Gene was a WWII veteran and local businessman. For thirty years (from about 1961 to his passing in 1991) he owned and operated Deno’s Jewelry at 18053 Torrence Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. Lisa grew up in Chicago, but she and her sister spent much time at Grandfather’s store, her first job, where customers might come in to find them playing pranks on each other. Customers also noticed they would affectionately jokingly call each other “Ding”, short for ding-a-ling. That was part of their fun. Lisa learned many valuable lessons from her grandfather, such as: Always make time to have fun; even mundane tasks can be made fun; and memories are a precious gift.
After Grandfather passed away, Lisa began taking notes, writing down in notebooks chronicling all the silly, fun times they had together. She continued this for several years, but not until 2008 did her ‘eureka moment’ hit, when she said, “I think I really have something here.” She then developed her notes into a manuscript. In 2009, she researched Tate Publishing on the internet and with the Better Business Bureau.
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Thanks Kevin for such a fine article!