Remembering John Mangasarian, Jr. (1959-2009)

February 20, 2009

The Ciao Italia family lost one of its most loyal members last week when John Mangasarian passed away.

Every summer when we produced our programs at Rhode Island Public Television, John would work side by side with us, from the first day to the last. Whether it was helping build the kitchen, rig the lights, run the camera cables, sweep the floor, whatever we needed, John could do it, and often did. He even brought in great vegetables from his garden — what a green thumb he had!

For years John was also our “Up Cameraman” who stood on an uncomfortable tower for hours on end, aiming his camera at the close-ups of the food. If you ever thought, “I would love to eat what Mary Ann is cooking!” you can thank John for making those recipes look great.

Above and beyond these many talents and gifts, John also had an understanding heart. And because of that he instinctively understood both the happy and sad parts of life, the good and the bad, the sweet and the bitter. But after spending time with him, you always had the feeling that no matter what happened, the world would go on, you would prevail, and all would be well.

The world does go on, all is well, and we will prevail. But today this world is missing John Mangasarian. Even worse, this summer when we go into the studio, we will miss him even more; this man who had such a generous heart and who truly loved Ciao Italia.

Rest in peace, John.

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