It's difficult to even venture a guess as to the nature of the loved one receiving their final farewell at Carroll Garden's Raccuglia & Sons Funeral Home, seen in this picture, sent to me by a loyal and watchful reader. Betty Boop? The Milky Way candy bar logo? "Grandma Down." Were these among the deceased's favorite things?
Raccuglia, run by old time Carroll Gardener Vincent Raccuglia, is known for such outlandish flower arrangements, and for giving longtime locals the special treatment they're looking for in their time of grief. Vincent came into his business after a stay in Long Island College Hospital. He had been in a car accident at age 20, which left him in a coma for a year. After he recovered, he took a job at LICH as a kind of greeter, comforting neglected patients, feeding them meatballs and minestrone. This interest translated easily enough in a curiosity with death and the deceased. A funeral director was born.
Anyone who lives in Carroll Gardens knows that, when Raccuglia is doing a funeral, he owns his corner of Court and Sackett. Traffic-regulated signs are posted in the street, stretch limos are everywhere and men in dark suits keep things running smoothly. The building is rather handsome and austere, although it's been obscured by scaffolding for almost two years now. There's a great vertical neon sign on the building's corner reading "Funeral," with a clock at the bottom (though I've never seen it lit at night, and the clock doesn't always work). You can see it below in happier times. If I'm not mistaken, the funeral home was featured in the movie "Moonstruck."