[TI] Saw Ken / Saw Ann / Shared Family Traditions

Ken Geraci ken_geraci at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 5 12:53:30 CDT 2009


Well, 7 days ago almost to the minute I was having the pleasure of visiting with my cousin, Ann Riggio, in Pittsburgh. I was delivering to the Giant Eagle grocery chain main warehouse (a whole truckload of Honey Nut Cheerio's from General Mills) and I thought I'd just call and say "hello". But as with previous visits, Ann had no problem with arranging a complete visit on very short notice. To my surprise, Ann even knew the street where I was delivering in the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton, PA. It is no exaggeration to say she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Pittsburgh area!

We ate at "Eatin' Park", a great American-food family restaurant of Pittsburgh origins. Ann explained that she felt more comfortable with American-style food than many of the so-called Italian restaurants who have no idea of what they're doing and which often offer ridiculously over-spiced foods in an attempt to "be Italian".  Ann explained that she was raised to enjoy her Italian food with relatively fewer spices. I told Ann that this exact sentiment she expressed was also shared to the word by my grandfather's sisters before realizing outloud that my grandfather's sisters learned from their mother (Rosina Marcellino) who, in turn, learned from her mother (Rosalia Navarra). Well, this last mother, (Rosalia Navarra) had a sister named Antonina Navarra who happens to be Ann's gg-grandmother and both sisters learned cooking from their mother (Illuminata Cipolla). So, what first seemed to be just a mere coincidence actually is probably one of our shared
 family traditions that has apparently survived at least four generations! 

Ann has been hard at work organizing a big binder with all the information on her Spadaro and Gaciccia/Caciccia sides of the family. I was very impressed as she has everything very nicely put together with all the old family photos, birth and marriage documents and the whole works. She had some photos of some family tombstones and I was able to help translate some of the Italian writing on the tombs. We also talked about how we had a lot of "calzolaio's" (shoemakers) in the family. In addition to the Pittsburgh side of the family, Ann also had quite a bit of info on her Portland, Oregon side of the family which of course included our dear departed cousin, Diane Partain.

The next time I go to Pittsburgh I am going to try and give Ann more notice and perhaps we might check out some of the Italian neighborhoods and cemeteries, weather and time permitting. Ann is always a very gracious host and is very good company. The time went by too fast!

Ken Geraci

--- On Tue, 6/30/09, anna riggio <anniegoe at verizon.net> wrote:

From: anna riggio <anniegoe at verizon.net>
Subject: [TI] Saw Ken
To: terminiimerese at comunesofitaly.org
Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 6:00 PM


Ken called me and I met him for lunch.
He was delivering in Pittsburgh.
He has that big 18 Wheeler.  He looks so small beside it.
Seems to enjoy what he's doing
He asked "how are the people from the List".
The next day he called while driving.
On his way across Pennsylvania about 1 hr away, he saw a restaurant called
"Spadaro's".  I told him I was familiar with it, but the parents
are probable dead and who is there do not know anything
about the name or where they are from.  As you all may
know, many people are not interested in "where they come from".
I brought my ancestor album for him to see.  So he saw many
Spadaro's, then he runs across a restaurant with that name.
Ann Riggio 

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