In Memory of J.B. Milano

Christmas Fruit Cake

Every Christmas Mrs. Milano baked a fruit cake and sent it to her relatives in Western Pennsylvania for Christmas. I can tell you that she baked one of the best tasting fruit cakes one could put in ones mouth. John got the bright idea that we could take this years fruit cake bound for west PA and cut out a chunk from the bottom side of the cake and his mother would never know the difference. Mrs. Milano had gone shopping and left John by himself. He called me on the phone and ask me to come over to his house while his mother was shopping. I rode over to his house and he hatched his plan. The cake has been placed in a cardboard box to be wrapped. We removed it and John took a butcher knife and made several cuts in the bottom and removed a chunk of the cake. I pointed out that the cake might cave in and John should fill the void with something. Crumbled news paper was stuffed in the hole and the cake was placed back in the box. The cut portion was split between John and I and we enjoyed every morsel. All was find until a post card arrived in early January from West Pennsylvania with a confusing message regarding the fruit cake. Seems no one had every seen a cake stuffed with newspaper as a filler. Mrs. Milano read the card to Mr. Milano and he busted out laughing. Those coal miners have been in the sauce again!, he remarked. Mrs. Milano decided to call her mother in Pittsburgh and find out exactly what she meant by the remark about the cake being stuffed with news paper. Her mother confirmed that a chunk of cake had been cut from the bottom and news paper had been stuffed in its place. After the phone call Mrs. Milano was furious that someone in this house had stolen a piece of cake and replaced it with news paper. Mr. Milano took offense and asked her if the newspaper was a Charlotte news paper or a Pittsburgh news paper? Another phone call was place to Pittsburgh to find out where news paper came from. Her mother said; they didn't look at the paper, they just threw it away. Twenty questions began, when the cake arrived was it opened? Back and fourth she and her mother went. The end result was it could have happened in Charlotte or Pittsburgh. Until this writing no one every knew.