That kitchen could tell you about a lot of living because we also gathered there on Sunday for those luscious goodies. Then Pop would tell us stories about Italy, and we would laugh so loud and it was so noisy that I'm sure passersby thought we were having a family feud. Mom took great pride in her home and family and was happiest when we were all together. Always smiling, always caring, never complaining, patient, a living saint if there ever was one.
Spring cleaning time was something else. Mom and her sisters would help each other wall paper, paint, beat rugs outside on a clothes line. We kids even got in the act helping beat the rugs and listening to all the laughter coming from in the house. We never could figure out what they were laughing about.
Pop was just the opposite of Mom. He was loud, (we all took after him), impatient, and had funny things to say about everything. He called Mom, "Missus" and teased her no end. He liked gin in coffee or whiskey and every time he had one of these specialties he would say, "It's good for my Missus' kidney" which always brought a laugh from anyone who hadn't heard it before, except Mom. He came to America when he was sixteen and worked in the mines in the Export area and finally settled for one in White Valley. He worked as a "motorman" and really enjoyed his work. He was proud of his strength. The hard work had to be a challenge, because easier jobs were available at that time. He even tried a factory job but stayed about a month because he preferred working in the mines.
He loved music and he played the bass horn. He was a member of the Delmont Community Band and also the Greensburg Union Band. He was very good at it and was highly respected by the members of both bands. We saw many, many concerts and we always had a sense of pride when that old bass horn had a "solo". He was active in both bands until he was ninety. He was honored as the oldest member of the Greensburg Union Band.
Pop was a pipe smoker and he was seldom seen without it. After retirement, he spend many hours smoking that pipe, and listening to tapes made from the many concerts he performed in, and we enjoyed them as much as he did. It seemed like the bands were giving a performance right in our home.
Pop loved cars and his first one was a Ford Model "A" . What excitement it created to everyone. Neighbors who needed a ride to a doctor, bank, or a ride out of town to visit friends, had a friend in "Pop". We visited relatives in Blythedale in that car and it was great fun in the summer time. Bbut in the winter time it was like riding on a sleigh. No heat, and the canvas window covers kept the rain or snow out but other than that it was one cold ride. Mom would cover us up with blankets but we were always happy to get to our destination.
Inside plumbing was a rarity in those days and when Pop installed an inside toilet, the neighbors made a big "rumpus", but it wasn't too long before everyone installed one, too. It was amazing what they could do with a few rough tools.
They are gone now and we still miss them, especially on holidays. But we are left with many fond memories. We loved them.
by Josephine, Stella, Joseph, Viola
Elizabeth Carfang DiClaudio Photo Index