My Grand Mother and My Grand Father

02/16/2014 — 2 Comments

grandmagrandpa-239x300My ancestors fresh from Brooklyn

My Grand Father, Jasper Addotta, came to this country to avoid Mussolini’s Draft. Of course he came by boat to Ellis Island. There was a paper sign pinned to his back that said, “Kishwaukee St.” This sign told the immigration people where he was going. You see, in those days, one had to already have a job in order to enter our country. The paper sing, on his back, told the authorities where to send him.

Kishwaukee St. was in Rockford, IL and there were many furniture factories there and Jasper had a job at one of them.

Jasper Addotta worked there for about a two tears, saving every penny he could so that he could win his citizenship and go back to Sicily to get my Grand Mother, Francesca and bring her back to America.

During his two year absence from Sicily, Francesca was living in a convent. This was done so that she would have some protection from the men or soldiers of Mussolini’s army.

Jasper got on another boat and went all the way back to Sicily, to our ancestral home Porto Niko. He arrived at the convent in the wee small hours of the morning. He shouted out, “Francesca” several times and, finally, The Mother Superior appeared at a window, high up near the top of the structure. “What do you want?” she yelled down at him. Jaster said, “I am here to take Francesca to America. I am her fiancé, Jasper. The mother superior closed the widow and disappeared. About forty minutes later the large main doors of the convent opened and there stood Francesca with all of he belongings. The two of them got married and then got on another boat to go to America. This time, since Jasper was already an American citizen, with a Passport, they could go wherever they wanted, so they went to Brooklyn, New York and set up a home and began their family.

It was years later that Francesca and Jasper moved their family to Rockford IL to get the kids away from gangs, (My Uncle Victor stayed in Brooklyn where he was connected to the Gambino family) In Rockford IL Francesca would give birth to four more children to bring the total to eight.

2 responses to My Grand Mother and My Grand Father


    A True Story….

    (Though, no good story gets great over time,
    when the truth gets in the way)

    In a smoky liquor store in the Great Smokies of Tennessee,
    in a town of about a thousand, right after an outdoor concert.
    Eagle Liquors, atop, ‘the mountain.’

    All sweaty, bent over, in black, white scarf around his neck, bright white full head of hair, yet, very tall, stalwart, commanding, his face flushed,
    reading glasses on his nose, looking like some ghost rider in the sky.

    The man in black in front of me checking out, cash in hand,
    ready to pay the toothless robust teller.

    I’m startled more than I am awed:

    MP: If you can’t afford some Jack, I’ll give you my bottle, I mean Dickle is……..

    JC: No, no, thanks, it’s ok, kind of reminds me of them good ‘ol days long ago.

    MP: Ah, now you’re sounding like, ‘the man in black.’

    JC: Well, who the hell you expecting?

    MP: The real you?

    JC: You think there’s some difference between the two?

    MP: I don’t know, is there?

    JC: Hell.

    MP: Hey, you do these little shows for the money?
    Because, I mean, if you need money, I have…..

    JC: It’s not about the money.

    MP: Because some guy up there shaking his….
    trying to sing a few licks…..

    JC: It’s not about the money, I said!

    MP: Oh? So, it ain’t? What’s it about then, don’t mind my asking?

    JC: A legacy, sir, it’s……..about never being forgotten for who you once were.

    MP: Ah… yes! I understand, now, sir.
    See, that’s what I was wondering about.

    JC: Glad to help, God bless….

    MP: Safe trip now back to Nashville,
    thanks for coming out to our little town!

    JC: Will do.

    MP: Hey, I thought you’d have one of those big old fancy buses with…….

    JC: Hell, they took that thing away years ago, and, anyhow, my wife,
    she drives me on these gigs close to home.

    MP: I’ve always loved her voice.

    JC: I’ll be sure to tell her you said so.

    MP: Please do, and, do enjoy that whiskey now!

    JC: Already am, already am!
    (Been drinking it in line)

    MP: Ah, meaning to tell you, loved the show tonight,
    always loved your legend, too!

    JC: Tell it to the good Lord!

    MP: Will do, will see you on the other side!

    JC: Only if we’re lucky, only, if we’re lucky!

    MP: Good night now, sir.

    JC: It really was, wasn’t it?

    MP: Sweet dreams, sleep well tonight, my legendary friend!

    The kindest smile came across his face, so gentle and warm,
    twinkling eyes just a shining.

    The first and last time I ever met Johnny Cash. Didn’t shake his hand, didn’t ask for an autograph, didn’t fall at his feet, didn’t want some photo.
    I think he found that all rather refreshing.

    I waited for that old black Caddy to pull out of the lot before I went out,
    fearful the engine might not turn over.
    Talking to him again would have ruined all he was.

    So, I asked the bleach blond as I paid cash if she knew who that gentleman was who’d just left. She said she didn’t know him by name, but, she’d seen him in here often over the years, but, he always bought, “Jack, ‘cept for tonight.”

    I told her that maybe he was a day late and dollar short?

    She agreed & said that it’ll happen to us all,
    sooner or later, but, only, if we’re lucky….


  2. I don’t read these long-winded comments. You guys need to start your own blog and stop abusing Kip’s. Rockford, IL, home to the band Cheap Trick. I was born in Chicago-my great grandfather immigrated there from Russia/Romania to work for Pullman, upholstering the railroad cars

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