So the first rule of Genealogy is to start with yourself and work backwards - and so to understand how this began I need to rewind a bit to the late 1950's, early 1960's.
My father was born in the Comune of Locri, (then known as Gerace Marina) located in Reggio Calabria Italy in the 1930's.. He arrived to the US aboard the SS Constitution in late Mar of 1957. He continued on to Toronto to live with his older brother and family.
My mother, also born in the 1930's, was born in the Comune of Malito, in the Province of Cosenza, Italy She arrived aboard the Saturnia at Pier 21 at Halifax in June of 1961. My dad met her there and accompanied her to her Aunt's house in Toronto.
The two towns in Italy are approximately 156 kms away from each other or a two and a half hour drive. So how did the two of them end up together?
They did not know one another but they were already married, and yet they were living in separate households with their respective families... Bizarre, no?
Their story, by today's standards, would in fact be considered strange but for the time I suppose one would consider it almost -normal. Dad lived in Toronto and worked for my mother's family. My mother wrote to my Aunt one day and my father saw her picture and fell in love. He asked permission to write to my mother and when she received his letter, and picture, she also fell in love. The two corresponded for a while and eventually Mom set out to spend a few months in Locri with Dad's family. Neither of my parents were kids - they were in their late 20's when this happened so I would like to think they knew what they were getting into here. I mean, here is this woman, from a town in the mountains traveling across Calabria to meet some guy's, who she's never met, family and who were living about a hundred yards from the Ionian Sea! They didn't seem to have much in common. Even the food they ate, and the dialect they spoke were different from one another.
more to come....
Birth of Arthur Angelo Santamaria, 1914
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