Friday, September 5, 2014


Meet Dominic and Josephine. My great grandparents who came over on the boat from Italy and never learned English. They had 7 children and Josephine used unique disciplinary methods that included swatting the back of the head with a broom when you weren't looking. That was much better than kneeling on hard lima beans until they indented the knees. 

Dominic spent his entire waking hour in a squeaky rocking chair smoking a pipe and spitting in a coffee can called a spittoon. Sometimes he knocked it over with the rocking chair. Then I got to hear lots of interesting Italian phrases, that if I repeated I got my mouth washed out with lye soap. 

Oh, and the walls were decorated with genuine contact paper. When they ran out, they'd continue with a totally different pattern.

Even though Dominic had the look of a dictator, Josephine clearly was the scarier one. You think those are flips on her head, do you? That's why I thought this old photo was so unusually charming. So much so, that I decided to immortalize this tender moment. Oh, and yes I have many other such interesting characters from my past. What? Don't we all?


  1. Really lovely project - I do love the way you have captured the curves of the clothing. And really quite a fun (and funny) story! I enjoyed it very much.

  2. I had very similar grandparents, from Lithuania/Rumania. Loved your story. Did their house smell like cabbage and onions? (Maybe Italians aren't as fond of cabbage and Eastern European Jews!).

    1. My great-grandparents house mostly smelled of stinky pipe smoke. No cabbage, as they came over on the boat from Italy. xo



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