This is Part Two of my memoir. This part retells the lives of my relatives and the spark of hope that going to America became for them all.
It contains stories told to me by my relatives. They have become my family's shared legacy.
As I attempted to recall these stories and situations that could have happened, I thought about the adult personalities of these people, how circumstances molded who they became, I relied on few artifacts, few documents that still exist, one or two photos, a handful of recipes, names and events permanently etched in our family's legends.
The story starts in 1933, a good eleven years before I was born, at a time when Italy was changing into a totalitarian state under Benito Mussolini . when my mother and father were still very young.
The names are those used at the time of their youth, spelled to sound just the way they were pronounced back in those times when Venosino was the language spoken in my town.
The place is Venosa, a town in the province of Potenza. Most of the people in our family were born here, except for my father. The story starts after my mother and father had married and the family, consisting of the newlyweds and a younger sister and brother are all trying to adjust to their circumstances.
Tiu`do, Uncle Ted in America, is just a boy of fourteen, the third born of four children of Marianna Fabbrizi and Paolo Rapolla, my grandparents. Luciano is his cousin.Lina, is his younger sister, eleven, the youngest.
Dolo`ra, my mother has just turned seventeen,and has become the second wife of Min`gu, my father, just widowed with his first wife, Graziella, eldest sister in this family. My father is 27 years old.
Donna Maria Rosaria is his mother.
The Loggia was the the family's residence, historically used as a hunting lodge, before it became the family home of the Rapolla's, situated five kilometers out of the town of Venosa, in Southern Italy.
The story starts with Tiudo's trying to adjust to living in Mingu's house in town.
Each chapter goes back in time, and is told through the experience of another character.