Wednesday, September 30, 2009

L'öxé giòn 'd Sann’a (L’uccello giallo di Savona)

Dedicated with love to my cousin, Franca Perrone of Giusvalla

My cousin Franca was a young girl when her family moved from Giusvalla to Savona, where her father Lorenzo “Picciòn” had taken a job on the shipyard. Franca and her mother Anna “Palèn” went to work cleaning for families in the city.

Though Savona is just a few short miles from Giusvalla, Franca missed her friends from school and cousins back home. Her father didn’t like seeing his daughter so sad, so one day he arrived home with a surprise for Franca. It was a small yellow bird in a wire cage, and it sang sweetly as Franca removed the cloth covering the cage.

Franca talked to her little bird every day when she arrived home from work. The bird became accustomed to Franca’s voice and would sing gleefully when she would come into the room.

The morning of August 12, 1944 started like any other for Franca and her family. Franca and her parents departed early in the morning for work. As was her custom, Franca bid her little bird goodbye before heading out the door. Later that same morning, World War II greeted the Italian Riviera swiftly and violently when the city of Savona was bombed by the Germans. Franca’s home by the port was hit directly.

Franca and her family arrived home after the attack to a pile of rubble. Poor Franca cried out for her little bird, her fear and grief overwhelming her. At that very moment, from beneath a section of the rubble, Franca and her family heard the little bird begin to sing sweetly. When her father lifted some broken pieces of wood, Franca was astonished to see her bird in its cage sitting there amid the devastation, completely unharmed.

So began the story of “l'öxé giòn 'd Sann’a ,” that miraculous little yellow bird that showed my cousin Franca that she too could survive life's most difficult trials. And she has.

At mand un bashén con tant piashi, Franca, at vöj ben!

In the picture: View of the port of Savona (April 2009), near the location of Franca’s home in 1944.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ra feshta ed San Matè

September 21st is a day of great celebration in Giusvalla, it marks the feast day of the town’s patron, “St. Matthew the Apostle.” The event is marked exuberantly each year with a special Mass followed by a procession from the parish church, where the statue of St. Matthew is carried through the center of town.

Other merriment includes military displays by the town’s veteran “Alpini,” and indulgence in all the traditional foods of the area …. roasted chestnuts (er cashtagne), local mushrooms, polenta and wild boar are just a few local specialties that make the menu.

The year also marks the second annual “Bonifacio d’Oro” award, where two Giusvalla residents (one man and one woman) are honored for their service and contributions to the town over the years. Last year’s award recipients were Sergio Salvo and Ivonne Bonifacino.

Me cor Giusvalla …. ti tel só at vöj ben e at vöj ben sempre ciü!

In the picture: Procession celebrating the feast of St. Matthew in Giusvalla (photo courtesy of my cousin Enzo)

The 14th Annual Hagley Car Show

Today was a picture perfect day for the 14th Annual Hagley Car Show. The turnout was great, and the weather was spectacular- you couldn't ask for much better. For those who have never attended this event, the cars are lined up in proximity of the library.

In the past, attendees would park at Barley Mill Plaza on rt. 141, and a school bus would bring them up to the Hagley grounds. To help in reducing expenses this year, the bus routing was eliminated, and those attending the event parked right on the Hagley grounds. Making room for parking seems to have eliminated some of the area where cars were registered for display, however the turnout was still more than worthwhile.

Hopefully some of our readers were able to make it to today's event.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mushroom Festival 2009

It rained off and on today, but it takes more than rain to stop the Kennett Mushroom Festival! As seen in the pics, locals were still out in full support of the event, regardless of weather! The picture of the woman with the baby in the stroller is of Marianne (Salvo) Brady, and Jim Brady IV, one of the newest Squirrel Run descendants.

If you didn't make it to the Festival today, the event runs through tomorrow.. So brave that weather and get on out there! It will be Winter before you know it!!

Squirrel Run Hunter Safety Course?

This picture is of my grandfather, Ernest Salvo (left), learning some hunting tips from another Squirrel Runner in Wagoner's Row. They must have been checking the gun sight alignment in this image. Either that or somebody's wine bottles were missing..