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
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
There are many Sunfish Stories in my repertoire. One of the best is one of the earliest.
The Country House American Venice was born of a land developer’s dream. He built homes on the Copiague’s marshland along the south shore of Long Island. A series of backyard canals led out to the Great South Bay. There were Venetian-style bridges above the canals giving the neighborhood a European flare. Unfortunately, the Great Depression… Continue reading The Country House
My grandfather, Willy Truglio, had the soul of a musician. As my father recounted his stories, it became clear that Willy held a deep love and loyalty for his family, friends, and neighbors. He cast a wide net of devotion laced with music. My father, Bill Truglio, continues to convey his father’s gentle being. ************** My… Continue reading The Piano Player Part II
Every year, for as long as I can remember, Mom baked Easter bread. The loaves were perfectly braided and shone with a glossy finish. As they baked, the house filled with home sweet home aromas heralding spring. Mom never cooked or baked small. There were five kids, a husband, and an extended family. She had… Continue reading Easter Bread
This is my cousin’s little girl, Guliana, sweet as can be. I just love the fact that Famous Seaweed Soup is still a prized read for young readers. Too bad the book is out of print.
I completed six weeks of ice skating lessons today—a Christmas gift from my daughters. The adult group had dwindled from two wobbly adults to just me. It was like having private lessons in the company of a crowd. The rink was abuzz with several groups of soon-to-be figure skaters and hockey players. I was the… Continue reading Winter Skates part 2
My daughters gave me a Christmas gift certificate for ice skating lessons at a nearby rink. I had been complaining that Long Island winters have not been cold enough for ice skating. The canals, ponds, and Great South Bay rarely freeze over. Yes, there is an indoor ice rink providing year-round access, but, it is… Continue reading Winter Skates part 1
This story was told by my Uncle Joe, my mom’s eldest brother. Anthony, their father, died when my mom was just a little girl and Uncle Joe was 14 years old. As the years rolled forward, he became the keeper of their father’s stories. This is one of them. My father was a printer—a… Continue reading The Compositor