An NHL star was among those moved last month by the heroism of 10-year-old Nino Johnson, of Maplewood, who saved his grandfather, Pino Lipari, from drowning. Lipari was in his backyard pool playing ball with his grandson, when the ball drifted into the deep end. Lipari is not a strong swimmer, but tried to retrieve the ball anyway.
A near tragedy in a backyard swimming pool managed to strengthen the bond between a man and his only grandson. Pino Lipari, 65, grew up near the beaches of Palermo, Sicily, but has never been much of a swimmer. On June 20, he was with his grandson, Nino Johnson, in the shallow end when he slipped into deeper water and tried to paddle to the side.