Of course, how could I let this day go by without posting a shot of my dear ol' mother. This is a photo taken of her before she made the trek across the ocean from Catanzaro, Italy some 70 years ago. Ain't she a cutie?
Catanzaro is known for its three V's - Vento (wind), Velvets, and Vitaliano (Catanzaro's patron saint). This Calabria region city was heavily damaged during World War II, but is now a developing industrial center. Home to about 90,000 people, Catanzaro is known for its food processing enterprises, including pasta and olive oil. Tourists are attracted by Calabria's beautiful beaches and inland mountain landscapes, and residents flock there during the sweltering summers, leaving the towns almost deserted. Called "Little Switzerland," the local Sila Massif mountains offer some of Southern Italy's best hiking, fishing, and camping. With Reggio di Calabria as its capital, Calabria is also known for its olives, citrus fruits, and wine grapes.
When my mother came "off the boat" at the ripe old age of 6, she did so with her 5 brothers and sisters, and settled in the small Northern NJ community of Nutley. She didn't get much of an education, since formal schooling was low on the priority list when it came to the family surviving in the new world. Her older brothers were sent off to school, and then to war, while she stayed with her sisters to work in the paper and fabric mills. She met my father through a mutual friend and they were married in May of 1957. My brother was born a year later. She suffered a miscarriage a few years after, had me in 1965, and then another miscarriage in 1967. She's been through and witnessed alot here since that boat ride so long ago - her siblings dying, my father's numerous heart surgeries, my psychological troubles, etc. - and through it all she never lost her sense of pride, warmth, humor, and compassion.
My mother never learned how to drive. She's a typical Italian mom that will feed you until you explode. She loves flavored coffee, dollar stores, and Engelbert Humperdinck. She likes watching wrestling on TV, and enjoys when her "grand-dog" (my brother's pup) comes to visit. She's as looney as Edith Bunker from "All In The Family," and just as lovable. She shows signs of her mind slipping away to Alzheimer's, and yet every night she'll offer me a hot cup of tea. Her favorite food is pasta (naturally).
That's my mother.
A very happy day to you if you are one, and all the best to your family if you spend it visiting. May you all know much love and beauty today, and always.
As a way of returning the extraordinary generosity and support you
have all shown me in this great community, whenever I upload a new
pic or series of shots this year, I'll provide a link to another flickr
photog whose work, personality, or spirit I feel you should discover.
Visit and introduce yourself. Make a friend. Share the love.
Open your eyes to (my second favorite mom) OldhaMedia today.