Besides Pasta

This is a story of an immigrant family’s struggle survive the Great Depression. My mother at age sixteen came to America in the wave of Italian immigrants in the early nineteenth century.

This random gathering of memories and events is like a family album, where the connections between the pictures and the stories they tell, often can only be surmised. These vignettes will introduce you to my family, relatives, family friends, and my childhood best friend, Mark Stillman.

As this memoir begins, I am five years old. My mother has seven children to raise on her own. I am the youngest. The year is 1933. My mother is thirty-four. She has been separated from my father for three years. The nation is in the midst of the Great Depression. My mother supports her seven children from a part-time sewing job and a meager Relief check. My aunts and uncles are practically the sole sources of our hand-me-down clothing and an occasional bottle of homemade wine. But financial help from relatives is impossible, because they too live on marginal incomes.

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