This year, my stepmother sent me some wonderful presents. The first is a pillow made from one of my Dad's shirts. The other is a photo album that my sister and I had put together for our Dad many years ago. (He passed in May 2017, my sister in 2005)
It was so much fun, bittersweet too, to see those pictures from our shared lives. 
There was even a picture of him wearing the very shirt that is now a pillow. 

She also included some much older photographs, that had been framed and hanging in their dining room, including the two I have posted here.
These are my great-grandparents. 
The tinted picture shows my father's maternal grandparents, Carmella and Vincent Fontana. I love the fancy dress and hairstyle in the tinted picture. This was a formal portrait certainly. The b&w image is of his paternal grandparents, Giovanna and Salvatore Guastella. While that image is less formal, I think it has a lot of charm. 

The only one of them who was still alive when I was born was my Great-Gramma Giovanna. She was tiny and plump and spoke almost no English. She adored my father, her eldest grandson. I can remember sitting at her kitchen table with my sister (I was maybe 3 years old) with a glass of milk and a straw. We kids were using the straws to blow bubbles in the milk, which spilled over the top. We were laughing so hard, and Great-Gramma most of all. Hearing the noisy laughter, my mother came into the kitchen to see what we were up to, and started to scold us kids for making a mess. But Great-Gramma shooed her out of the kitchen and motioned for us to carry on. She was adorable. 

Carmella and Vincent Fontana                                              Giovanna and Salvatore Guastella

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Comment by koshersalaami on December 20, 2018 at 5:01pm

A great memory.
I was fortunate enough to know a few of my great grandparents as a small child. 

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on December 20, 2018 at 5:56pm

oh wow, rosi, i love this so much! what perfect gifts! and such fabulous photos!

Comment by Tom Cordle on December 20, 2018 at 6:20pm

We sometimes don't realize how fortunate we are to have lived in a time when photographs were possible. Kids are made for grandparents to spoil.

Comment by Rosigami on December 21, 2018 at 9:02am

Kosh, that's so nice. Three of my grandparents were still alive when my eldest was born, but my mother's father passed before they could meet. My grandmother was the only one left to see the twins when they came along. She lived until they were 4. They all remember her. She was quite a character.  

Comment by Rosigami on December 21, 2018 at 9:03am

Hi and thank you, Theodora! It's been a while! 

Comment by Rosigami on December 21, 2018 at 9:06am

Tom, I love the old photographs. My stepmom is also going to be sending me my grandparents' wedding portrait from 1929. The image itself is quite beautiful. It's in a huge oval frame with curved glass and weighs a ton. I've loved it all my life...

Comment by alsoknownas on December 21, 2018 at 9:28am

Wonderful gifts!

You look like your great-grandmother Carmella. Maybe switch your hair-do?

Comment by Rosigami on December 21, 2018 at 1:35pm

Hahaha! alsoknownas, I can't even begin to know what a hairdo like that would entail. I can just about manage a braid. 
Yes, I do look like Carmella, and even more like her daughter, my grandmother Luigina.
When I get the that wedding picture, I'll post it. 

Comment by Steel Breeze on December 30, 2018 at 8:26am

nice.....and refreshing...


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