Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Advice from a Giusvalla mother-in-law

My cousin Susan once told me a story that was handed down from her grandmother, Secondina (Brondo) Camoirano …. real advice from a “séùjia giusvallìna.”

Known in my family as “Lalla Secondina,” Secondina Brondo was born in Giusvalla in 1889, the eldest child of Andrea Vincenzo Brondo and Maria Serafina Perrone. She married at the age of 19 to Giovanni Camoirano, known by his family and friends as "Beciancìn." After their marriage, Secondina moved into her husband's family home "Cà 'd Becìancia," just northwest of the center of Giusvalla.

As a young wife, Secondina had many responsibilities, she had to help her mother-in-law with all the cooking, cleaning and other household chores, there was always a lot to be done. Secondina's mother-in-law gave her the following advice:

"Cook for your husband and before you serve him his dinner, eat a little. If your husband is in a good mood, then sit with him and eat a little more. If your husband is in a bad mood you have already had something to eat and you don't have to eat with your grumpy husband!"

Lalla Secondina followed her husband to America and arrived with her oldest child, Alfredo, in 1913. Two additional children were born here in the U.S. - Pauline and Anne. Both daughters were born at Squirrel Run. The family later moved to Toughkenamon and went into the mushroom business.

Lalla Secondina was an expert in the kitchen, she was known for the wonderful meals she could whip up at the drop of a hat. She was a sweet, gentle soul and is remembered with great fondness by my family and all those who knew her.

In the picture: Giovanni "John" & Secondina (Brondo) Camoirano (courtesy of my cousin Susan)

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