92-year-old veteran dances his way through Navy service

Veterans Voices

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With every step, turn and twirl, Angelo Ricco is living proof that age is just a number.

He joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 after getting into a fight and dropping out of high school.

He saw a lot of things serving his country decades ago, but the 92-year-old still possesses more energy than most teenagers.

In fact, you can often catch him on the dance floor.

“It keeps me active, my legs moving and so forth,” Ricco said.

His favorite dancing venue? Padow’s Ham & Deli in Richmond. Every Thursday night you can find Ricco dancing in the deli. With every step, turn and twirl, he’s proving that age is nothing but a number.

“That was my career in the Navy,” Ricco said. “I used to dance a lot when I was ashore.”

It wasn’t all fun and dance in the Navy, though.

“I was at Hiroshima four days delivering supplies to the four fellas that landed on Hiro,” Ricco said.

It was after his service in the Navy that the New Yorker moved to Richmond where he found friendship and community – particularly during weekly live music nights at Padow’s on Main Street in Downtown Richmond.

One of those close friends is Freddy C., of the band Freddy C. and Company. A veteran himself, Freddy C. plays at Padow’s twice a month.

“This is a veteran outfit in here. There’s a lot of veterans, but Angelo is kind of special,” Freddy C. said. “All girls love men who can dance. If you can dance, you always have a girlfriend.”

Ricco’s dancing isn’t limited to Padow’s. He also dances at the American Legion Post on Fridays and Saturdays, he’s started writing country music, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

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