It's said that "the eyes are the window to the soul." I believe it.
When I met Sara Mangione, her lovely, expressive eyes caught my attention. They were a clue to the good person within.
I needed comfort because we first met at my dentist's office, and it's easy to be nervous about a dental appointment.
Mangione is a first-generation American. Her parents are from San Cantaldo, Sicily, and for many years they would take the family back to Italy for the summer to spend time with relatives. Mangione moved to Charlotte from the Bronx, N.Y., when she was 6.
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"I went to St. Gabe's, then Charlotte Catholic and on to Sacred Heart in Belmont for my freshman year in college," Mangione said.
Mangione transferred to the American Business and Fashion Institute of Charlotte, where she earned her associate degree in fashion merchandising and retailing. While in school, she worked at Montaldo's, which was in SouthPark at the time.
She moved to Ivey's Department Store after graduation, working as an assistant manager and assistant buyer. Her parents opened a restaurant, Mangione's, on East Boulevard in 1977. Mangione worked at the restaurant as a hostess after her other job and on weekends.
"My father was, and still is, a tailor, but my mother loved to cook. The restaurant was a great success. They closed in 2003 after 26 years. My mom cooks at home now," she said.
A close family, Mangione has a younger brother, Roberto, in Virginia Beach. Her sister, Angela, died of a brain tumor when she was 14.
"I was two years older than my sister and took care of her a lot during her time of illness and treatments. It was a difficult time for all of us," said Mangione.
She has been the human resources manager at the dental office of Drs. Caldwell, Bills and Petrilli in the Arboretum for almost 10 years.
"I love it there," she said. "Everyone I work with is great."
For fun, Mangione likes spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys taking Zumba classes. "I will be going to Alabama in August to become certified as a Zumba instructor for seniors," Mangione said.
Hard work and music
Chris Myers is one of the nicest men you'll ever meet. Not a game player, what you see is what you get with Myers. From the Salisbury/China Grove area, Myers has been in Rock Hill, S.C., since 1991.
"My dad and I have a concrete curb and gutter business, Curb-Line Inc. in Fort Mill. Generally a good business to be in, it's been feast or famine these past couple of years," said Myers. "We work hard and know what we're doing, though, so it's not been too bad. We're loyal, too. Most of our crew has been with us for years."
Growing up in a musical family where almost everyone can play an instrument, Myers took up the guitar and the banjo. He especially enjoys playing bluegrass.
"I don't think I'm a good singer, but I've been told I sound like Elvis," Myers said.
He initially decided to play an instrument because he thought it would make him a hit with the girls, then found he liked playing.
Another fun pastime for Myers is bird hunting.
"I went with some friends to an Orvis Outfitter Hunting Ranch in Mexico for a few days, and it was the most fun ever. Great dove hunting," he said. Myers also likes fishing for crappie.
He has been a single dad to Allison, 18, for several years.
"I don't know everything about the way females think, but I do my best to try and understand my daughter," he said. "I have a good relationship with my dad, and I like my daughter having a good relationship with me."
Happy Father's Day, Chris Myers.