Recalling Christmas at Obici House

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It saddens me to read about all the turmoil over my Uncle Amedeo [Obici’s] home. When I think about all the generosity that he bestowed on people throughout his lifetime, more than we will ever know, I ask myself why his home can’t be restored in a manner befitting his intentions.

As Christmas, the time of giving, approaches it brings to my mind all the times that my family gathered for the holidays. This meant Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s home and Christmas Day at my Aunt Elizabeths’ home. These were Amedeo’s two sisters.

Uncle Amedeo often traveled from Suffolk to join the family gathering in Wilkes-Barre for Christmas. His spirited personality lighted candles in each of our hearts. Christmas was so much jollier when he was in residence. He especially loved the children and gave freely of himself of himself to every one.

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He also took time to visit old friends, friends that he knew and enjoyed over the years, friends that he never forgot.

Amedeo loved people, and he loved helping those in need. There are people in and around Suffolk who would not have the lives they have today without Amedeo’s aid. We all know that Suffolk would not be on the map, would not have a modern hospital, would not have the businesses today were it not for Amedeo.

So, why can’t the mayor and the City Council do what is right for the people of Suffolk?

What is correct? To preserve, restore and return life and laughter to the Obici House. It stands today looking sad and lonely, but it still stands. I always say, “There is a reason that it is still there.”

Why erase the Obici name from Suffolk? The city with tax credits and individual giving has done a fabulous reconstruction of what is now the Suffolk Cultural Center. The same can be done with Obici House.

When my uncle bought Bay Point Farm, he moved and remodeled the house, planted the gardens, and worked the dairy. He preserved the land. He had a great love and respect for the earth. He would never consider building on that land, it is there for all to enjoy.

People who want to build on that land are looking for the quick dollar. It no longer exists. Have they forgotten that Amedeo worked day and night long and hard to gain his resources? It was not a quick profit. He always thought about what was good for others.

It’s time for the mayor and the Council to ethically consider what is good for the citizens of Suffolk, not just what is good for a few.

Think of how The Obici House should be at Christmastime: lighted trees, laughter, the clinking of glasses, delicious food, fine wines, the spreading of good cheer. Then the house will no longer sit silent, sad, and lonely. It can once again become a grand house.