Thursday, January 8, 2009

Aunts, Uncles and Immigrants

A picture of Mom's family. They traveled to WV from Providence, R.I. We think this was in 1953.

I lo
ve old photos. Seeing Aunt Julia here in California on the beach about 50yrs ago in her youth makes me smile. She had went to California to care for her ailing sister.
She was living in Providence, R.I. and made this long journey; I think she went by train. Mom made this trip from her home in Wv. We think the year was 1951.
Mom was one of seven. Of Italian heritage, I can see the likeness in myself and my siblings. Mom owned this picture and now they are in possession of my younger sister. I remember seeing these when I was a child. It's still nice to see them again.

Aunt Julia was a hairdresser in R.I. Eventually she owned her own shop. Aunt Ev would work there too.

Only two children from this family moved away, Mom and Aunt Ann. Aunt Ann was the one ill and living in California. She died at a young age. I now have two aunts remaining and both are in R.I; Aunt Evelyn, the youngest of the family and her older sister. Her 5 siblings are gone now.
I love hearing Aunt Ev's voice. Her New England accent is crisp and notable over the phone and it sounds just like Moms'.

My grandparents came here from the old country. Italy, Palermo and Tieno. Grandpa was a cobbler; a maker or repairer of shoes. He had many different businesses after he arrived here with his bride through Ellis Island. He raised 7 children after losing his wife, my grandmother. She was 38 years old. Evelyn was 5 yrs old and doesn't remember her mother. Aunt Julia was a mother, sister and friend to her.

Sometimes we email Aunt Ev to ask her questions about the family. I keep those emails in a folder titled "Letters from Aunt Ev" and some day I would like to organize them into a blog with the same title.

Mom's oldest brother, Uncle Joe became quite successful. A big, robust man he owned a tool and dye manufacturing business in R.I. He was very civic minded; a business man that traveled often and extensively throughout the world. He owned a restaurant, real estate company, construction company, a house in N. Providence, a home in Florida and a lake house on Sicuate. (sp)

Uncle Louie was everyone's favorite. He worked for his brother as a tool maker in his factory. We loved listening to his stories. No long details here; I'll save those for another time.

I have great respect for anyone coming to this country without benefit of knowing the language and still able to succeed in supporting themselves and a family. I listen to people bemoan their lives. These people were born here with the benefits of a free education and the ability for student loans for a higher education; they are proficient in the language. I wonder what would happen if they had to move to another country to start over not knowing the language and without any family support.

The immigrants who entered this country were some of the bravest people I've read about. I'm proud to be second generation to these brave relatives

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