Friday, August 22, 2014

A few things and my first trip to Italy in 1956

I feel compelled to write even though I really don't have anything to write about. I could mention that my car is in the shop due to an interior leak. It's coming from under the dash Water could be getting in from a number of places from the windshield, back window, the sunroof or blocked drainage channel.  For the most part this car has been a honey. Not one mechanical problem. It rides and handles great. It's got enough oomph to get out of it's own way, but recently it's been a bunch of niggling problems. But enough of that. A few days ago the New England Patriots Mascot made an appearance in my store. His name? Hold on it's pretty clever, Pat Patriot. Ok there was a bit of sarcasm there. Still the kids loved posing for pictures with him. He came by the deli counter and I got a picture of him with a customer. I took it with my phone and it's not a very good one. Then there's a picture at the front of the store, not much better than the first one, as he poses with some kids. They really loved him.
Let's see what else? I confirmed our reservations for you know where. We will be leaving on Sept. 28 and returning Oct. 4. I called the hotel just to make sure the reservations I made for this trip the last time we were down there in June were still on the books. They were then I called the Ferry company to make reservations for the car. The car really isn't necessary because of  the excellent public transportation but this late in the year when there aren't many tourists, things close down early and I'm not sure how late the bus service shuts down. I suppose that's something I should look up. DUH! Having the car means we can bring a few extras and store them in the trunk. We also will be bringing some extra coats and sweaters as I assume, especially the nights might get chilly. We never went down with the idea of laying on the beach all day. It's still about 5 weeks away.
Ok I went away for a bit, phone calls and then I was diverted and start doing so neatening up and while I was neatening up I came across some photo albums the most interesting ones were of a trip to Italy and Sicily back in 1956. I was 4 and a half. Not only did my family go, my mothers brother and sister and there respective spouse and my really little cousin Maria. Maria, what an unusual name for an Italian girl. But I digress. I do have a good amount of memories from the trip considering I was so young. It was at the end of the winter. We had a snowstorm in Boston so we couldn't fly out from here. We ended up taking a sleeper train to New York and flew out from there on a big beautiful TWA Constellation. I fell in love with the looks of that plane.

I remember somebody giving me a little gold wing shaped pin that I wore a lot.
Here we are in New York. That's My mom and dad in the middle and my favorite, aunt Lucy on the left. My moms brother Sam is taking the picture. My other Aunt and uncle joined us in Italy about a week later and left earlier than we did. We stayed almost 3 months and I did get very sick with Scarlet Fever. I can't remember how long it lasted but I was well again before we came back. Where my parents got the money to stay there as long as we did I'll never know. We stayed mostly at my fathers parents house. Both sets of grandparents lived in a small town in Sicily. Both were farmers and I do have memories of going to there farms and given donkey rides.
Here's my Aunt Lucy getting off the plane in either Rome or Sicily. I'm not sure.
Here's a shot from the web of the little town called Cannicattini-Bagni. Literally translated, I think means dog kitten baths. I haven't a clue how it came to be. The church was on the main drag and my dads parents house was on the block behind, roughly where the arrow points.
That's my uncle Sam (moms brother) and my mother's father holding the reigns on his farm. Apparently it was a bit chilly that day though all I can remember, from the two times we went was a very dry heat.
That's me on the left, wearing my pin, and my two Italian cousins. My fathers brothers kids.
That's me (right) and I'm not sure who the other kid is, with my aunt (dads sister) Mary looking on in front of the house my father grew up in.
Not a great shot but these are my parents, Mary and Angelo.

Supper at my paternal grandparents house. Those my grandparents in the back. The funny thing is they aren't much older than I am now but they look older. Both my grandmothers died the next year. My grandfathers made it until 1980. They were both 93.
Another shot of me with a bunch of kids in the neighborhood. The doors behind us is the room I slept in and where I was sick. I remember the room being dark and everybody sitting around like some kind of death vigil. It was scary.
My cousins and I on my grandfathers (dads) farm. I believe that's the Crypt Keeper on the left.
 My dad, his mother and sister. His other sister had moved to Australia.
Aunt Lucy and I on one of the farms. She was my favorite aunt. Boy did I love her. She died needlessly young in the 80's.
  A group shot on the farm. Left to right, my grandfather holding my cousin, my mother, unknown, my aunt Lucy and Uncle Sam, my grandmother and my dads sister and my dad. In the front, my other cousin and me behind the plant life.
 Aunt Lucy and my other grandfather apparently having a good time dancing. By the way both grandfathers were named Paul.
I'm not really sure where we are, but that's my father and I. There are pictures from Rome but they may be back at the family house.

So that's it for now. Arlene and I are soon leaving for supper at a restaurant, fittingly called Boccellis.
I should be back to read what I've missed after I watch a Patriots pre-season game tonight.

I'm outta here.


  1. Pat Patriot looks like that spaceman in Toy Story. To me he is scary lol!
    I love loved your family photos. I enjoyed this post and the crypt keeper
    well I won't ask. I am sure you are looking forward to your trip.

  2. I love looking at old photos. You were a cutie! How wonderful it is to have family photos to trigger good memories. Now you (sand Arlene) can relax a bit, knowing your reservations for vacation are secure.

  3. Boston Boy, What great photos. I loved them. You are a cutie pie. Bet you weren't spoiled :):) Probably got your cheeks pinched all the time. You were very fortunate to survive scarlet fever. That was scary for all your family, that is why they were hanging around. Don't you love that your father wore a suit . I remember when people went to town , they wore nice clothes. Hope you show more pictures again. Wishing you and Arlene a wonderful autumn trip to the vineyard. That will be fun. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  4. Hi Paul your old photo's are lovely you sure were a cute kid. Thank you for taking the time to up load and sharing with us.
    Bet the kids loved that !

  5. A wonderful post Paul! I love the old photos.