By Al Kemp Managing editor
According to his driver’s license, Charlie Sacchetti is 75 years old.
In his mind, though, he’s a much younger man, dwelling forever in that magical age on the brink of adulthood, looking at the world through the youthful lens of limitless possibilities.
That inner child, he reckons, is “probably between 18 and 21 years old.”
“I like being a kid in my mind,” he said. “I am quite serious about some things but I am also a kid at heart who is a tad devilish, so I have a pretty funny side, too. When I write and I have the opportunity to inject humor in the story, that kid starts typing.”
The kid knows what he’s doing. Earlier this year he published his third collection of stories drawn from his own life, titled“ Savoring the Moments: True Stories of Happiness, Sadness and Everything in Between.”
Sacchetti’s memoirs are deeply rooted in the Italian-American experience of his Philadelphia boyhood, imbued with gentle humor and often a subtle spiritual message.
As in his previous books (“It’s All Good,” 2017; and “Knowing He’s There,” 2019), Sacchetti again travels with ease down a corridor to the past, vividly recalling events of a life both ordinary and extraordinary.
Whether describing his daughter’s first taste of spaghetti gravy (“The First One is Special”) or recalling the family’s beloved Yorkie (“Giving Your Heart”), Sacchetti is unabashedly sentimental.
The storyteller shows his self-effacing side in “Earning the Bag,” which recalls an attempt to boil eggs in the family’s microwave.
And the mirthful kid inside Sacchetti’s head gets free rein in “An Ounce of Pandemonium,” a story that details some unexpected mouse encounters, the first involving his wife LuAnn at a Burger King in Drexel Hill, Pa., and another involving an unfortunate rodent that fell from a tree branch and landed head-first in … well, you’ll have to read it for yourself.
Sacchetti said he never planned to become a writer, and that much of his work began as anecdotes he would share with his customers during his sales career in specialty chemicals.
“Being in sales for 40 years has given me the opportunity to tell my stories verbally to lots of guys. I have fun when I work and a good laugh works well for both seller and customer. No one, long ago, told me I should be a writer. They did, however, enjoy my storytelling,” he said. “My written stories are nothing more than expressing in writing stories I’ve told many times along with new things that pop up that warrant the creation of a story.”
Sacchetti’s method: He writes on a computer, and organizes his stories in folders. He usually starts with a title, and adds several bullet points on which he can expand. Stories are completed over several days or several weeks.
“If I recall something, I know immediately if there is a story there or not. Many times, friends or family will mention something that triggers a memory. I’ll also keep a list of potential topics,” he said. “I like to write as though the reader is sitting down with me over a cup of coffee, listening to me.”
Sacchetti lives in Cinnaminson, N.J., with his wife of 47 years, LuAnn. They have a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren. He is a longtime contributor to the Delaware Valley Italian-American Herald. “Savoring the Moments” is available through amazon.com and other booksellers.