Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ra pórta ‘d ra Lalla Pina

The story of “Grandmom’s doors” has been told and retold in my family hundreds of times over the past almost 50 years. Even the extended family and cousins still talk about those doors. The story goes like this ….

On one of her visits back home to Giusvalla, Grandmom Rosaio noticed the doors in the vestibule of the church were in terrible condition. Grandmom went to her nephew Piciòn (Lorenzo Perrone) and asked him why the doors hadn’t been fixed, and he told her that the church didn’t have the money to pay for repairs. The next Sunday after Mass, Grandmom walked right up to the pastor and told him that she wanted to pay for new doors to be installed. She gave him the donation for the doors, and he promised that they would be put up very soon. Piciòn made sure that Grandmom was recognized for her generous donation, and to this day 47 years later there is a plaque above the vestibule doors that reads "Dono di Giuseppina Pesce" (Gift of Josephine Pesce). The beautiful glass and wood doors remain in perfect condition to this day.

“Grandmom’s doors” have become a favorite destination for her visiting descendants over the years, several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have stood in front of those doors and smiled proudly for the camera. And lest any of us forget, her great-nieces and nephews in Giusvalla still eagerly point up to the bronze plaque that bears her name and tell the story of ra pórta ‘d ra Lalla Pina ….

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