Winter Break 2019-2020

During Winter Break our intern, Miss Tammy Doll and her poodle Paris, will be checking emails and comments from the Linden, New Jersey office of Through the Byzantine Gate.

Uncle Sammy and I will begin Winter Break on December 20th, 2019 through January 11, 2020.  During the break I will check in for comments but not publish any new posts. 

I will remain in Linden, cozy and warm in my lovely apartment. when I am not at the office and plant of my new employer.  The office is two short blocks from where I live so I no longer stress about crowds or commuter rail time schedules. Uncle Sammy and Aunt Kathie are off to Alcapulco where they have a time share. 

I aim to be back on WordPress on a more consistent and frequent basis in the new year.  I have missed everyone and thank you all for your support and readership this past year.

Please stop by and let us know how your holiday is going or to give us an update.

We wish everyone a happy holiday season ahead. 

Time to Sparkle and Shine!,

EmilyAnn Frances May
Sam Serrapede, Jr. 

Holiday in Italy: Micheal Muro’s 2019 Winter trip to Calabria

One of the beautiful experiences of the holiday season is the renewal of contacts with family and friends.  For me it is always a pleasure to reconnect and share updates. 

Michael Muro began his Christmas vacation in Italy on December 11th.  I got this photo in an email yesterday.  Michael is in Brescia visiting the relatives and their descendants of his paternal Grandmother, the late Rosina Aiello Marasco Muro.  In this photo Michael (seated on the left) is with Angelo Aiello and Rosina Aiello and their families.  Michael thanked Uncle Sammy and I for helping Michael to make these connections. 

We are very happy for Michael.  This is what makes the work worthwhile.  We wish Michael and all the members of the Aiello family a very Merry Christmas!

–EmilyAnn Frances May
–Sam Serrapede, Jr.
  December 17, 2019

73-Serrapede Family in Brooklyn-Our Losses, Our Gains 1940-43 Pt. 3


Gerald (Gerry) Serrapede passed away in February of 1941 a few weeks before his third birthday.  His sister Emily often related that for an entire year after this Josie, their mother, retreated to her bedroom.  She got up to prepare meals and do housework but spent the rest of the time resting or sleeping.  During this year which spanned the Spring of 1941 to the late winter of 1942, Emily spent many afternoons with her cousins after school.

Emily’s remembrances of the year after Gerry’s death were always vague.  None of the anecdotes or stories from that time included her father, her Aunties or her Uncles.  Then in late 1942 a happy event happened for the Serrapede family.  Emily was now a pre-teen.  At 11 years old she was developing a preference for sleeping late and complaining about how crowded the new apartment was getting.  Before sharing those later stories it’s important to review the pieces to the story which Uncle Sammy recently shared with me.  The bigger picture now emerges and a better understanding of why Josie rested and remained quiet comes to the fore.  She needed the time to mourn but also to pray and prepare for the next phase in the family’s life.

Relationship Notes:  The Serrapede Family

Josie and Sam Serrapede:  Sammy’s parents and EmilyAnn’s maternal Grandparents.

Emily Leatrice Serraede:  Sammy’s big sister and EmilyAnn’s Mom.

Gerald (Gerry) Serrapede:  Sammy’s older brother and EmilyAnn’s Uncle who passed away in childhood.

Junior”:  Sammy’s nickname growing up.  His birth name was Sabbatino, a derivative of his father Sabato’s name.  Later he was called Sammy.

What was Josie doing during that year of retreat?

Josie and Sam discussed their grief over losing Gerry with a priest from St. Rosalia’s Church in their neighborhood.  The priest comforted them and instructed them that they should go to confession, attend Mass every Sunday and receive the Sacrament of Communion as often as possible.  Within a year they would have another baby boy.

Continue reading “73-Serrapede Family in Brooklyn-Our Losses, Our Gains 1940-43 Pt. 3”