From A&P to Wall Street
Hey, tell the guys in Bensonhurst: Joe's horse came in first at Freehold the other day.
Yeah, the same Joseph Plumitallo who used to be the stock boy at the Stillwell Avenue A&P, where at 17 he caught the eye of Doreen Manno, 16, the meat wrapper. Got married and lived in a room in his parents' house on Lake Street. Talked his way into a bottom-rung job on Wall Street. Rode the F train to his future, as a Cantor Fitzgerald bond broker. Went from a polyester suit at the 1976 Lafayette High prom to wearing pinstripes, buying a few horses, and, at 45, treating clients to Super Bowls.
He was quite a talker. He would start that story of how Ms. Manno nodded off after one drink on a date at Dangerfield's, slept through dinner, dessert, "the whole show, asleep" and — here's where his smile would widen, eyes locked on Ms. Manno's, for the punch line — "in the ladies' room." And so many other stories.
Dressed impeccably, he would take his daughters, Genna, 11, and Lisa, 9, in new white outfits, to the hometown Father- Daughter Dance in Manalapan, N.J. He would drive his son, Joseph Jr., 5, over to the stable at Gaitway Farm on a Saturday to watch his favorite, El Diablo, get ready to race.
Are Diablo and the others still racing? You bet. It was Genna's wish, and Lisa's, and Joe Jr.'s. And you have to believe it would have been Joe's.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 11, 2001.
JOSEPH PLUMITALLO, 45, of Manalapan, N.J., loved the ponies. A bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald, Plumitallo could be found most Saturdays checking out the horses he owned at the Freehold Raceway with his young son. "He loved the excitement and the animals themselves," said his wife Doreen Plumitallo. "Always, even as a kid, he loved the races." Plumitallo was talking on the phone to a friend when hijacked airplanes hit the World Trade Center Sept. 11. Besides his son, Plumitallo had two daughters. "I'm going to miss everything about him," his wife said. "Especially, watching him play with the kids and that cute way he looked at me when telling a story."
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press