Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Nonno Peppe


This isn't a stitching post (for a change). I couldn't let this day go by without honouring my grandfather ("nonno Peppe" to his grandkids), who would have been 90 today.

He was born in Glasgow on the 22 August 1916, the 5th of 6 children. He spent his first few years in Scotland and then the whole family went back to Italy, where he grew up.


This photo was taken around 1919/1920. From left to right: my great grandmother, Maria Grazia, my great aunts Katerina, Annie and Kate; my great grandfather Achille; and at the front my great uncle Alec and nonno Peppe (Giuseppe). The youngest (Rita) hadn't been born yet. The thing that most strikes me about this photo is how much the "kids" look like their own kids.

This photo is one of my favourites. It was taken around 1923 at a big gathering in Filignano, Italy. Nonno is right at the front in the middle with his legs crossed. What a wonderful photo.

Before the second world war, nonno went back to Scotland where two of his sisters had settled and had businesses (cafes and restaurants - very common for Scots Italians in those days), and he opened a "fish and chip" shop in Glasgow with his brother, Alec. This is him in front of the shop.



They were always having fun! L-R nonno Peppe; uncle Alec and auntie Katerina. A lot of people thought he looked like Charlie Chaplin back then. :)



He went back to Italy when the war started and served in the Italian army.

L-R Nonna Giulia, my mum & nonno Peppe. After the war ended, he got married to my grandmother, in November 1946 and my mum arrived a little over a year later on 2 December 1947. He had moved back to Scotland when the war was over, but when his father fell ill, they moved back to Italy again when my mum was 11-months old.


They stayed in Italy for a further 6 years, until my great grandfather passed away, and then returned to Scotland in 1955, this time for good. Glasgow, Scotland: my mum doesn't thank you for this photo of herself ;-); it's a great one of nonno, though. Now, you'd think he had some important documents rolled up in that smart briefcase, wouldn't you? Nope! He liked to get dressed up to do the Saturday shopping in Glasgow city centre every week, bringing mum along with him. That's spaghetti in the briefcase!

My uncle Achille came along in 1959. Mum was 11.


He was never happier than when he was surrounded by family and friends. This is at his nephew Nino's wedding to Lela in the mid-1960s in Rome. My mum is on the far left (circa 17-years-old), and nonna Giulia is next to her. Nonno Peppe is right in the middle with a big smile on his face. My uncle Achille is the little boy in front of him

Down the pub with the boys! Nonno is second on the right, along with one brother, two brothers-in-law and his cousin and best friend Giovanni (in the middle).

This is such a classic photo of nonno Peppe. This reminds me of him more than any other (he didn't smoke a pipe btw, this was for the photo only). Taken in the early 1970s in Glasgow. A man he worked with was an amateur photographer and we have dozens of photos similar to this, as he was very snap happy. :) You can see the amusement on his face - not another photo shoot!

My parents' wedding in April 1974.

With his grandkids in 1981.




He took us to the photo booth in town often. We thought it was cool. 8-)

On one of his last trips to Italy (with my uncle Achille), circa 2000.

Another special thing about him was that he LOVED to see what I was stitching. He was genuinly fascinated by my stitching and the things I created on fabric. I'd make him stuff all the time, and he'd take it over to Italy with him and tell everyone about how his grand daughter stitched this and that on a BLANK piece of fabric that had NO printing on it (LOL). I remember my first little stitching project when I was about 8. It was a bookmark. I still have it and boy does it look awful ;-) but he thought it was the best thing ever.

Happy Birthday nonno Peppe. I miss you every day.




18 comments:

Mia said...

What a wonderful tribute to a much loved Nonno. :)

Redwitch said...

They are lovely photos, what a nice way to remember your Nonno.

jean phelps said...

Oh, you made cry, what a lovely tribute...

KarenV said...

What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing the photos and your thoughts about your Nonno :)

Amy said...

What a neat pictorial history! It's fabulous that you know so much about him and have so many old pictures. That is a true treasure!

Sue said...

What great pictures and memories of your grandfather. Thanks for sharing.

elenamac said...

Tina
wonderful pics and wonderful story!
I can't see your parents wedding pic!
I've to say that i 've had a Nonno Peppe( giuseppe) myself too but unlucky me i'vent meet him as he was died at the age of 43 and half yrs old on May 21st 1964 and i was born May 21st 1969.But my Nonna Rosa tell me a lot of interesting thing about him.

Ciaoo
Elena

Rebecca said...

What beautiful memories you have! I'm going to see one set of my grandparents today (I'm 29 and they are all still living), I'm taking the camera with me to capture them as they are today. Thank you for reminding me how special and important our heritage is.

Laura said...

Tina,
your worlds say all the love you have for this man...gosh...they moved a lot between Scotland and Italy...I still think he has a special corner in heaven where he can sit and watch you stitching...

a special thank from me because I'm fond of italian immigration history...I read as much as I can find about it and collect stuff...thank you very much for sharing with us this little piece of history of our great immigrants in the world

Cathy said...

What a great tribute to your Grandfather!

~Harsha~ said...

oh sweetie.. what a wonderful tribute. You made me cry... thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

Tina, what a lovely tribute to your Nonno Peppe-I loved looking at your photos-they are an absolute treasure!

Cindy said...

Such a wonderful tribute to your Nonno! The photos and story to go along was just wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

Gill said...

What a wonderful tribute..I loved looking at your photos.

Mel in Dubai said...

I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my lips when I read this beautiful tribute to your Nonno,
Tina. Wonderful photos too :)

Measi said...

I adore old family photos. Such a beautiful tribute to your Nonno! :)

Wendy said...

What fantastic photos you have of your Nonno! I loved seeing them all and reading the beautiful sentiments that you wrote along with them. What treasures you have - memories and photos!!

Eleni said...

What a beautiful tribute Tina .. I was laughing one moment and crying the next ...