A Tribute to the Gallo Family of Sciacca Sicily Being a fourth generation German-American and a second generation Italian -American I found myself favoring the Italian way of life. In 1935 a house fire hospitalized my mother and father temporarily and my brothers and sister were sent to various relatives to live. I was the youngest at the time and I was very fortunate to go to live with my Italian Grandmother. I was never away from home before and it felt very strange at first, but after a little while I got to understand what grandma wanted. After all I never heard anyone call me in Italian before. Ricardo, “venire” “ essere seduto” “mangiare”!!! After sitting at grandmas table all my fears and uncertainty disappeared. I found love and warmth in the arms of this stout woman, and I found love and warmth in her cooking . I remember a milk bottle on the window sill filled with cracked olives curing under the warm sunlight of the day. I watched as grandma would roll out her pasta dough and cut it into strips with a knife and the strips were all accurate in size. To this day I don’t know how she did it. I remember grandpa sitting in the living room smoking a cigar and listening to Italian Music on the radio. I remember very clearly his white mustache and his snow white hair. He was a very handsome man. My cousins Honey and Gloria lived in the neighborhood and after school I could always count on a visit from them so they could play with me. Eventually my mother and father were released from the hospital and I was sent home. We visited my grandparents often and enjoyed every moment of those visits. All my brothers, sister and cousins enjoyed our visit to Grandmas house. There was always something to eat whether it was her famous fig cookies, or a piece of homemade Sicilian pizza with anchovies or some other goodies .The best memories I have of our visits were on Sunday when The extended Gallo families would gather at Grandmas. I remember that the huge bathtub held the vegetables that were purchased the day before. I guess the bathtub was cool and it was a good place to keep them. Grandmas bed was a big four poster and she would tie a string from post to post and hang basil, parsley. Garlic and other herbs. My uncles would be playing cards and drinking wine in the living room. The Gallo Women would gather in the kitchen helping grandma prepare food and sharing neighborhood and family gossip at the same time. These were good times in my childhood In Brooklyn New York and I will cherish them always.
My grandfather was Calogero Gallo (Proetta) Born April 22, 1865 in Sciacca Sicily
My Grandmother was Dianna (Sclafani) Gallo Born August 13, 1873 in Sciacca Sicily
Their Children were…….
Acusia married to Louis Billera
Jennie married to Joseph Caruso
Joseph married to Jean ( maiden name unknown)
Anna married to Herman Berthel ( my mom and Dad)
Ignatz married to Catherine Coppolo
Mary married to John Marchione
Elena married to Joseph Icaconis
Gus married to Catherine Bazzi And to all my Italian relatives and their children, grandchildren and children to come…..
God Bless you All and never forget your Italian Heritage!