Vincent Ciletti
1922 - 2004

Ed Sr. , Ed Jr. (with Justin), Vince, Carrie and Jane
October '03

 My Uncle
e-mail & IM

My Uncle Vincent
June 2004 
by Eddie Ciletti

This didn't start out as a memorial, just a few simple memories triggered by one small record, a tribute to the effect two men had on my life, my interests and career choices.  In fact, this page was first posted in December 1999 after I had the opportunity to test a piece of equipment designed to remove noise from audio recordings.  While updating it with the sad news of Vince's passing, on 7th June'04, I found an email he sent to me in March 2000 along with an Instant Message conversation from Easter'04.  Both are now included below.  I saw Vince in October'03 having travelled east for the Audio Engineering Convention, taking advantage of that time to see my family. 

My dad and my uncle Vince both worked for Philco, a Philadelphia-based consumer electronics manufacturer.  Vince built his own Public Address system while in high school, circa 1938-1942.  Rumor has it that his soldering iron was heated in the home furnace.  Of course a lot of this rubbed off on me.  I remember Vince playing Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" on his home-made Hi-Fi.  I have the Craftsmen tuner from that rig and it still works! 

I met a few of his friends several years ago.  I think they were surprised to hear that vacuum tubes were still being used in audio gear.  They had a few good stories about the challenges of building tube equipment, such as televisions, back in the fifties. 

My first record player was a 45rpm RCA "Victrola" that plugged into the back of our TV set.  Whenever my father changed tubes and capacitors, he often asked me to "get out of his light!"  We never owned a new TV because he always managed to find a set that was "fixable."  I rescued our first color set from the neighbor's trash.

I always found the grooves of phonograph records very alluring, especially those that were not mass produced.  I wanted a record cutter so badly that I nearly ruined the artifact you are about to hear, by playing it over and over again and by trying to cut new grooves in the blank spaces.  I found this piece of treasure in my grandmother’s basement. (My father would take me to see what old 78’s he or his brothers and sisters might have left behind.) It was there that I discovered a 5-inch disk, recorded at 78 RPM, stuffed in a cardboard "mailer" dated 1942.

Like most recordable disks, the surface is made from Acetate, which is easily cut with a special stylus and can withstand numerous playings. Unlike "professional" Acetates, the center of this sandwich is not aluminum but thick paper. Over the years, the paper absorbed moisture causing it to swell and crack the Acetate coating. I was lucky enough to record it before it became unplayable. What you are about to hear cleaned up pretty well considering the condition.

According to the disc, The Pepsi-Cola company brought a portable disc recorder to US training centers, where young soldiers were being prepared for the Second World War.  I got an email (below) from Vince in 2000 regarding a positive wartime experience after the Battle of the Bulge.

My uncle Vincent passed away at 5:30pm on Monday 7 June 2004 after 80 years of life.  He was not a chatty man, so I never got all the answers I wanted, but he was always curious and  inquisitive.  He will be missed.

28.8 Real Audio version

56k Real Audio version


Date: 03/06/2000 6:12:19 PM EST
From: Vjciletti84div
To: EddieAudio


I forgot to tell you that in January 1945 I received a furlough to Paris when my outfit returned from the Battle of the Bulge. I saw the Glen Miller Band led by the drummer Ray McKinley with Sgt Johnny Desmond as the vocalist.

Here's a question I never got answered. What is meant when an AM radio station states it is broadcasting in AM Stereo? What radio produces both channels of the stereo audio?

Uncle Vince

Here are a few sample Instant Messages I had with Vince...

