Joe Bianco: There’s something about it. It’s an odd place. It’s odd that you walk in, you get to meet a sword swallower, and a plastic surgeon, and a gynecologist, or a dog groomer.
Peter Bianco: (Laughter)
PB: My grandfather he was handsome, he always smelled like he just got a haircut. He was the kind of guy that would like, if he knew your name was in a song, he would sing the song.
JB: He had a very magnetic personality, people just loved him. He would just help out anybody. And, He was really tops in his game. Nobody else could do what he did. People relied on his quality of work and that’s what we built the business on. We don’t put it down until it’s absolutely perfect.
PB: Doin’ it for the first time you’re always scared. There’s uh, there’s a lot of sparks. Ya know, the metal gets red hot. Ya know, Being five or six years old, it’s it’s intimidating.
JB: The hardest part of the craft is the feel of it. It’s not through repetition, it’s through guidance, that you get the feel. Like ‘lift up that elbow, turn that hand. Hold that file differently. Pick up your shoulders. You’re gonna have to do this for thirty years, you can’t be slouching.’ My father had a friend that used to be a sharpener also, and he used to roll up a newspaper and whack me on the side of the head with it.
I was sixteen, I would say, I went to work for my father. In those days we wore brown uniforms like UPS.
And uh, I was sharpening a scimitar knife for a butcher, and the scimitar knife got stuck in the wheel, flew up in the air, landed in the floor. And I was so nervous, I was like Oh my god. Ya know, I coulda’ killed somebody.
And I took the knife outta the floor and I resharpened it, and he was like ‘man that kid really knows how to sharpen.’ That’s pretty much the one time that I was nervous about the trade.
PB: Was there a moment when you really fell in love with it?
JB: I think the first time when a customer came in and asked for me rather than my father, And uh, There’ll be a time where they’ll want you to do it rather than me, you know?
JB: It’s just the passing of the torch Pete, and you’re gettin there boy.
PB: Can you think of a time when you got fed up with working with family? Either Uncle Vinny, or me and John or..
JB: We got it really good. We get together and we’re happy together, and we’re not just family, we’re friends and we work and we eat lunch, uh, ya’ know, Poppy John had that saying – ‘Who’s better than us? Nobody.’
JB: Family businesses are few and far between nowadays.
JB: So I could really do think that we’re blessed.