{Tuesdays with Tina, part 3}

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Tuesdays With Tina

Tuesdays with Tina

If you are new to this series, catch up first and then come back and read.

Part 1

Part 2

Me: How did nonno come to do the job he did? Was he apprenticed to someone?

Tina: When he was 20 years old, he went into the military for compulsory service. They selected him for the Navy. He he served for two years and it was a good thing because he would have a place to sleep…a home, really.  He would tell us stories…when he was living with this friend…he was returning home from work…he had to work…he didn’t go to school. He taught himself a lot, through reading. Despite all that he knew…he only went through first grade…


Tina: Only first grade. He was so good at stuff too. He read, did crossword puzzles, wrote poetry, wrote songs… So as I was saying…he was returning to this friend’s house one night after work and he sees a mouse eating from his plate of food they had saved for him. He was young, maybe 17, 18 years old. What could he do? He couldn’t reject the food! He was hungry! So he spooned away the part where he saw the mouse had been eating and he ate the rest. And I tell you, for nonno to do that…it’s pretty amazing! He was so finicky! He didn’t like to see raw meat or fish. He was very particular with cleanliness. When he would tell us this story he would have tears in his eyes. It was hard!

Me: Maybe that’s why he was strict with you kids too?

Tina: Yes, his sister was his role model. But it wasn’t because there wasn’t love. He just wanted what was good for us.

Me: I remember you would tell stories of the miniskirt…

Tina: Yes, he didn’t want me to wear a miniskirt, or even pants for that matter! He didn’t want us to smoke even though he did because only a certain kind of woman smoked…

Me: And make up! He didn’t want you to wear that!

Tina: Only movie stars and certain ladies wore make up. He wanted us to be well-mannered. He never let us eat with our hands, even when we were very little. We had to use a spoon or a fork. And before drinking, we had to wipe our mouths with our cloth napkin. He was very picky about these kinds of things. And these things stay with you…

Me: Like with me, you would always say, “Bend over!” [so as to not dribble on ourselves]…

Tina: Or “Sit upright!” But in the end, I was glad that he was like this with us because we grew up right. My mother was more lenient with us kids…She was the one who ruled the roost, however. My father thought he was the boss but she really was the one that was, but she knew how to do it so that he thought he was in charge… We didn’t have television. We would listen to the radio. We had to always be doing something. When my father would return from work, tired, we had to all line up by the door and give him a kiss. He would whistle and my mother would call us, “Your father is coming!” and we would line up waiting to kiss him. He didn’t like to see us idle…

Me: That’s where you get it from…!!!


Me: I’ll never forget…we were in our rental house in Sicily and I was sitting on the swing, reading a Nancy Drew book. You came in, took one look at me and said, “Go do something! Go outside and play or something but go do something productive!” I retorted, “I am doing something! I’m reading!” David (my brother) was watching TV and he was fine. You didn’t tell him to stop watching TV but for you, reading was a waste of time since you aren’t a reader!

(more laughter)

Tune in next week for more stories…Tuesdays with Tina


Series Navigation<< Vincenzo Migliaro, famous painter {Tuesdays with Tina, part 2}Vico Canale {Tuesdays with Tina, part 4} >>

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

2 thoughts on “{Tuesdays with Tina, part 3}

  1. OH my gosh the mouse thing…eeeekkkk!!!!! This one time I was eating a bag of chips and realized about 10 minutes in that there was tiny mouse nibbles out of the bottom of the bag, I freaked out! EEEWWWWW!!!! And reading a book not doing something, haha! So funny.

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