La Chitarra

Nothing happens without the ancestors. 

Although I never knew my maternal grandmother Erminia Cenerizio, the owner of the traditional Abruzzese pasta making implement pictured above, I did know some of her siblings, and have done a  great deal of research on her branch of the family in recent years. One of 7 children at that time, she came to Boston in 1919 with brother Corrado and my great-grandmother, Anna. The patriarch of the family, Edoardo Cenerizio, came to the U.S. first in 1913. He was a shoemaker who was taught the trade by the man who adopted him just after his birth, Nunzio Polidoro.  I can only assume that Anna decided to follow to the U.S. after the 1915 earthquake in Avezzano destroyed their village, San Benedetto dei Marsi, in the region of Abruzzo, and also killed 5 of her children. Here the chitarra is getting its first use  after at least 42 years of dormancy,  along with a picture of the family, below,  from 1950 taken in Lexington, Ma.  Erma is third from left, with her mother first from the right. The town in the photo below is Nocciano, also in Abruzzo, where my grandfather Angelo Di Meco, a stone mason and builder, was from. He’s first on the left in the family photo. Although both of my grandparents were from small villages less that 50 miles apart, they met and were married in Greenfield, Ma.  in 1929. 1951-photo-2nocciano-vista


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