Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

L - R: Dad's youngest sister, his parents, youngest brother
As to clothing, it was a period of 4 seasons. Clothing for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

I remember that during the Summer season or the weather was warm, every Saturday my father and his friends would play card games. While my mother would be cutting Italian bread and Italian cold cuts all afternoon. My father at that time before the Depression was doing well and he shared.

We did not lack for thing within reason, plenty of food and company, clothes and entertainment.

At 4 years old, in 1923, I became eligible for kindergarten. But, it was not to my liking the school, Daniel Webster was just down to the end of the street and I would put up a fuss as I was taken by my mother and was left there. And I cried day after day. I was uncooperative until I was allowed to go home. Amy my mother would be upset. Both parents didn't know what to do about this. They tried. I enjoyed being with my mother and I liked to hear her sing as she did her housework or have neighbors next building open their windows and ask her to sing. She had a beautiful voice. And as young as I was I would just sit on the floor and hear her. An onlooker might conclude that I was entranced. All I know I felt nice hearing her. She would sing Italian love songs and songs of Summer and other seasons. Or she would be asked to sing a particular song by our neighbors. My kindergarten days were ended by the teacher who finally talked to my mother, that it would be best if I was withdrawn her opinion was that while I was eligible to attend, I was not ready for school. And she assured my mother that I needed a little more time to grow up. That next year I would be ok as I entered the first grade.

I continued to stay with my mother. At times I would play with a toy cart and run with it from one of the piazza [ed: porch] and slam it into the rear door to the yard which got to my mother as she would want me to stop. She put up with this antic.

As the days passed by in 1923 on certain occasions, she would have me to go meet my father at the street car stop of Boston elevator [ed: now Maverick Square Station on the MBTA Blue Line] Sh also would have me go to meet my father with an umbrella if it was raining and with instructions to wait in the doorway of the bakery.

When I saw my father step down he would spot me and I could see the happiness in him as he saw me. And we walked down to Frankfort St. to our home. I would be sent to meet my father on Spring, Summer and Fall and Winter if not too cold, snowing, etc. He would talk with me but he always kept his eyes straight ahead as we walked side by side.

At some point, I noticed that on a lot of times windows would go up and women would be going through the process of greeting each other. At the same time, as young as I was I noted they weren't looking at each other but at my father. He seemed aware of this. And it took me some time in the future to figure out why. He wasn't a bad looking guy. He was one inch short of 6 feet. He had a scar on his cheek where he got too close to the ironing board when his sister, Angelina was ironing and hit him with the iron. Anyway, he had the appearance of being a German officer who got the scar on purpose to show that he got it in a duel. Which was well known by the people who were European. Which caused the women to drool over men who were handsome.

14 comments:

  1. I think people always look so glamorous in these old photos. Maybe those clothes weren't fancy or made of the best fabric, they still look wonderful. Maybe because we can't really tell because of the photos. I still think its great you found these stories. What a super link to the past. Hugs-Erika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People really had a sense of occassion back then. When you went out, you got dressed up: going to church, the movies, the ballgame, visiting always in your best.

      Delete
  2. Four seems young for kindergarten. No wonder he wanted to be home.
    And what a totally different time when you could send a young one out to meet a parent. I'd say in that sense the term 'the good old days' did apply.
    You've got a talented, fascinating family, CJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should also add a story Ma told me about Dad and kindergarten. I haven't seen the story in Dad's journals. Maybe he forgot or blocked the memory. He might have hated kindergarten because he was left handed. In those days, it was verboten to write with the left hand. Left-handed children were often forced to switch hands. The teacher tied Dad's left hand to the chair to force him to use his right hand. He learned to write right handed, but did everything else: eat, play sports, paint with his left hand. If my hand had been tied to my chair, I'd cry too until I got sent home.

      Delete
    2. I was just reading everything and then I came across your comment to Sandra. I can't even believe to be forced to write with your right hand! A very different time!!

      Delete
  3. Different times, different customs. I think we've lost something along the way. A sense of style and dignity.....more's the pity....
    I really enjoy your father's reminiscences. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying them, too. Almost like having Dad with me again.

      Delete
  4. I love the styles from those days. I agree with you about the sense of occasion! You are so lucky to have the journals to look back on. There is a lesson there too...Stay away from ironingšŸ˜‰

    ReplyDelete
  5. CJ; what an awesome family photo !! everyone looks stylish :) 4 seems a bit young to start kindergarten; maybe not so much so now in 2017, as kids seem to catch on to computers etc way faster than most; I can see why your dad objected to going to school. and what a great memory of your dad greeting his dad each day !!

    da tabbies say heerz two a happee easturr anda grate week oh end ♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the photo. Don't know what the occasion was. I think the building behind them is a church, but it doesn't look like their parish church.

      And I'd object loudly if some teacher had tied my hand to the chair.

      Delete
    2. Headbutts to the Tabbies. =^..^=

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed this look back at your father's early memories of his first experience with school. My
    Aunt Betty (grandmother's sister), who was a medical doctor, unheard of in those days, was left handed, yet was forced to learn to write right handed.

    Although I am right handed, I do many things with my left hand. That might be why my grandmother taught me to print and learn my ABCs before I went to kindergarten.

    I always enjoy the throwback Thursdays because they are fun to look back on and see how things have and have not changed over time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today is certainly a different world than when Dad was growing up.

      Delete