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.
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”