Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Birthday Celebration

Grace, Stephen, Susan with Mom & Dad
Tina & Dominick with Grandpop & Grandmom

Born In 1926, on a cold winter day, 2 months premature, my Dad is a survivor.

He was born in the little town of Giulianova in Abruzzi, on the farm his family leased from the Catholic Church.
His grandfather, Sabatino, fearful that this tiny little baby, his first born grandson, would not survive the cold harsh winter, ran to the Church situated below the farmhouse and dragged the priest from the vestibule as he was preparing to say mass, so he could come and baptize his grandson.
The priest, knowing and loving the family that plowed the land up on the hill, readily complied, shedding his garments and rushing to the farmhouse high on the hill.

My father was baptized in the kitchen of that house. It was the warmest room of the house. A big fire burned in the fireplace that was used to cook the food as well as heat the house.

As he grew up, Sabatino would take that little boy, Armando everywhere he went. He became his shadow. Grandfather & grandson became inseparable.

My father learned so much from his grandfather. He learned the lay of the land. He learned to respect the land and the people who worked it . He learned about good honest food. His grandfather was somewhat of a gourmand in those times, visiting the local little trattorias or family owned restaurants that flourished in the hills of Abruzzi, my father by his side.

My father became well known for his adventurous spirit as well as his creativity. He was bold & kind. He was around to help those who needed assistance with the harvest of grapes for wine or olives for pressing oil. He was a inventor. He was a mavrick. Ahead of his time, and well liked by everyone.
To this day, we have cousins and family who visit my Dad here in the US just to see Armando again. They tell us of his story, of his childhood, of his kindness , of his brilliance for new ideas.
He has remained close to everyone.

This man who came to the United States by way of France. Working in the foundries for 3 years to earn passage here. To start anew in a country who promised all to those who worked hard and had a dream.

My Dad is 84 . It was his birthday on January 28. We celebrated this man . His family gathered round. A role model for me, for everyone.
Family & friends called from Italy to wish him well. He is still remembered as a man with an adventurous spirit. A man who had a dream and followed it. A man who has the wisdom and kindness that we can all learn from.
A man ahead of his time.

Happy Birthday Pop !!! We love you !


  1. Buon Compleanno a tuo papa! even though I don't know him you made me feel as if i do

  2. Love this, Susan. Hope you and your family are well :)