Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wonderful holiday. Glad it's over. Italy.

Yes my holiday was wonderful. We were reunited with a cousin who we haven't seen in about 12 years. When we were kids we spent Thanksgiving at our house and Christmas at theirs. Now my cousin has three sisters, One who is now living in England, three are living all right here in my very city but one turned out to be the outcast of the family. It's a long story. The other has, for reason unbeknownst to me, just doesn't participate in family gatherings, and the one who came to my sisters house. Long story short, we had a wonderful time. There were a million laughs. Stories about when we spent summers down Cape Cod at my aunt and uncles place. Gathering crabs at the beach and having my aunt boil them for us. We had a ball eating them. They were wonderful memories. This got me to run home, well drive home,  it's not far at all, and get some photo albums. One that goes back about 70 years. Pictures of my families trip back to Italy in 1956.
Here's my dad (on right) around 1939 back in Italy.
I don't have a picture of my mom around the same time. Here's a picture of my parents on one of my grandfathers farms, back in 1956 when we went there. I was four and a half.
Some of the pictures are fading as the one above, some weren't so bad. Here's a shot of me with a group of kids in front of my grandfathers (dads father) house. I'm on the left in the back row.
Though it was 49 years ago I still have memories of many things. One not very good memory was of me catching scarlet fever. Now I couldn't tell you how long it lasted but I do remember being in a darkened room with people sitting around the bed. As I look back on it now it looked like a death watch. I also remember getting a shot from the local doctor every day and pretending to be asleep so I wouldn't get the shot but of course after a period they would just "wake me". I apparently survived, and have other memories of riding on my grandfathers donkey cart when he came home from his farm. A few doors down the street there were a few stalls, one in which he kept the donkey and the cart. It doesn't look all that much different today except I'm sure those stalls have been  converted to garages. I checked it out on Google street view. It really is amazing. I found the house and saw the very spot where I sat with all those kids in the picture above 49 years ago.
That's me with my favorite aunt Lucy, picking either a lemon or an orange on one of the farms. Aunt Lucy and Uncle Sam, my mothers brother, came with us. We stayed almost 3 months.
A group shot. Left to right, back row, my cousin held by my grandfather (dad's), my mother, my aunt (dads brother's wife, who is taking the picture, aunt Lucy and uncle Sam (moms brother), my grand mother (dad's mother), dads sister and my dad. In the front, my cousin and me.
 On my other grandfather's farm, uncle Sam and I on a donkey with my other grandfather (my mother's father) holding the reins. Although I remember it being very hot in Sicily it was apparently chilly that day.
 My other grand parents (my mother's, duh!) on their farm.
My cousins and I, with possibly the Grim Reaper in the background.
My Uncle Paul, (dad's brother) and my cousin caught picking her nose.
 The only people I recognize in this picture are my grandfather holding me, my grandmother to his left seated and my mother to his right.
I know it's backwards but this is in New York getting ready to leave for Rome. There was a snowstorm in Boston so we had to take a train to New York to depart.

 Aunt Lucy getting off the flight from Rome to Sicily.

Ok I know I haven't been around for a bit. I actually have been quite busy. There was work. I worked more than I would have liked to but I think that will balance out now that the holidays are done and things will slow down a bit. I thought I had partially retired. Anyway, I have been going through all my "stuff" and throwing things out. This led me to the photo albums. One of them was falling apart and some of the photos were fading. I decided to try and save them. This has taken quite a bit of time. Between scanning and trying to liven them up a bit this took up my computer time. At this point I've worked on about 300 pictures and printed them out. I plan to make copies for my sisters and me. I've gone through two photo albums with one left. There are more photo albums that are not here but at my sisters house. This will take me some time as I still have to make two more copies of what I've done so far then buy new photo albums. Then there is all the money for photo paper and printer cartridges. Still I have taken this task on and I intend to finish.

Back to Italy. My father and my middle sister and I went back to Italy in 1966. I may post some of those in the future but for now I still have to print out two more sets of photos and move on to the next group of albums.

At this point I will take a break from all the scanning and printing and resume a more normal social life and think about our next trip to Martha's Vineyard. This will be our tenth trip since 2010 and neither Arlene or I have tired of that place. I don't know how long this will go on. It's a reasonably cheap vacation for us. Traveling to an island and yet being only 7 miles from the mainland. We are very fortunate.

So that's it for now. It's close to supper time.
I'm outta here.



  1. Precious memories Paul! You were a cute little kid.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I love this post Paul! I agree with Beth, you were such a cutie. Ok so yer still one ;-)
    I wish you a wonderful new year!

  3. Since you have posted these before except for the first one, I am quite familiar with your family! Thanks for the refresher. I now know how handsome your dad was in 1939. Love that photo! Be still my heart...You have taken on quite a wonderful project.

  4. Boston Boy, Is uncle Paul the one you were named after?? I love the way people took pride in their clothes back in the fifties and sixties. I remember my father, even though he was a carpenter and drank a lot, he always wore a suit and fedora hat , for important days. Hope you get a bit of time to relax now that the holidays are over. It was probably a blessing for the grocery to have you fill in during that hectic time. Take care and stay healthy. Is the picture of the cliffs at Martha's Vineyard??xoxo,Susie

  5. Lovely post and great memories . The fashions what a difference so very smart. What amazes me everyone wore a hat , really lovely.
    Great of you to share these today.