and my father lithe with spring

November 29, 2010 diario/journal, old photos

Saturnia 005

A while back I found Roberto Donna’s webpage and discovered that he had an entire section of old photographs of his family in Le Marche. Now, I’d been collecting family photos for years, but I had no idea how to digitize them. Talked to a local photographer who said he does that work. I gave Scott a bag-load of old pictures and he scanned them. I now have the first batch of these old family photos as JPGs and RAW images.

The image on the left is actually a photograph-of-a-photograph. The original was taken in May, 1957 on the boat – Saturnia – that my family came to Canada on. Front row, left to right – Salvatore, my cousin on my mom side, me at 8 years old, my mom, my sister Connie, two years old, and my dad. The tall man holding the small flag is Carmine Belsito a friend of the family. The gentleman on his right is someone else from the Cosenza area. We were all heading to Halifax. Everyone, except for my mom, seems happy about the future. She admits to not liking Canada and wanting to return to her life in Calabria. (It’s one of my favorite photographs.)

ciccio, jo’ e mario

January 11, 2011 diario/journal, old photos

I’ve been trying to figure out the focus of the next old-photographs text-page. And today I may have gotten an inadvertent push.

Zinga 125

The picture on the right is one of my favorites. It’s Christmas 1964. And it’s my dad, my sister Jo’ and a young me. I put the image on the desktop of my new laptop. And our tech-manager saw it and said it looked like people from the Sharks and the Jets. The idea that the three of us look Spanish and New Yorkish never occurred to me. Maybe I should do a text-page on the parents and correct any misimpressions of who these two immigrants are. (I have some great pics of them.)

The picture was taken in the original house before the renovation and the expansion. The living room was long and narrow and the Christmas tree had to be put in the corner.

The tree was cut in some field. It never occurred to my dad to buy one, not when there was an axe in the basement and open woods all around us. The decorations were new and shiny. I bought them at the Woolworth’s and Kresge’s. The lead tinsel disguised the gaps in the branches. (I never used the fiber-glass angel hair. That came when Connie took over decorating.) The star and the ornaments have survived. They now hang on a perfectly symmetrical and gap-less plastic tree.

For me, the image is about a young Ciccio holding his new daughter and a young man on the cusp of adulthood. Ciccio was 38. Jo’ was the wonder-child of his thirties. The young man was looking forward to high-school – St. Mary’s College, Catholic Boys High School run by the Basilian Fathers.

I love the smiles. It was an innocent time.