Clementina’s Early Years in America


When I came to this country I had nothing so I had to live in my brother Gabriel’s house. I loved it that their baby Edda was there because I had taken care of her in Italy, and then brought her here to be with her parents.  But it wasn’t fun to live in a house with your brother, his wife, his daughter and assorted cousins and others who stayed while on the way to somewhere else.

I went to work in the embroidery factory Gabriele owned along with my other brother Fortunato.  I learned how to operate the machinery and was known as a diligent and quick worker.  I came home at dinnertime to eat with the family and then I had to do the cleaning up.  My sister-in-law Ersilia thought herself quite the lady, maybe because she was from Milano.  Having lived in a city instead of a small mountain town like the rest of us gave her airs.  Sometimes I could have sworn that she purposely burned the pots so that I would have a hard time cleaning.  I wasn’t so happy there but what could I do?  I was young, had no money, knew no one besides my brothers and their families.  At least we had enough to eat.

CIn America 5lottery-4


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