Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ra Trifurina

My great-grandfather’s cousin Matté Perrone married in 1904 in Giusvalla to Caterina Ferruccio. Matté was born in Giusvalla in 1876 at località Dogli, one of the large brood of children of Pietro “l'plén” Perrone and his wife, Teresa Manzino. He was a quiet, gentle and extremely reserved man. Matté’s bride, Caterina, on the other hand, was full of fire and very strong willed. Because Matté was so reserved, he was content to let Caterina run the house. She made all the important decisions and because she became known as the head of the household, she was called “Ra Trifurina.”

Matté came to the U.S. in 1905 and went to work for the DuPont family in the powder mills. Shortly after his arrival, there was an explosion and Matté was seriously injured. Upon receiving word of her husband’s accident, Caterina immediately left Giusvalla - on her own - to come to the U.S. and take care of Matté. When Matté regained his strength, they both returned to Giusvalla and opened a little store near their home at Ca’d Gaspò.

“Ra Trifurina” became known in Giusvalla as a force to be reckoned with. She was a fierce and intimidating business woman, always demanding the best deal possible. All the while, she was a loving wife to Matté and a gentle mother to their brood of six children. When Ra Trifurina died in 1937, the house at Ca’d Gaspò quietly mourned the loss of their matriarch, however 73 years later her descendants and their cousins still repeat the stories of the fiery and lively Caterina “Ra Trifurina!” It seems she is not yet ready to be forgotten.

In the picture: Caterina Ferruccio, “Ra Trifurina”

No comments:

Post a Comment