Antonietta & Jimmy DiCalogero

Italy

My mom grew up outside of Boston before and during WWII. She was one of seven children and the youngest of six daughters. Her parents, Antonietta and Jimmy, came from Sicily in the first great wave of immigration to seek a better life in America. This photo, taken on the front stoop of where my mom grew up, shows her on the top step with a crowd of kids from the neighborhood that included her little brother, standing next to her, and four of her five older sisters.

When I was a kid, my family would travel every summer from where we lived outside Philadelphia to spend a week with my mom’s big Italian family in Massachusetts. One of my favorite memories of those summer visits is of lining up with my cousins inside my grandfather’s grocery story so we could pick out an ice cream out of the ice cream cooler. Then we’d go sit on the same stoop my mom sat on eating our ice cream in the hot July sun.

My grandfather, born Vincenzo but everyone called him Jimmy, used to say the building that housed his family and his grocery store was so old it came over on a ship with Christopher Columbus. That three-story row home that saw seven children born, grow up, and return with their own children is no longer there, but the memories remain!

I’m hoping my cousins, who have so many more memories, will share their stories of 27 Bennington Street.

This story was told by Mary Studzinski

DONATE on behalf of Antonietta & Jimmy DiCalogero

[MyGreat]Stories

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead