My Paternal Family Of The United States

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My paternal family is 100 percent Italian. They embody many stereotypes you hear about Italians. They are extremely loud, they talk with their hands, and I have not been to a single family event where there has not been pasta, fish, or some antipasto. Moving to America when you have all of these traditions at home may seem crazy, but that’s exactly what my family did. My father is the first in his family to be born in the United States. He was born in 1959. My Aunt Angie, Uncle Dom, nonna (Ninetta), nonno (Giuseppe), and their aunts, uncles, parents were all born in Italy. My nonna, uncle, and aunt came to America in either 1954 or 1955 on a boat. Aunt Angie recalls the name of it to be “Cristoforo Colombo.” She also recalls that while they were on the boat, her brother, age three at the time, had this toy horse that he threw overboard. At the time this was happening my nonna was in their cabin, seasick. My nonno had already moved to Chicago, and so had my great, great-grandparents. Nonno had come to find better work and to be with his parents. He went ahead to get everything set for his family and fill out all the papers for the rest of the family. They came in hopes of having a better life and an easier life, at that. Nonna actually thought it was harder because they had to work so much harder. Their first apartment was in Little Italy on Taylor street. Aunt Angie 's grandpa owned a shoe shop and they lived behind it when they first came. Sunt Angie calls this “the good old days.” From here they moved to an apartment on the corner of Loomis. This is where my dad was born. They moved here because they needed more room and because nonna was pregnant with my dad. Aunt Angie describes the apartments as old with nice big rooms, b... ... middle of paper ... ...ly to have their mother break a pile of pasta bowls on his head. My dad also talks about how Aunt Angie would try and sneak in the house after dates and nonna would throw things at her. These are all shared with a laugh, along with a personal experience or two, and my dad says my nonna was a tough lady. She would walk to the train for work everyday , regardless of weather, and she hardly ever missed a day. When she would go to the grocery store, she would take the bus home with several bags completely filled with groceries. Finally, Aunt Angie shares that her first English words were swear words because everyone in the first building, especially her mother, swore. My family came from Italy in the fifties and has lived here since. We have held onto our traditions almost totally. Our family is close and loud, and so obviously Italian- and we couldn’t be any prouder.

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