Grandpa and grandma came to the USA when they were in their very early twenties.
They came with little money, so they had to rent a place to live. Grandpa was a wise man and a great observer.
In Italy he trained as a shoemaker, but here that job would not provide adequate income. So he found a factory job for steady income, but he also found wealthy clients who could pay richly for handmade shoes.
Grandpa marveled at the public transportation system. With one coin you could ride, then “transfer to anyplace you want to go.” He never spent money on owning a car.
Grandpa made homemade bread and cooked from scratch every day. They were very careful financially. Clothes were passed down from one child to the next.
Grandpa observed that, and at that time, it was wise to own real estate. So the clever fellow bought a structure with a basement large enough for a workshop and, of course, for his wine making shop.
The first floor had a cute little shop he rented out.
The second story had large rooms where his family lived.
The third story was rented out to tenants.
Outside was a double garage he rented out, too.
Also, there was a space for a garden that produced fresh vegetables and herbs in the warm weather and canned vegetables in winter.
So with rent from the shop, the third story, the two garages, and money from his two jobs and his wine selling business, he managed to bring up nine children.
During the depression, times were difficult and the family often ate pasta and bread or beans and bread. Social agencies were available to give financial aid, but grandpa refused their help. He was too proud to take money from his new country.
Grandma and grandpa raised fine children who, when married, all bought houses only minutes away from their childhood home.
They wanted to be there if their parents needed them.
Twenty grandchildren were welcomed to the big, proud Italian family.