In my 72 years on this earth I have experienced much, loved a lot and lived the American dream. I do believe my generation was very fortunate to experienced the best America has to offer. From the victory of World War Two, to the growth and prosperity that followed, up to the internet and cellphones of today. WOW!
Born on May 13, 1939 in The Bronx New York, my identical sister and I are the youngest of six children. We were welcomed into the world, not only to loving parents but also to two older sisters and two older brothers who hugged and kissed us constantly. We really felt safe from the day we were born. As Italian Immigrants in New York City, our parents had to work hard and spend carefully to support their growing family. We were not rich in money, but we were rich in love. My Pop was so happy to have a job as a janitor in the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building. There is a saying, “Real men work at jobs they don’t like just to feed their families.” That was my Pop. In 1960 my father was making 60 dollars a week and I was making 120. My parents were so proud that I had learned a trade and was good at it.
My mother was thrilled when my father got that job even though it was a low salary. It was steady and they had health insurance. My Mother sewed our clothes, knitted our sweaters and caps in the winter, and cooked for a family of 8 every night. She also saved by making homemade pasta, bread and cookies.
My twin sister and I attended a vocational high school and graduated with licenses in hairdressing. My twin and I begged our parents to allow us to attend college and they finally agreed. We were only able to attend for two years.
My husband and I moved to California in 1966. I continued with a career in Hair dressing eventually opening my own Salon. I’ve owned the same salon for 38 years and still have some clients that I’ve been doing for decades. My husband had a very successful career with the Gas Company and is now retired. When we had our four children we vowed that they would all have the opportunity to not only attend college but to graduate with a four year degree. All four of my children graduated from college and three of them went on to become lawyers. I have been married for almost 50 years and we are most proud of our children and grand children.
Everything wasn’t perfect but the setbacks and disappointments were easily managed. No jail time, no drugs and no terminal illnesses. Have I been lucky??? I think so.
Of course one of my favorite pastimes is spending time with my sisters. We are all over 70 and love talking about what we’ve learned during our lifetimes, how our childhoods effected us and what wisdom we have to share with our children and grandchildren. We still are so Italian in many ways. We love to cook, dance, and sing the old Italian songs. Our gestures are Italian, we’re passionate and we also are very nosy when it comes to our children.