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Catalog Number 2005.041.0001
Object Name Tape, Cassette
Scope & Content Background: Slate Business
Father was born in 1901 near Rome, came to US in 1919, passage paid by great uncle in Albany (truck farmer) Father went to PA, worked in coal mines. Went to night school to learn English (reading, writing) mother and father married in Italy, she came in Jan. 1927, brother born in Nov. 1927. Mother in Italy, lived with her in-laws, 7 years until he sent passage, village gave her "funeral march" parade when she left rough passage, steerage. Came into NEW YORK CITY , snow, cold, hated it.
How did they find Fair Haven? lived in apartment, became quarryman, bought house, 4 acres, in Blissville, 1929, very draft, cold house. 2 boys, 5 girls in 1930's very difficult during depression, no benefits, no work, no pay. had heart disease, changed to slate puncher rather then pit, gradually improved the home, steam heat, storm windows, had no car till after world war 2 (late 1940's) walked to Fair Haven, 1 1/2 miles, for shopping, "we had few articles of clothing, mostly from Spiegel Catalog, had 2 pigs, cows, chickens, garden (300 quarts tomatoes) no toys, few books. wanted children to have good education, school in Hydeville, tracked unkind to sick sister (brain tumor), shunned because of Italian background, St. Mary's church in Fair Haven, Cath. school began, 5th grade.
Irish was also shunned. Family could not afford doctor often, sickness difficult.
American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, father worked there on weekends, accident, truck hit them, severely injured, no money for family, brother only 12 years old, father in bed for several months, in hospitalized for a year, kids functioned on their own, no telephone, had radio, refrigerator, washing machine, liked new products.
"We got along with what we had." Brother was 7 years older then I was, played with kids at Bliss farm, helped with all house chores. we never went hungry, fathers highest pay was $50 per week, had cow (blacky) followed us everywhere, one day she put her face through the window, we enjoyed, father was angry. Mother sent us to Pedro's, we danced with fathers froyer underwear. father stole figs from neighbor in Italy, loved to tell kids about his childhood. Priest once struck him as a kid, so he never went to church again. children had little, she had a bicycle where she was a senior. After accident , father went to quarries then to Howe Scale co. then back to quarry, where he died of a heart attack (1957) in Rutland hospital.
Creator Williams, Stephen T.
Title Jeanette Ranney, Oral history