Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

At 1905 Achille was sent to America to his sister, Angelina. He stayed with her until he was married. Achille was a tailor at the time where he learned that trade in Italy. He was a journeyman tailor.

Sometime in 1917 earlier or even later, Achille stepped in the rapid transit train in East Boston on the way to work. He had the habit of looking left and right to see if there was anyone that he knew on the train. No one he knew but he spotted a girl sitting in the car that caught his eye and said she is for me. Love at first sight. When he got to work across the street from the Old South Church on Washington St. He worked with people that also lived in East Boston. And he began to ask if anyone knew a girl he saw coming to Boston from East Boston and evidently coming in from Upper East Boston. And he described her. Just how long it took him to find out who she was and where she lived is unknown. But he did find a person who knew who this girl was. He probably took the same rapid transit at the same time that he first saw her. And had a friend with him to identify her. It was also a period where one did not approach any woman or girl he did not know or even flirt with her. As this could cause him a problem with the onlookers. Things like this were taboo.

Anyway, he finally found that person who knew where the girl lived and with whom she lived. She living with an uncle and his wife and family. And keeping with custom, Achille's friend visited the girl's uncle, explained that there was a handsome, tall young man who was of a good family in Italy and in East Boston on Cottage Street who was interested in the young lady that lived with her uncle's family. Arrangements were made to have Achille visit with his friend and introduce the young man to the uncle and wife who was asked what his intentions were and then was allowed to speak with the girl. While this was going on, either the uncle or his wife gave a sign to the girl, who evidently signaled back assenting and things began between the young man and young lady. Her name was Rafellucia or Fannie as she preferred.

On April 28, 1918, Achille and Rafellucia were married at Mt. Carmel Church in East Boston. and lived across the church at a 4 room apartment on the third floor at 60 Frankfort St. East Boston.

Evidently, my parents wasted no time on March 17, 1919, I was born at the Boston Lying-In Hospital.

[Ed: In this second notebook, Dad seems to have forgotten his parents took the ferry from East Boston to Boston and not the Rapid Transit (train) I heard the ferry story from both my parents. Money was tight. The ferry fare was 2 cents and the train fare was a nickel. To save money, they took the ferry to work. The version from the first notebook can be read here.

Another interesting point is the reference to my grandmother's name. On documents, I have found her name listed as Raffaela, and I was told she was called Fannie. In this version, Dad says his mother's name is Rafellucia. Her name on the gravestone is Raffaelina. I speculate that both of those names like her American name, Fannie, are nicknames. It's a mystery I may never find an answer to.]

10 comments:

  1. I love your dad's story and this one is so romantic. Interesting how society has changed in just a few generations. I also wanted to say I often think about the stair throwing grading technique you mentioned in your comment on my blog yesterday. It would certainly make life easier!!!! have a great day-enjoy this gorgeous weather we are suppose to have. Hugs-Erika

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    1. Either by train or ferry, the story makes a romantic tale.

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  2. How incredible. Some things will never be known, and some can only be assumed, but at least your father wrote things down, even if they were a bit hazy.

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    1. Thenotebooks are a treasure, and I'm happy he tried to write things down.

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  3. Just like a movie!!! How romantic!!

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  4. CJ...what a wonderful story about your grandparents ! I think it's awesome to what extent your grandpa went to, to meet your grandma...and I cracked up at your dad's comment about how "they wasted no time ;)!!

    your grandma's name may actually BE Rafellucia; my grandma's name was listed as Geraldine Eugenia on her birth cert and Eugenia Geraldine on her baptismal; each one had a different date of birth { by one day }

    MAJOR headache when she applied for a passport

    checking the genealogy dept; all her brothers and sisters are listed with the same last name but different spellings....

    so much for record keeping huh ! ☺☺☺♥♥♥

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    1. The different spellings because census takers didn't understand the thick accents, so just wrote the name as best they could. Sometimes you go on a real expedition looking through the official records.

      The only way of knowing Grandma's real first name, would be to get a hold of baptismal records in Italy. If they still exist.

      Record keeping, indeed.

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  5. I love the "Love At First Sight" story! So romantic! Very interesting about the name!

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    1. It's a sweet story. And the name will make an intriguing piece of the puzzle

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