Robert L. Talbot, Sr., commuter-rail conductor, Wilmette, IL: got his second cousin, “Terry,”* a summer job punching tickets on the Metra Commuter Rail System of Northeast Illinois; let him wear “the good hat.”

Sandy Damson, assistant manager, Hill O’ Beans coffee house, Cambridge, WI: hired cousin, “Tina,” to help with the lunchtime rush; once saw her take a quarter out of the tip jar to complete payment on the washing of a load of laundry; didn’t say anything.

Paul Kowalczyk, used-computer-parts retailer, Leftover Bytes, Northampton, MA: put stepbrother, “Eric,” to work doing inventory at end of fiscal quarter; alleged to have said on one occasion, “Sure, you can take off five minutes early today. Just don’t tell anybody [italics mine].”

Gary Bancroft, homeless vagrant, Philadelphia, PA: gave his brother-in-law, “Billy Taylor,” a 64-oz. plastic commemorative NBA cup (1987 vintage) from Burger King, a receptacle widely considered to hold much more change than the 16-oz. paper cups favored by their fellow panhandlers.

Giuseppe Bellini, owner/operator, Bellini Family Pizza and Subs, Pawtucket, RI: concurrently staffed restaurant with brother, “Gino”; wife, “Angie”; son, “Giuseppe, Jr.,” aka “Joey”; three (3) daughters, “Maria,” “Concetta,” and “Teresa”; four (4) nephews, “Dominic,” “Tony,” “Paolo,” and “Tony”; and son-in-law, “Tommy” — all of whom are related to him.

Next Week: something else, unrelated to this.

*Certain names have quotation marks placed around them to make it look as if they’ve been changed.