It All Comes Back to Norwood
By Amy Buskey
When it comes to enjoying nature, we have a lot of choices here in New England. We truly are blessed to have it all nearby: mountains, lakes, beaches, the choices really are unlimited. For some, a hike through the woods with a beloved dog is a regular part of the day. For others, hitting a bike path along a beautiful route may fit the bill. For Norwood resident Meg Luizzo, a Cape Cod beach day is her slice of heaven. For the better part of our short New England summers, she and husband Ed King hit the road and head to their beloved beach house, fondly named Double Over-Thyme. A regular summer day includes a short jaunt to nearby South Village Beach in Dennis to take in the sights and soak up the sun. Also, part of a typical summer day’s end includes Ed hitting the kitchen and preparing an amazing meal for family and friends. Anyone who knows Ed King can attest – the man can cook. One could say our New England summers are the most wonderful time of the year, giving many of us much needed rest and relaxation. For this Norwood couple, their beach routine has played out the same way many, many times.
But one recent summer day stands out for Meg, in a very touching and personal way. While soaking up the sun recently at her beloved South Village Beach, she overheard a couple nearby chatting about the well-known Market Basket grocery store. The couple, Scott Spiro and wife Michele of Weymouth, also make South Village Beach a part of their summer tradition. It was not long after Meg joined the conversation that the group realized Norwood was a common thread. As it turns out, Scott grew up in Norwood, but originally hailed from Walpole. The circumstances that led the family to move from Walpole were born of extreme sadness. The Spiros were a family of six, four boys, when the family tragically lost son Jimmy to cancer as a toddler. “My Mom and Dad wanted to leave the house,” Scott recalled, “So we moved to Norwood.”
The unbearable pain drove the family just across the pond, Willett Pond to be exact. Scott entered Willett School, and like many other students, moved on to Junior High North. This beachside conversation continued like many often do; with the who knows who and all the small world connections. But one question from Spiro’s wife changed the trajectory of the conversation. When asked Meg’s maiden name, Scott recognized the name Luizzo immediately. Rewinding to the year 1973, Meg’s family had their own unthinkable tragedy – the loss of older brother Paul. Struck and killed by a car on route one in Norwood, Paul was just 13 years old at the time of his death. Following his death, Paul’s circle of friends worked with the town on a dedication. The Paul L. Luizzo Scholarship was established, along with naming the ball field at the John P. Oldham Elementary School in his memory. As it turns out, a ninth grader at Junior High North was awarded the Paul L. Luizzo Scholarship – and that 9th grader was Scott Spiro.
“I remember sitting in the auditorium when my name was called and I couldn’t believe it,” Scott recalled. “I was a very average student, but I played three sports and was on the yearbook staff.”
As explained by Meg.
“The award was for someone whose qualities were like Paul’s; smart, popular, well liked, and well respected by both students and teachers.”
Back to the beach, and realizing the immediate connection the two now had, Meg simply said to Scott, “Bring it in.” A warm embrace ensued, and right then and there on her favorite beach a new friendship was born. “It’s almost a cosmic thing,” Scott laughed. “She calls me her soul brother. Our lives are intertwined in so many ways.” Since meeting, Meg and Scott’s friendship has grown along with discovering the countless ways their lives are connected. “I was overjoyed finding out that Scott had won the scholarship,” Meg exclaimed. “I felt my brother gave me a nudge from heaven that day, to let me know he is watching over me.”
When asked to describe her brother, Meg readily recalled his personality.
“Paul was always on the move and always mischievous,” Meg recalled. “He was so well loved and had a very charming personality at such an early age. He was such a prankster, thanks to his grandfather. Beyond loyal, a daredevilalways betting they he could doanything he was challenged to.”
Meg also remembered Paul as being a very protective older brother.
“We got along great until it was time to watch tv,” Meg reminisced. “Paul wanted to watch The Three Stooges; I preferred watching The Brady Bunch.”
To keep the peace, Meg’s parents bought her a little pink tv.
And now, 50 years after his death, a new sense of peace now surrounds Meg. The Paul L. Luizzo Memorial Field sign has been given new life, half a century later. Beyond that, two individuals have found in each other a unique sibling bond that each lost so long ago. The bond may have been formed right on the beautiful sands of South Village Beach, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to Norwood.
Amy Buskey, formerly of Norwood is a wildlife rehabilitator (RI) and conservationist. She and her husband Rick reside in coastal Rhode Island with their beagle, Doug.