Influenced By The Captain

The communication between the Captain and Allegretti was so seamless because their interest was purely dedicated to serving the children and making them happy. Individuals like these gentle souls are the ones we should be modeling ourselves after in the parks and recreation business. Certainly puppeteers and camp leaders know and understand these methods, but on a grander scale all people in the business of public service should understand that they are under the constant scrutiny of children. 

The abilities and mild manner of Allegretti have stayed with me all these years. Only when I learned of his passing did I discover he had been the talent and spirit behind ALL of these characters that I grew up watching and learning from.  And look at the influence he had on me. Imagine the impact you as a park and rec professional may have on the hundreds of people you serve. From the swimming instructors to the tractor driver waving to the kids passing by in Mom’s car—think about, improve, and take seriously the message you convey. Cosmo Allegretti certainly did and lived to the ripe age of 86 knowing he had made a difference for millions of children. 

Ron Ciancutti is the Director of Procurement for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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