Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Ma's father, without a hat. Dad's father, tall gentleman
in the back.
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 this time The Depression was in and things began to get tough.

My father's factory shut down and he had to hustle and seek work, but the people who kept him busy did not buy custom made clothes on a regular basis as they were hit hard as well.

There were no more Saturday afternoons of card playing. His friends were lucky and kept working in other trades. In any event, he was hurt. They played at my Uncle Mike's house. He was married to my mother's sister.

Once my mother told him to forget the so called friends. He told her that what bothered him was that he just wanted them to invite him once. He would not accept because he couldn't afford to ante up to play. At least he would know that they cared about him. He then got chummy with the Arianese [ed: area in Italy], your mother's  people. Who had a reputation of being thick-headed.

In Europe at the time, they held to class. Royal, rich, middle class, and poor. Your grandparents were on the lower side of the Italian boot. Farm country. And not as well educated.

Italy is occupied by 22-23 different peoples. They were brought together by Garibaldi whose idea was to bring them under on person, The King.

They were able to come together and work together under a king. Yet, each national group maintained their own culture. And they seemed to have done well in their efforts, economic, industrial and performing arts. With an attitude of what you can do, I can do better. And they succeeded.


  1. I can understand what your father was saying because my Grandmother was raised in a very British household where class was everything. Her parents had it (upper) and they knew it. They felt each child should only associate with children of equal station. My grandmother and her sister were rebels and didn't believe that way. I'm glad I never got to meet my Grandmother's parents. I would have probably popped off.

    During the depression, from what I have read, many who had been rich here in America, became paupers. Their stock market investments made them poor overnight. Sorry I'm rambling on, but this touched me how your father's father was treated by his "friends."

    1. Everybody became poor overnight because the banking system collapsed world-wide. There was no bail-out

      Dad said his father never got over the hurt of not being asked to the card games and it changed his personality

  2. I wonder if they didn't ask him because they wanted to spare him the embarrassment of having to decline because he couldn't afford to play any more....maybe...? :-/

  3. It's was a hard time from what my parents always said. My mom remembered her dad killing a pigeon out their apartment window (they lived in Worcester) because they couldn't afford anything else. I know my grandfather managed to keep his job at American steel but being an immigrant always made things more difficult. My dad was bilingual but he would never teach us Swedish because Americans only needed to speak English in his mind. I think it came from his parents struggling with English as a second language and the times. Being an immigrant never made you look as good then at least compared to the old English background American citizens of Massachusetts. I always enjoy reading these Thursday posts. Hugs erika

    1. My parents didn't teach us to speak Italian. They wanted us to blend in and be like the "Merigan"

  4. CJ; I think "class" holds true for every nationality; I remember my grandmother saying her grandparents//parents were referred to as "shanty irish" ... because they had nothing; according to the "lace curtain"

    .....they all worked and did what they could when it was necessary; from immigrating to find work, to dropping out of school to work, etc. etc etc

    and ....this many generations later; ya know what.....we are all doing pretty D good for ourselves !! ♥♥☺☺

    happy weekend; going offline fora few ~~~~

    1. I think every nationality had its challenges. Being different from those whose families were in this country longer. Sadly, doesn't seem much has changed.