Nanna Francesca’s birth date is today, the 12th, though her birth certificate states February 19th due to its delayed lodging as her parents fought over naming her after their mothers. Tradition prevailed. She was named for her paternal Nonna in possibly the only argument won by the usually quiet, laid-back, Domenico over my grandmother’s maternal side, the indomitable Carrozza women (short, stout and strong).
This photograph was taken on Nanna Francesca’s birthday 40 years ago at my parents’ Red Hill house. It was the era when I’d often stay over at my grandparents’ place and Nanna Francesca took me to the ‘pictures’, as she called it, and afterwards lunch at the Coles cafeteria where I mostly had hot chips in a cardboard cup then pikelets. Of course, being a kid, I took it all for granted then, but am so grateful now to look back on those times and for the time she gave me.
Buon compleanno, Nanna Francesca. xxx
My grandfather, Annibale, on the eastern edge of Monte Circolo near Castle Ocre looking over the Aterno Valley (with Fossa just below) in 1975. It was the first time he was able to return to the village and was so happy to revisit all the places of where he’d grown up.
Exactly 30 years later, I took the other photo from almost the same spot. I didn’t know about this photograph of Nonno Anni at the time but I think one day I’ll have to attempt to replicate it by standing on the same rock. He was about 52 in that photo, perhaps when the time comes I should try getting the similar shot at the same age!
Since the earthquake, my family’s house in Italy remains too damaged to stay in. Much of the village remains empty. And now, thieves have broken into the house. They mainly upturned drawers adding to the mess of earthquake damage, since belongings inside are mostly of sentimental value, but of course it is another blow.
For the past week, my cousin has been there cleaning up and an unexpected side to what’s happened is that she’s come across old documents, letters written by our great-grandparents and photographs, including this lovely find!
My mother (on the left) was just twenty-two at the time when she and my Dad were the first to travel back to the house after the family migrated to Australia decades earlier. Pierina (on the right) is the relative who lived in the house and kept it maintained all those years before the family could return. This was taken in Fossa just before Christmas in 1970.