Another Graduation party. This time at the Esposito's home. The Espositos and The Fringes had been best of friends long before I was ever born. They had five children just like Mother & Father had five children. The only difference was that they had 3 boys and 2 girls. Mother and Mrs Esposito always shared everything. Even their pregnancies. They were both pregnant four times and always at the same time. It was only a matter of days after Mother gave birth to twins that Mrs Esposito did the same thing. With one small difference. Mrs Esposito had a boy and a girl. This actually worked out perfect. My twin Jerry was best friends with Maddon and I was best friends with Madonna. My brother who was eight years older was best friends with the oldest Esposito boy, my sister and the other Esposito girl were best friends and the last two born were best of friends.
Three times a year Mother & Mrs Esposito would plan what would become to be known as Fringe
Esposito Day. In the summer all 14 of us would pile up in the two station wagons and head off to Ocean City, MD for a day on the Boardwalk and the Rides. All 14 of us would go to The Delaware State Fair and there was always another day for a picnic and the movies. These were always good times and like best friends do Madonna and I shared everything just like our Mothers did. Including Christmas Gifts. During Thankgiving break we'd peddle our bikes downtown and then walk over to Ed's Auto Shop. Ed's was the only store in town that sold comic books. We both got to pick out five. Our five favorites. It was always a hard decision to make but somehow we managed to do it. Now came the fun part. I'd give Madonna my five and she would give me hers. Then we would both hand Ed or his wife Edie fifty cents. No tax in Delaware. Still isn't. This would be the last time either of us would see our comics again until Christmas afternoon.
After Father was murdered Mother seldom gave parties. That part of Mother had died with Father. Madonna had also just graduated from The UOD and once again we were sharing. This time a party. I had rented a Cottage at Rehoboth Beach for the summer. Patrick was still in Connecticut with his family. After a long phone chat with him I got in my new Vet and headed to the Espositos. I decided to take the dual highway and drive as fast as the Vet could go. I arrived early. In less than an hour twelve of us were together once again. The eldest Esposito son had to work that night. Several sets of Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, cousins, boyfriends, girlfriends, & just good ole friends arrived and this really turned out to be a fabulous party.
Around midnight I started gathering up my gifts ( mostly cards filled with cash ) said my goodbyes to those still partying hugged and kissed Madonna and jumped in the Vet. As I pulled out of the Esposito's driveway I wondered
if I should turn left and take the dual highway or turn right and take the back roads to the beach. I turned left.
I was traveling around 90mph when the red lights appeared in my rear view mirror. Around 60mph when I could hear the siren and zero after I pulled off to the side of the highway.
I knew I shoulda turned right. I had had way to much to drink, going way over the speed limit, and I was driving a brand new Red Stingray Convertible Vet. As the State Trooper approached my car he said "sorry I missed the party tonight Thom-just got off the phone with Madonna a while ago and she said she was sure you'd turn left-wanted me to make sure you made it home safe" It was Madonna's oldest brother Matthew. "you missed a hell of a good party Matt" was my reply. "I know I did" was his. "I'll follow you home just slow it down and make sure you call Madonna in the morning" The rest of the way back to the beach I couldn't help but wonder what would have
happened if I had of turned right. One thing I didn't have to wonder about was how happy I was that Madonna and I loved sharing everything. This time a brother.