A Breach in Family Relations

The following account is from the trip to Italy taken by my brother Robert and myself in 2006.

C-1 Bill & Bob Marchione with Carmello Salvucci, 2006

Bill and Bob Marchione with Cousin Carmello Salvucci examining family photos in the kitchen of his home in San Donato in May 2006

In 2006 my brother Bob and I called on our closest remaining relative in San Donato, Carmello Salvucci, the grandson of Costanzo Salvucci, one of the three children of Carmine Salvucci (1851-1936) and Maria (Leone) Salvucci (1851-1914) For health reasons and the tightening of U.S. immigration Costanzo had been obliged to remain in Italy when his brothers Pietro, Donato, and Carlo and their families emigrated, followed soon after by the family patriarch Carmine

I had scanned many of the family photographs I had taken charge of in 2001, and Bob had thoughtfully placed the scans on his computer to show Carmello, a retired school teacher and high school principal. Mary Ann and I had visited Carmello and his family briefly on our first visit to San Donato in 1988 and I’d met him several times since when he’d traveled to America.

Imagine our surprise when Carmello told us that he had never seen a picture of his great grandfather Carmine, and went on to relate that his grandfather, Costanzo, had broken with his father, holding him personally responsible for his inability to emigrate to America; that all communication between father and son had effectively ceased when Carmine departed for the United States in late 1924. Carmine also revealed that he possessed no photograph of his father, Costanzo, or of his grandfather’s brother and sister, who had also been obliged to remain in Italy owing to various physical disabilities.

C-2 Carmine Salvucci, Cesidia and Maria on Snow Street, mid 1920s

Carmine Salvucci, our great great grandfather, with his great grandchildren Maria and Antonetta and daughter-in-law Cesidia outside their home on Snow Street in Brighton, shortly after his emigration to America, c. 1925

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