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A devastating storm yields powerful stories. Meet the Puerto Rico-based Classroom of the Month.

Tony and pasta were our glue.

BY marymc on June 20, 2013
15 | 4 Favorites
We didn't see things even remotely similar, my son and I during his teenage years. I left for work before he got up. I arrived home after he'd left for work. He came home after I'd gone to sleep. We rarely spoke. But on Sopranos night (we watched on video, on his nights off) I'd make a batch of chicken penne alfredo and we'd hunker down to see what Tony and the boys were up to. Who got whacked. Who needed whacking. During that hour, we were best friends, not overworked mom and pissed off kid. We both looked forward to that hour because it brought us together in a way that neither of us had the words to accomplish. Years later, we took the NYC/NJ Sopranos bus tour. We got our pictures taken with Vito. We had a beer at the Bada Bing. That Christmas I gave him the box set of all the episodes. I had a poster framed and it hangs on the wall of his room in my house. James Gandolfini was a gifted actor. He brought life and compassion to a ruthless character. He made us root for someone who no one should have rooted for. And he brought together a mom and her boy over a bowl of chicken penne alfredo, two people who had lost touch with what and who was important. Thank you, James. You gave me my son back.

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