano Sul Gizio, Italy, in 1914, he died at the age of 96 December 26, 2010.  Costanzo was a close friend of Dean Martin when they were in their youth, and he remained in contact with the entertainer through the years.  He was a man of class and was a gentleman, whose main criticism told to a reporter about one of the books written about Martin's life was the salty language the author chose to use.  He was the emblem of the American dream in a blue-collar town, literally rising through the ranks to become a small business owner of good standing.  Coming from Italy, he enlisted in the U.S. Army for World War II, serving in battles in North Africa, Sicily and for the liberation of Rome.  His father owned partial interest in M&M Hardware on Market Street, and after the war, Mindy joined him there. Along with Harold Robinson, he went on to open the Sunset Boulevard location where M&M still operates, now under the ownership of Scott Campbell and Tom Birney.  He was a giving and generous man, whose tales of generosity followed through every phase of his life. Costanzo didn't seek the spotlight or brag about what he did for others, simply choosing to offer assistance where he could. For example, it was known that he would give away his old car when he bought a new one, usually to a young person who needed a vehicle. He sent kids who needed help to college, never asking for acclaim or recognition.  His life is memorable to those who know him because of the kind and good gentleman he was. His life is memorable to the community because it embodied what had been common throughout the 20th century in cities like Steubenville: The small businessman who knows his customers and treats them with respect, exemplifies the meaning of hard work and the rewards of free enterprise, while always remembering to help others.  As a business community and as a community as a whole, it's good that Steubenville got to know Mindy Costanzo.

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