Farmer Benny

Farmer Benny


Well folks, we moved to the “sticks.” Who would ever believe that Benny would trade in the sounds of deafening car alarms, gunshots, streets filled with drugs and crime for the sweet sounds of song birds, polite people, corn fields, easy flowing traffic and plush green mountains. Yes folks, we moved to the woods in early July.
The move was great but not uneventful . As usual, there is always a good Benny story to be told.
I hired a local moving company based on my own trust for people and the best price. Benny of course, does not trust anyone and is very much a pro at recognizing trouble before it hits. I hate to say this but he is RIGHT most of the time. Yes, I said it, He’s RIGHT.
A crew of 4 men arrived early on Monday in a Ryder truck that obviously was not large enough to accommodate our belongings. That set Benny off in a tirade, I on the other hand believed they would find a way to make everything fit. Benny grabbed a folding chair and carefully supervised each guys every move. The men were very respectful of our things and were getting the job done in record time. The foreman was a quite man, dressed very shabby, his pants were short, worn and frayed at the bottom with no belt to hold them up. I felt sad for him. The other 3 men were young, strong and fast moving Guatamalians. They spoke mostly Spanish and Benny understood everything they said. They moved on to the garage while Benny joined them sitting on his folding chair in his supervisory role. Almost everything fit. I was willing to leave the rest and return with my car for remaining goods but Benny made a stink. The poor guys were only doing their job to the best of their ability. Benny then told them to follow them up to Hackettstown. Following Benny under normal circumstances can be a nightmare, since he drives like a cop with a purpose and he changes lanes without notice. They were almost at our new home when the truck’s brakes failed at the bottom of the hill in Hackettstown and BOOM they smashed into the back of Benny’s car. Oh my, was this the supervisor’s punishment? The car was almost totaled, he was okay but needed to call the police and fill out a police report. He then told the driver and the 3 workers of his intent and asked them one question, “ are any of you wanted by the law or illegal in this country?” The driver told him he just got out of prison from a drug charge which explained the worn pants and no belt. Then the 3 Guatamalians ran away as fast as they could. Now what !! Our movers are gone, no muscle to move us in. The driver made it to our new home with Benny’s banged up car but no one else. So us old folks started carrying boxes until my son Dave showed up with his friend and within an hour the Guatemalians found their way here on foot. It was a wild and crazy day but we settled in and each day gets better and better.
Benny is making himself known in this neck of the woods. His rough and tough personality, his foul mouth but good heart and generosity is getting a lot of attention. Oh course, he has found many new places to eat and make himself an icon. His first stop every day is the Hackettstown Health Food Store on Main Street where he has a fresh squeezed carrot juice or fruit smoothie, he sometimes helps himself to the vegan buffet if he’s not in the mood for a big Italian Hot Dog. Uzma and Lenore knew right off that Benny likes to be waited on and have a little attention so they serve him just like his Mom did. His other new place is Enzo’s in Budd Lake where he does have that Juicy Italian Hot Dog. It’s a place that feels like home with robust women in full aprons cooking in the back, filling the place with aromas from his childhood. Oh yes and the women at Candy’s Café on Route 57 are waiting on him hand and foot and filling his belly with warm homemade soups and delicious rice pudding. They see him pulling into the parking lot and they scurry to the kitchen to get him something hot, hot food that is. No wonder he’s not hungry when he gets home.
He does come home to eat often but only after a stop at Donaldson’s Farm known for the best corn in New Jersey.He’s addicted to thieir fresh corn and , gigantic Jersey tomatoes, fresh grown garlic and the best peach pie in the world.
He also found a new gym in Ledgewood, he has no choice but to go often or he’d weight 400 lbs.
He also has every opportunity to spend time with our grandson Julius. The only one who can boss him around and tell him NO. He’s playing ball outside, going down slides in the playgrounds and just enjoying being a Papa. He sat in the parking lot of Julius’s Preschool and cried when he saw him on the first day of school. He’s such a Mush. Hackettstown will never be the same since Benny has arrived. I’m sure there will be many stories to tell but next time I will go back to the days in Newark when Benny Abruzzo, Al Spearman and Eddie Jones better known as the ZTEAM conquer crime in Newark with their bold and unconventional heroism.


  1. I can’t believe it…the country! Benny—!!!!
    How sweet .. tears for the grandson… I have always known he has a marshmallow center. I recall how he would refer to himself as really being a woman inside. ..(this as we are walking the streets of NYC and he is giving me and Kathy a hard time for holding hands while we are crossing the street. For all I know he and Alan were holding hands as they crossed behind us.
    Enjoy the fresh air.

  2. OMG! What a story. Visualizing your movers running away made me laugh so hard I can barely breath. Sad but true that others unfortunate events can be so funny. I’m glad your all okay and that Benny wasn’t hurt in the collision. So with this experience; it means that Benny will be making all the future hiring decisions ’cause he’s right 😉 !!!!
    I’ll certainly be sharing this story with friends & especially when they think they had a bad day.
    Hugs to you all.

  3. I just watched a documentary and in the end it said Benny passed away 6 weeks after filming., is this true? If so I am so sorry for your great loss.

    • Hi Lizzy,
      Yes, Benny passed away in March after a long illness.
      He was an amazing man, one like no other.. And greatly missed by all.
      I’m sorry, I’m not sure who you are but thank you for caring.

      • Watched the same documentary and the whole time I’m thinking “this dude is an effing bad ass,” and was very upset when I reached the end and saw he’d passed. I was raised in a LEO family and got out of the military a few years ago, and anyway…truly sorry for your family’s loss. Loved learning about him today.

      • Hi Tom,
        Thank you so much for your recognition of a great man, Benny Abruzzo. He truly was an unsung hero and unfortunately did not even get to see the Netflix show.
        He was a hero and a great man with integrity and honor until his last breath,
        He was my husband for 23 years and I miss him terribly.
        God Bless you and all you do for your country.
        Kathy Abruzzo

      • Hello Kathy,

        I was touched and felt sad when I saw that Mr. Benny Abruzzo passed away some weeks after shooting the Netflix Druglords series. I had not heard about any of the Z team members till today, but I still feel like saluting them. I am from a place thousands of miles away, so you can sense the impact people like your husband have had on the world.

        Warm Regards,

      • Thank you so much for your sincere comment. They were true heros and dedicated men.. I was proud of all of them and blessed having such a courageous husband.

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