Memories of Mr. Lanzi

Francis DiClemente

I heard the sad news that one of my favorite teachers, Anthony Lanzi, passed away. This is an essay I wrote about him a few years ago.

Mr. Lanzi’s sixth-grade class, DeWitt Clinton Elementary School, Rome, New York (1980-81). I’m third from the left in the first row.

Our sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Lanzi, was a towering figure with a swarthy complexion and dark, wavy hair teased high and coated with hairspray. Not a strand seemed out of place. Imagine, if you will, a taller, thinner, nattier version of Elvis Presley. That’s how I remember Mr. Lanzi.

I think he had previously studied or worked in the theater, and he wore a hint of makeup to class—light powder on his cheeks—as if he might be called upon in the middle of a school day to fill the role of an understudy and he wanted to be prepared to take the stage…

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2 thoughts on “Memories of Mr. Lanzi

  1. Hello, Francis, my friend. I hadn’t visited your pages in quite some time, and I’m so glad that today, I did. I loved your piece about Mr. Lanzi and, especially, your piece about Colin’s 7th birthday. A very belated happy birthday to him and happy birthing day to you and Pam. Yes, having a child–all with their special gifts–is a gift to be treasured for our lifetimes. It’s clear that you are doing that and doing it so well. Warmest wishes to you and to your family.

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