October 2003
edaudio: hello vince! how's your PC running
Vjciletti84div:I had it tuned up by CompUSA. Also doubled the memory and installed a CD burner. PC is working great
edaudio: hey, that's great news!
edaudio: pictures fo our visit are at the following link
Vjciletti84div:Also. thanks for the jazz disk.
edaudio: did you like it?
Vjciletti84div:Very much.
edaudio: I was very lucky to work with such fine musicians
edaudio: I think the piano player reminds me a bit of Eddie heywood
Vjciletti84div:I'm glad there are still those people who make good music.
edaudio: me too!
edaudio: the piano player is actually very young 30~35
Vjciletti84div:Thanks again for everything. Bye

Thu Apr 01 15:17:39 2004
edaudio: hello Vince.  How are you?
Vjciletti84div: I'm okay considering my age.
edaudio: Good Answer!  Please say hello to Carrie for us.
Vjciletti84div: Same to you and yours. Have a happy Easter.
edaudio: you also!
Vjciletti84div: Bye. Getting ready for dinner.
edaudio: ciao
Session Close (Vjciletti84div): Thu Apr 01 15:30:23 2004

by Carolyn Ciletti

Dad was a proud father and grandfather, a faithful provider, staunch supporter, a willing teacher, a loving husband and soulmate to Mom. 

Dad was proud of all his children and their accomplishments as well as his own.  A butcher’s son who was the first to graduate college from his family and pursued his career as an electrical engineer and project manager.  His work ethic required long hours and many times reheated dinners.  He had high expectations for himself and continually challenged us to be the best we could be. 

He worked hard to provide his family financial stability.  He provided us a very comfortable lifestyle, the opportunity to go to college, and helped us buy our first car. 

Dad was our greatest supporter.  He respected us in all our decisions even those he thought might not be in our best interest. He was always available to help, from our broken down cars, electrical problems, leaky faucets, sickness, divorce, careers and anything else 5 kids could possibly get into.  Just ask and his toolbox would be at your doorstep, not just the wrenches and screwdrivers but the tools of all his life experiences.  As a child, you thought he could solve anything, as an adult you learned how much he was there for you. 

 Dad taught by example that family came first; a loving bond, always to be supported and respected; never to be taken for granted.  He taught us the importance of traditions and helped us understand how to do the right thing.  He was the perfect role model for integrity and honestly. He taught us simpler things to: how to ride a bike, fish for crabs, bat a ball, golf, watch baseball & football, dig for clams on the beach, fix cars, eat a dripping ice cream, twill our pasta, polish shoes, behave in a restaurant and pickup the check.  But more than anything he taught us to love and support each other. 

Dad was a strong, quiet, private and serious person outwardly.  He was loving and sensitive person underneath.   Dad was a man of few words and when he spoke you listened.  Maybe someone can tell me why a man who was not fond of conversation always answered the telephone.  Usually within 1 to 2 minutes you were talking to Mom.   Mom knew everything but Dad was always in the know.  As a kid I always wondered when they found the time to talk.   Dad never played favorites, we all got “No” equally; but in all fairness, we got “yes” a lot more. 

You can’t talk about Dad with mentioning Mom.  They were soulmates for over 60 years.  A very special love; a very special life together.  I have no idea how they did it especially with all the challenges we provided them, but perhaps their dueling sarcasm helped a lot.  Our house especially as we grew older was full of  “the needle”, as dad would call it.  Sarcastic and loving jabs at one another.  Mom and Dad were the professional needlers; of course Dad thought Mom was the best at it.  Many times I remember thinking…. Oh, there they go again.   Dad was the man of the house but everyone knew that Mom was the boss especially in her kitchen. 

Beyond his family, Dad loved pasta with Mom’s homemade gravy, pizziola, any kind of dessert, his vacations at the shore, Phillies and Eagles especially when they were winning, watching TV especially, news, sports, movies and the Sopranos.   He wasn’t very fond of vegetables especially squash, my Mom’s ritual of vacuuming the kitchen after dinner or new flower beds or trees in the yard since that meant more time cutting and trimming the grass.   He was very meticulous about the grass.

He was also extremely proud of his military service and continued to keep in touch with his friends in the 26th special service and 84th infantry division. He was heroic in wartime, a fighter until the end and my hero in life.

We will miss seeing him in the family room in the lounge chair watching TV, at the dinner table, waking up to the breakfast table he set at 11 o’clock the night before, the roses he sent, the quarters he collected, him saying “what have you got” when he answered the phone, golfing with him, and so much more.

Dad will live on forever in our memories and we will love him forever.