76c-Serrapede Family in America – Emily goes to Bay Ridge High School 1944 – 48


Josie and Sam Serrapede guided their children to use their educational opportunities as a springboard for personal development as well as preparation for a profession.  When their daughter, Emily Leatrice, was accepted into Bay Ridge High School they felt a great sense of accomplishment as parents.  They also had a sense of hopeful optimism for her future since the school had a very good reputation under the tenure of Principal Fitzpatrick who was known to value the many cultures that comprised the student body. 

For Emily it was the beginning of a new phase in her adolescence as she travelled further away from the neighborhood and came into contact with the children of Irish, German and Scandinavian immigrants as well as Italian immigrants.

Relationship Notes

Emily Leatrice Serrapede circa 1944.  Note the ankle socks and lace-up shoes.  During WWII rationing of nylons and shortages of leather caused teenagers to favor cotton ankle socks and saddle or lace-up shoes.

Emily Leatrice Serrapede was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 18, 1931.  She was the daughter of Josie and Sam Serrapede and:

–Big Sister to Junior (Sabbatino, Sammy)

–The Mom to EmilyAnn

Family Story:  Discovering new places

Vintage post card.  Photograph of Bay Ridge High School circa 1920.  Public Domain.  Wikimedia Commons.

Emily always remembered how the campus of Bay Ridge High School impressed her from the minute she saw it.  At first she wondered if she would ever be late to any of her classes since the building was so very big.   Those worries dissipated very quickly.  She looked forward to going to school each day.  When the weather was good she might take the bus to school and walk home.  On cold or rainy days she travelled by bus both ways since the school was a little more than a mile from home.

Everything about Bay Ridge communicated that she was in the midst of a different community.  There were Lutheran Churches with simple architecture and stores selling newspapers in Norwegian.  The side streets were lined with homes that had simple gardens devoid of the garden shrines so popular in the Italian-American neighborhood of Dyker Heights.  There was a sense of simplicity and understatement, too, amongst the girls from the Scandinavian community who went to school with Emily.  They were not given to speaking too loudly or gesticulating with their hands when involved in a conversation.  Emily liked this understatement and adapted it as part of her own behavior when interacting with others from outside of the Italian-American community.

Continue reading “76c-Serrapede Family in America – Emily goes to Bay Ridge High School 1944 – 48”

76b-Serrapede Family in Brooklyn – Emily at BRHS-Steno, Typing, Home Ec and Pranks


Emily Leatrice Serrapede was accepted into Bay Ridge High School in 1944.  During her freshman year she enjoyed time after classes to explore the area around the school.  During sophomore year her workload increased.  By junior year she was working very hard at balancing time devoted to school and a part time job. This presented many, many challenges and a big decision Emily had to make.  Life wasn’t always so serious, though.  Emily engaged in some pranks her classmates encouraged her to repeat.  At first the laughs brought her diversion from the seriousness of her coursework and the decision she had to make about her part-time job.  When she realized how the pranks were preventing her from learning more on a subject she began to find of great interest she had another decision to make.

Relationship Notes

Emily Leatrice Serrapede circa 1945-46.

Emily Leatrice Serrapede was the daughter of Sam and Josie Serrapede.  She attended Bay Ridge High School from the Autumn of 1944 through the Winter of 1947.  She graduated six months ahead of schedule in the Spring of 1948.  Emily was:

Sister to Junior (a/k/a Sammy, Sabbatino)
The Mom to EmilyAnn.

Continue reading “76b-Serrapede Family in Brooklyn – Emily at BRHS-Steno, Typing, Home Ec and Pranks”