Maria's Activities

Because she could write, she was very occupied in writing letters for friends who had relatives in Canada, the United States or South America. This kept her very busy because neighbors would come in and say "Please Maria, write me a letter to my son in America" or to my sister, or to my cousin, or to my husband who has not written to me for four months. This kept her very well informed of the activities and personal secrets of the town. This continued even in Canada. Also she was a good seamstress, presumably it was most common to people of those days because they had to be self sufficient in every way. Many of the requests would consist of taking and old dress and make it up into a dress of a different style usually for a special event that would take place. This practice also continued in Canada.

Backtracking a bit, before I forget, one of the relatives that went with them to Brazil settled in Sao Paolo and was involved in the lumber business. Mother corresponded with him from Montreal well into the 1950s. His family name was Iadeluca. If I find more I will include it, in the event that anyone of you ever visits Brazil you might look up his family.

We don't know how Maria and Roberto met especially because they were not in the same village. We do know that Maria had a previous friend or fiancÚ and he was one of the Corso family a brother of Antonio Corso who married aunt Agnesa Delli Colli who was the sister of Maria's father Pietro. For some reason this friendship broke up and Maria no longer had a man friend. She used to say at that time that if she married it had to be someone would take her to America. Somewhere at the right time Roberto showed up and they were eventually married at the city hall, as is done in Europe, and generally the following Saturday at the church. You did not start living with the other spouse until the religious ceremony had taken place. On being married she moved into the Verdone family where Roberto lived with his parents Aurelio and Domenica, plus the two sisters Genoveffa and Maria Michela. As I mentioned before Genoveffa married Raffaele Patrone and moved to his home. Maria Michela stayed somewhat longer but I cannot relate to the time element now. From what we can surmise there was friction between Maria Michela and the new Maria. Eventually Maria Michela married and also came to Canada, and first settled in Sault Ste Marie where her husband worked for Algoma Steel Corporation. Later, on being sick their family came to Montreal. We will meet them later. Aurelio died before 1925 when Roberto returned to Montreal.

From what we can surmise Maria was a very strong willed woman. She was well self educated and well read for her time and the place of origin. She was very helpful to her friends and relatives and every one in the town. One incident I remember being told, is that somebody in town was sick, he had a hernia, and the town doctor wanted to operate on this man. There were no hospitals then and the operation would be performed on the kitchen table. The doctor stated that he needed a person to assist him. There were no anesthetics unless they used large quantities of alcohol. Some one had to be found to help the doctor. The family of the this man said that there was only on person who had the fortitude to do it, not being squeamish at seeing blood, to see a belly cut open, and recommended that Maria help him. They went to see Maria and made the request. She hesitated in saying that she would not know what to do. The doctor assured her that he would tell her what was required as they proceeded and that a person's life was at stake. She relented and agreed to help as could. The operation took place, it was a success, the patient recovered, and was very thankful for the assistance given by everyone.

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