Friday, August 17, 2007


(We'll include a photo of Jim as soon as we receive it.)

After graduation in 1957, Jim Lentini (Gaspano James Lentini) enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College, where he studied Police Science for two years ("thinking I wanted to be a cop like Saerno.") In 1960, he followed two friends from Notre Dame High School, Frank Byrnes and Tom Patterson (both Class of 1958) by volunteering for the draft.

After boot camp, James was OJT in the Military Police at Fort Lee Virginia. At Fort Lee, he qualified for OCS (Officers Candidate School). But before completing the OCS application procedure, Lentini received orders for duty in South Korea. "I decided to delay OCS and visit the Far East at Government expense!"

Korea was a great adventure; Jim was an MP at Pan Mon Jon where the peace talks were held. While serving there he met his best friend Nick Sandoval. At the end of his tour of duty, he decided not to pursue a military career or OCS, and returned to civilian life in 1962.

Jim Lentini returned to LA Valley College to finish his education. With enough police work under his belt, he switched to a major in Business.
In 1964, he entered the insurance business with another NDHS graduate Tom Prendergast. He became a General Agent in 1970 and continued his pursuit of the American dream, expanding his insurance business and financial planning.
James married in 1964, had two sons Nick and Jeff, and was divorced in 1974.

"After my single years 1974 to 1979, I planned a fishing trip to Mazatlan with friends, and met my wife Susan and was married three months later. Both of our friends said it wouldn’t last, but it’s been 28 years this November."

Susan left her position as an executive secretary for a major corporation and joined the growing G. James Lentini Company. Jim's oldest son Nick joined the firm in 1989 and has gradually taken over more and more responsibilities in the agency.

Because of his responsibilities in his family's restaurant during Jim's years at Notre Dame High School, he was not able to participate in sports. But, as the years have passed he can now enjoy boating, water and snow skiing, golf, motorcycles, and his passion for antique cars.

"Now that I’m getting older and some joints aren’t working as well, I’m limiting my skiing, only riding my street Harley and cruising with my grandson's in my ’52 Olds. The Olds has a special story as I bought the same model from Bob Dominesse (’57) after we graduated in 1957 and drag raced it until I went into the Army in 1960. Unfortunately, I sold it when I returned from Korea , and hadn’t seen another until I found the one I have now.

When I found this one in 1983, I had to have it, as I remember 1957-1960, when I had the ’52 bought from Bob, the only problems I had in the world was having the Olds ready for the weekend for dates and drags. Now, I drive this one only for show (its dangerous going fast and they don’t stop very well), and think and reminisce about the “good ole days”. Of course, I try to play golf as often as possible."

Jim Lentini is kept busy in 2007, "My life is very busy now keeping up with my wife Susan, our two grandsons Dominic and Marco that Nick has given us, keeping up with business, being involved in Rotary, and playing as often as I can."

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