My Zio Carmelo Scaffidi died last Thursday after a nearly two-year-long battle with brain cancer, which kept him in the hospital for most of that time. Thankfully, he made it home to spend the holidays with his family — my two beautiful, caring cousins, Laura and Sarah, and my strong and determined Zia Jo-Anne.
Previous to his cancer, there were a few things I knew about my Zio. I knew he owned a music store, Mike’s Music, where he helped me pick up the alto sax when I joined band in junior high. I knew he played trumpet. I knew he had been in the RCMP band. I knew he had some sort of affiliation with the Ottawa Senators. I knew he had done some travelling to play music.
Only after he died, I’m extremely sad to say, did I realize how cool my Zio Carmelo really was.
Not only did he play in the RCMP band, he was the lead trumpeter.
Not only did he have some sort of affiliation with the Sens, he is the man behind the trumpet in the Sens theme song. He had played trumpet for the Sens for years and used to play at many of the games, even touring with the team.
Not only did he travel to play music, he travelled to play music with the likes of Tito Jackson and played at venues such as Wembley Arena in London, England.
Not only did he play the trumpet, he played the trumpet like a boss.
The Sens paid tribute to Zio at their game this past Saturday, a touching and surprising gesture that has solidified my faith in the Sens forever. And, because I will be able to hear my Zio every time I see the Senators play, I will always know how cool my Zio was.
Visitation will be held at the Tubman funeral chapel in Westboro tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. and the funeral Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral on Sparks St.