Tuesday, July 14, 2009

John "Mutèn" Salvo

John "Mutèn" Salvo was my great-grandfather, and came to this country in 1910. His family (Albina, Ernest, and Esther) followed in 1913.

Mutèn was a hard working man who, as was the case with many others highlighted on this site, was a laborer at Squirrel Run.

The attached picture shows him alongside of his daughter-in-law, Marian (Ghione) Salvo, on her wedding day to his son, Ernest. It took place on June 15, 1939, at St. Patrick's Church in Kennett Square, PA. The day of the marriage apparently had an "interesting" atmosphere to it, as it has been told to me by my mother that sometime before this picture was taken, Marian gave Mutèn a kiss. At that point he openly referred to it as "the kiss of death". He'd stated that because he felt that she was taking his only son away from him, and without Ernest to care for him, he would not survive long. His daughter, Esther, had passed away in 1920, from a strain of the flu that Frank highlighted earlier on this site.

Little did Mutèn know that Marian would become one of the best people he could have had in his life, as she not only ended up caring for Ernest, but for Mutèn himself, as well as his brother-in-law, Teodoro (Doro) Piuma! Mutèn had not only lost his daughter in 1920, but also lost his wife, Albina, in 1937.

Mutèn and his family moved to 2903 W. 6th St. when Squirrel Run was dismantled in 1923. The home would later become where my Grandmom and Grandpop Salvo would reside and raise their three children as well.

My mother was only 5 years old when Mutèn passed away, but she does still have a few precious memories of him. For example, she recalls when he and Doro would return from a visit to the local tavern, he would bring her back a small bag of Planter's Peanuts for a treat. She also remembers bringing his lunch up to his room, during the final stages of his life when he had become bed-ridden. He would always respond to her with a polite "thank you". Sadly, my mother was not taught to speak Italian, so she did not get to communicate much with Mutèn before he passed. However, I believe that his accomplishments, and all that he'd experienced over the course of his life, had said more than enough for him.

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