Evelyn Greco, RIP

I knew Evelyn Greco for the last of her 98 years. Would that it had been more.

I’m always fascinated by folks who have lived so much of the history we take for granted. I can only imagine Ybor City in the Roaring ’20s, the Depression and World War II. But she lived it. And upon request, didn’t mind reliving it.

The lives of the Evelyn Grecos are windows into a world – and society – long since past. When neighbors meant more than residential proximity. We need reminding.

Mrs. Greco wasn’t there at Creation; it just seemed that way. And she was still sharp at the end – still reading in Spanish, Italian and English, still reveling in grandchildren and great grandchildren.

And still keeping her kid – who’s a grandfather — in line. That would be former four-time Mayor Dick Greco. The relationship never ceased to amuse.

Till virtually the very end, Mrs. Greco would call her 70-something son to remind him “to be careful with your driving.” Which was typically the prelude to “Call me when you get home.” And for good measure: “You seem to be putting on some weight.”

When pressed about what made her proudest about her only child’s success, she couldn’t have been more old school.

“I don’t follow all that city business,” she admitted. “But what means most to me is that he was a nice, polite boy who worked hard – and never changed.”

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