The Sicilian Voyage
by Vynne Valenza Jacoby
(Las Vegas, Nevada )
1404 East 2nd St. Brooklyn, NY
My Grandmother and Grandfather came from Alia, Sicily. Where she met my grandfather at age 15 on her orange and lemon grove property , He was a worker in the Lemon fields for her father and she was a only child that was very well protected by her father,
My Great Grandfather Don Augustino Patane - They called him the Don in Italy , I dont know if it was a thing of respect or honor... Grandma Maria Scala Patane went to school at a Roman -Catholic Convenent and learned how to embroid - She embroided pillows to tablecloths - the most beautiful work one could image!!!
All my grandfather had to do was look at her and it qualified for marriage (according to my Great-Grandfather) - She was married by 16 he was older. They had a first born son Conchetto in Italy and Grandpa John Patane wanted to come to America where freedom rings and the brave persevere. He became a Street Paver and made streets in New York.
They lived on Broome Street in the heart of New York , They struggled and ate bread for dinner and wore shoes with cardboard for soles. But Grandpa was determined - He wanted to buy a house and he worked his ass off doing it!!! The American Dream back then was to be a homeowner!!
Four children later he bought a house on East 2nd Street and Ave M in Brooklyn, a small 2 story with 4 apartments and a basement. My mom and dad lived in the front upstairs apartment, they lived in the front bottom and they rented the other 2 apts, for income - Pretty smart for some poor immigrants off the boat!!!
Thursday night was Pasta night , Friday night was Fish or Pizza night and Brooklyn can bang out some pretty good Pizza!! They paved the way on celebrating Christmas and Easter and Birthdays and Weddings, They made what is known today and what is almost non-existent in today's society- Tradition, Respect, Gratitude and a Family that could not be unglued no matter what the drama was!! We were told to always support one another and never talk bad about your family!!!
That was like a cardinal rule - lol - We lived a decent life a few beatings for being unruly and rebelling straightened us right out !! We were taught right and wrong. We NEVER answered back our elders or cursed!!!
It was a different world back then and we all turned out to be pretty good people!!! Thanks Grandpa!!!