Back In Italy (Circa 1910-1912)

So he got married and was not able to return to Canada. After marriage, Italy entered the war in 1915 and he served in the army. We have two medals that he was awarded. There was a third one which I never had a clear explanation of what happened to it. But I remember mother saying that some medals also included a pension at a certain age. The medals were therefore a guaranty of an eventual revenue, and had a certain immediate value and many had to sell the medals just to survive. This is probably what Roberto had to do to nourish his wife, two children(before 1922), and his mother. I am somewhat losing the chronology of events but we will straighten this out as the narrative progresses.

We will skip the marriage to Maria for now, until we can describe her family descendants.

As to actual personal remembrances, I can say that our house was the last one on the outskirts of the town and the one closest to the foot of the mountain, Monte Camino. Whenever there were heavy rain storms, big rocks and boulders would come rolling down the slopes and our house was the one mostly to be hit. I don't know whether or not the house was actually hit, but each storm was a serious threat. Another incident was a forest fire on the mountain. As the fire approached our house, Mother woke us up in the middle of the night, dressed us in our best clothes, so if we had to run we would at least save what we were wearing. (At that time, Roberto had returned to Canada.)

I haven't given the dates of birth of the four children born in Italy and will do so now. We may have to rearrange a few things later to have them in proper order. Anna was born on July 26, 1916; Litio was born on March 8, 1918; Aurelio was born on March 8, 1922; Demetria was born on May 30, 1924.

Aside from these children, Maria had one child before Anna. It was a boy which they named Nicola. He died at about eighteen months of what we now know as polio. In between Litio and Aurelio there was another boy, still-born, and therefore there is no name. That completes the family until they get to North America.

Life in Italy after the First World War was very hard. The land did not produce much after millennia of cultivation and only with animal manure for enrichment. The economy was in shambles because of the war expenses. The people managed with very little including the lack of food. Another thing I have read about, after the Treaty of Versailles, certain things that Italy wanted especially in the Northern part of Italy around the Trieste area were turned down by President Wilson of the United States. The older Italians are still bitter about this, but soon forgotten by the following generations. Wilson more or less dictated the Treaty of Versailles which satisfied nobody and eventually brought about the Second World War. Living conditions being so poor, rekindled in Roberto his desire to return to the land of plenty he had known previously in Canada.

We will cover the First World War and its effects on the Italians later when we can cover the married life of Roberto and Maria.

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