This portion was dictated on July 26, 1992, on the occasion of Ferinando and Demetria's 40th wedding anniversary, Elsia's birthday and Anna's birthday. While listening to the first part of tape dictated in November 1990.
Other additions will be made when brought to my attention.
My middle name is Flora.
It was really scary the fire on the mountain because you did not know in which direction it would spread and we did not know in which direction to run. But, then the fire stopped. The other disaster was when it rained that it rained so much that big boulders came tumbling down and they rolled so fast that they would hit the olive trees and chop them right of the ground. The rocks rolled down, chopped of the trees and stopped just short of our house. It was like a miracle. The mountain was called Monte Camino, people would go to the top because there was a church and people would go up in pilgrimages.
The first baby was nine months old when he died. If he had lived he would have been handicapped all his life. Other children in the town that had lived and who also had the polio had a very hard time. And then, I came along.
Papa was in Montreal, when grandmother Domenica died. Dad wanted to bring the whole family including Domenica but she absolutely did not want to come. So Mother was left with the four children. Domenica died before we left for Canada.
Dad tried four or five times to come to Montreal. When he arrived at Naples there was always something missing and he was refused embarkation and also lost all the money he had spent. From year to year he was getting poorer and poorer. To make money he would sell his animals, but the animals were dying because of some illness. It was some animal epidemic that no one understood. They got to a point where they had nothing else to sell. After many trips where he was refused getting on the boat, the day finally arrived that he was allowed to go on board he had made up his mind that no one would take him of the boat.
One good memory that is still with me and will stay with me forever is a cherry tree we had near the house. Mother would let us sit on the ground at the foot of the tree and she would climb into the tree break off short branches laden with cherries and throw them down to us to eat the cherries and she would pick the best cherries put them in a basket to take home. In the spring when I see the big trees in front of our house blooming, it always reminds me of mother in the cherry tree and for me I actually see her.
Aunt Generosa (wife of Luciano Iadeluca) was the sister of grandfather Aurelio. She and her husband Luciano were successful in obtaining the papers that permitted papa to come to Montreal. The Member of Parliament who assisted in getting the papers was Mr. Azelus Denis MP for the Dorion district.
Our stay in Naples before embarkation was three days. (I found in the documents that we stayed in Albergo Casa Emigranti.) We had a room on the fifth floor, considered by us as being very high up. Mother's sister Zia Michelina came to take care of us while mother had all her papers certified. In the daytime we would go to a park, sit on a bench and spend the day there. We would buy bread and meats to feed ourselves because we didn't know about going to a restaurant to get a good meal. We were hicks from the farm and were not used to a big city. In the evening we would go back to our room on the fifth floor and look down on the passerbys, horse drawn carts and carriages and a few automobiles. They all looked very small from up there.
The name of mother's brother who never returned from the First World War was Francesco Delli Colli.
In looking for photos to include in this in this write-up I found the picture of me sitting on a donkey and Dad standing on the side. This reminded me of an event relating to the donkey. Dad had trained the donkey to bray (hee-haw, hee-haw) has he came out of the stable. I should have said previously that the stable was under the house for keeping of the animals we had such as, goats, pigs, chickens and the donkey. One night the donkey started braying and dad went down to see what was happening and found the stable door ajar, the donkey in the doorway and still braying but not advancing. It was quickly surmised that someone had forced the door open and tried to steal the donkey. If the robber or robbers had succeeded the donkey would have been taken to another town or sold elsewhere. So this little training helped. The system was to take the donkey to the door, stop him and have it bray and not move out until Dad tapped it on the head a few times. So the photo immortalizes the wise donkey who could not be stolen because he was well trained. Maybe some of our habits also help us in some ways but we don't realize it.
The quotation used in Our Ancestors "....of mice and men....", while used by Steinbeck as the title of one of his books, the full quotation is actually taken from a poem written in 1759 by Robert Burns, the Scottish poet.
(The above is from my daughter with the fine Italian brain and I will accept ten lashes from a wet lasagna for not checking my material properly.)
The correct spelling of my name is Elsie according to my birth certificate. The name Elsia, with an 'a' at the end, shown in many places is incorrect.
The first born child 'Nicola' died at age nine months and not eighteen months, as shown on page 3 of the main text.
(I am glad to see that Elsie read this Saga with great attention.)