In the small town of Torrebruna in the Abruzzo region of Italy a beautiful young

woman takes a giant step toward womanhood as she makes her first pot of sauce.

She stands by her mother’s side and takes to the process like an old pro. This

beautiful young girl is Carmela Bontempo (my grandmother) and since that day

she has been making all kinds of Italian specialties and sauces. She then meets a

young man from her town, Nicola Marianacci (my grandfather) and after a long

courtship they marry. In 1924 she accompanies her husband to the United States.

Of course, her father comes also. He is great grandfather Federico with the big

mustache. Nicola arrives and finds work in the coal mines of this region of NE Pa.

Carmela still longs for the home she left, but soon gets into the rhythm of this new

land. Nicola and Carmela start a family right away. Their first is Dominic (my

father) followed by Fred, Antoinette, Carmella and Henry. The family works very

hard and continues to prosper. The boys all serve in the military and sister

Carmella stays home with mom. The oldest sister Antoinette develops heart

problems and eventually succumbs to the illness. After the war the boys come

home and begin to build lives for themselves. They all marry and have children

and begin the journey of life which is to provide for their family and give their

children the things, materially and otherwise, that they were not able to enjoy.

Some of the family move to New Jersey, but stay well attached to family and life.

back here at home. As time goes by my father and his siblings become closer and

closer and develop a very strong sense of family that has been transferred to all

the children.

As they reached their golden years they made time to travel to each

other and have a lunch or dinner and reminisce about the old days and how far

they have come. As they faced life’s challenges in past few years they have stayed

a family, ready and willing to help however they could. Sometimes it was with a

visit, other times it was with a simple well placed phone call and a kind word. All

the gatherings began with kisses for everyone and calls were ended with an “I

love you” to each other. They have all stayed grounded in the place where they

started. There was never a competition among them as they enjoyed each others

successes and shared their love when encountering some of life’s challenges

physically and materially. We have been truly blessed with parents, aunts, uncles

and cousins who really love each other.

As they reach the end of their journey in this life I just wanted to pay tribute to

them and thank them for all they have given us materially and otherwise. This is

truly and American success story that will continue far into the future. I think I

can speak for my entire family when I say that they have given us the greatest

gift—and that is the gift of family.

Dominic F. Marianacci