Mother And Four Children Go To Canada (1927)
Typed Nov 9, 1995

During Dad's absence, we managed very well. He used to send money regularly, while trying to get us to Canada also. In 1927 the immigration opened its door for nine months and we made it. After this period, the immigration was closed again and it may have taken a couple of years more before opening again. So we made it in 1927. I can't say much about the preparations to come to Canada. The day we left the whole town as out to see us and a lot of people crying and wishing us good luck. We left in a small horse drawn carriage to go to Naples which was our embarkation point. Grandmother on my mother's side was crying because should no longer see her daughter, that is the way it actually turned out to be. Grandfather Pietro was still alive at the time.

In Naples she had to get all the documents approved and properly stamped by the Italian authorities. Mother's sister Michellina came with us to Naples to look after the children while she did the running around to get everything certified. We stayed in a hotel for a couple of days in a room on the fifth floor. Something entirely new to us.

In Naples she had problems in finding somebody to help her and she kept going from office to office without much success. She remembered that an uncle who was in the Carabinieri (police) was stationed at Naples. After mentioning his name to few carabinieri she was directed to his office. It turned out that he was not just a cabiniero but had somewhat gone up in the ranks and had become an officer. She walked up to the door of this building and asked to see so and so. There were guards at the door and after asking more than once where to find that person, the guard never spoke but just pointed with his finger to go inside. So she went in and asked for Maresciallo Vincenzo Luca Calce. She was led to his office and told to wait because he was not there. A little while later he showed up and in seeing her so far from home he said, "Maria, che fai cui" what are you doing here. She explained her predicament and he looked at her papers, certified and signed the ones he could and then sent one his men with her to other officers and all papers were finally in order. It shows that knowing somebody at the right place and time always counts. We finally got on the boat, the President Wilson, on October 15, 1927, destined for New York, expected to arrive on October 24, but there was a delay.

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