Yesterday's Stories

Fishing With Great Grandma

I knew my Great Grandma. She was a sinewy woman with strong hands that could hold a face with a vice grip squeeze. Francesca D’Aguanno began in Castellammare, a village on the northwest coast of Sicily. Farms and small vineyards dotted the landscape and were managed within corrupt feudal systems. The unification of the Italian… Continue reading Fishing With Great Grandma

Yesterday's Stories

First Day at Greene Ave Elementary School

I began my school career at Deauville Gardens Elementary School in Copiague--a  small hamlet on the South Shore of Long Island. It was the 60s. The community was diverse. My classes were a mix of white, black, and Puerto Rican children. There were kids who did not speak English and some who lived with collateral… Continue reading First Day at Greene Ave Elementary School

Yesterday's Stories

Kids’ Play

I am steeped in early 20th-century research for my book. How children played, went to school, and held onto friendships are my focus. The best stories come from first-hand accounts. This story was told by Pat Yanoti, my sister's father-in-law, and a long-time family friend. Thank you, Pat, for the wonderful memories.      *******************************… Continue reading Kids’ Play

Ramblings & Writing, Yesterday's Stories

A Prom Story Part One

Proms have evolved over the years. Decorating the school gymnasium has been replaced by booking a brave restaurant venue. A one-man DJ substitutes for the local band and limos and coach buses line up to transport the youths instead of a mom’s minivan.  A few things have not changed, though. There is always the excitement… Continue reading A Prom Story Part One

Ramblings & Writing, Yesterday's Stories

What’s In A Name?

  I went to my cousin’s daughter’s baby shower last week. It is all so exciting being that the baby is the first grandchild and great-grandchild of this family line. It was a lovely event filled with happy expectations, well-wishing, and love. The afternoon was filled with “oohs” and “ahhs” and retold birthing and naming… Continue reading What’s In A Name?

Ramblings & Writing, Yesterday's Stories

A Saab Story

It could have been construed as a love affair. The beginning eye attractions soon morphed into a need to know, to touch, and a longing to have. Love can only explain my husband, Matt’s, fascination for Saabs.   Matt had owned a Saab, in some form or another, since 1978. He found the lines “classic” and… Continue reading A Saab Story

Ramblings & Writing, Yesterday's Stories

An Awakening

I woke up in 1968. At ten-years-old, I was bubbled within the safety of my family and school. I lived in a tidy house on a quiet dead-end street, with my parents, three sisters, and baby brother. There was a yard to run through and sidewalks to bicycle on. Weekends were spent with cousins—my first… Continue reading An Awakening

Yesterday's Stories

Craving The Adults’ Table

Sunday dinners were sacred.  Family congregated to Grandma’s Brooklyn house on East 5th Street after church. Her brother’s family lived downstairs, and she lived in the upstairs flat. Grandma already had the sauce simmering, vegetables sliced and meat seasoned. I believed women got special dispensation from the burden of mortal sin by missing Sunday’s Mass.… Continue reading Craving The Adults’ Table

Yesterday's Stories

The Bread Story

Grandma Mastropaolo was the eldest of five daughters—the only daughter who was born in a starving Sicilian village. In 1906, she and her mother traveled in steerage to meet her father on the other side of the world. Perhaps this gave her the authority to tell her mother’s tales and recount her stories as absolute.… Continue reading The Bread Story

Yesterday's Stories

Grandma’s Clam Chowder

My grandma was an excellent cook; not a fancy gourmet chef, but a home cook who could make simple ingredients into an epic meal. The stairwell to her second floor flat in Brooklyn heralded the warmth and goodness waiting behind her door. She enveloped each of her visitors with big arm hugs and kisses. Grandma's Sunday… Continue reading Grandma’s Clam Chowder