Our Family Circle: Michael Muro

Just a quick update for all the Muro family and friends.  Michael Muro is convalescing after a quadruple bypass this past Friday, July 27th.  The operation was a success and Michael is gradually getting up and around with help from the nurses and staff.  If all goes well he will be released and sent home this coming Saturday, August 4th.

Michael’s maternal cousin, Peter Di Fiore, will stay with Michael during his recovery at home.  It may be a little time before Michael is up to taking phone calls and following up on texts but your thoughts and support mean so much. So go ahead and send him an encouraging message whenever possible.

 

 

Our Family Circle: The Mystery Wedding Photo

Mystery Wedding late 1920s-early 1930s

The Mystery Wedding Photo.  Was this happy couple from New York City or Wilmerding, Pennsylvania?

We all enjoy mystery stories.  Even more so we enjoy how  the unfolding of the story provides hints  that help answer some or all the questions so that a degree of closure is reached.  Right now Uncle Sammy and I are turning to our extended network of family and descendants of the paesani of Josie and Sam for help in solving a mystery.

One of the photos Josie left is that of a very happy young couple posing for a studio portrait on their wedding day.  Based on the style of the wedding gown and the studio background we estimate the time period to be the late 1920s-early 1930s.  What makes this picture even more of a mystery is that Josie did not leave any notes on the back or on an enclosed piece of paper.  The large cardboard frame the photo is in does not have any imprint from the studio. Continue reading

Our Family Circle: Calabria, Mid-May to Early June, 2018

 

Family Reunion in Calabria

Michael Muro enjoyed another vacation and family reunion in Italy last month.  He travelled to Agropoli  first and then to Calabria to meet-up with Antonio and Aldisa Aiello.  Travelling to Calabria with Michael was Peter Muro, son of the late Peter and Angie (nee Carola) Muro.  Peter’s wife remained in Agropoli visiting with Anna Communale and other relatives.

In Calabria, Peter and Michael enjoyed lunch with Antonio and Aldisa at “Il Pirata” (The Pirate) restaurant.  Michael said that the restaurant faced a beautiful beach which made the event even more memorable.  The restaurant made a delicious seafood salad that included calamari and mussels.  Antonio, Aldisa and Peter enjoyed Frutta di Mare Sphaghetti.  Michael went with having rice instead of any kind of pasta.

Antonio’s sister Rosina and her son Alessio will meet-up with Michael on his next trip to Calabria.  In just a little over a year, thanks to the family history project and this blog, Michael has connected to Antonio Aiello, the nephew of his beloved paternal Grandmother, the late Rosina Aiello Marasco Muro.  Michael has also met Antonio’s children and is in touch with them, too.  What was also good was that Peter Muro got to meet Antonio during this trip.

To read about how we all came together in such an unplanned and amazing way please see our previous postings listed after Michael’s photos from his visit to Calabria.

Photos from Michael and Peter’s day in Calabria

Peter Muro w Aldisa and Antonio Aiello Calabria May 2018

Left to right:  Peter Muro, Alidisa Aiello, Antonio Aiello.

Michael Muro Calabria May 2018 B

At Il Pirata, left to right around the table:  Michael Muro, Aldisa Aiello, Antonio Aiello.

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View of the beach from Il Pirata restaurant.

Previous Postings about the Aiello Family

42a-Muro Family in America-Rosina Aiello Marasco of Martirano

46g-Aiello Family of Calabria-Connecting with the family of Rosina Aiello Marasco Muro

Summer 2017: Michael Muro’s Trip to Italy, Part 3-A visit to the Aiello Family

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2018

Roses Mother's Day 2018

On Mother’s Day we remember
our Mothers, Grandmothers , Great Grandmothers and all the matriarchs of the
Serrapede, Muro and Aiello Families
especially our Emily Leatrice., Josie, Rose, Letizia, and Emilia.
With love, gratitude and thanksgiving.
We wish all our family and friends a day of happiness and recollection as we recall all
the goodness, strength, encouragement and life-giving power of the love our Mothers
gave us.
–Sam Serrapede, Jr.
–EmilyAnn Frances May
——————————–
Public domain Victorian era image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

 

Our Family Circle: Michael’s vacation, EmilyAnn’s coursework

Introduction

This posting debuts a new feature at Through the Byzantine Gate.  It is called “Our Family Circle” and will feature very brief updates on what is going on in the family.  This will include birthday celebrations, vacation photos, notices of achievements and other general events our family and friends will enjoy learning about.  I have updated the previous posting about Jake’s birthday to include the name or our new feature.

Michael Muro

Michael got away from the cold, snowy, and rainy weather that has been with us since before Groundhog Day.  This vacation took Michael to the West Coast where he’s visiting his brother Nick’s family.

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Michael in Ojai, California.

Michael also had time to visit old friends in Ojai in California.  He said the temps were in the 80s when this photo was taken.  Michael returns to the East Coast this week.

EmilyAnn Frances May

I’ve been a bit scarce here at WordPress due to many positive and challenging developments in my personal life.  The client I work for is growing and I am focused on expanding my knowledge base so I will be more conversant in the nature of one of our clients’ business.  To better understand the terms used in boating and navigation, I took a one day course on Boating Safety taught by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA).  The class was given at Pier 40 in Manhattan.

This was a big step forward for me since I never operated a boat or understood all the terminology and intricacies of navigating waterways.  The course raised my awareness a great deal and helped give me more depth in understanding some aspects of boating I am somewhat familiar with because of our work with the client.

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Andy, me and Drew after the presentation of the USCGA Certificate of Accomplishment for the Boating Safety course.

The instructors, Drew and Andy, are volunteers of the USCGA.  They were patient and thorough in their presentation.  At the end of the course an exam was given.  We all aced the test.  I was elated with my grade:  98%.  I plan to devote more time to studying the course manual so I can reinforce what I learned.

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Pier 40 on Saturday evening, February 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

It was a very misty day with very light rainfall.  Pier 40 looked like the setting for a detective or mystery story set in the 1940s or 1950s when I left the class and headed back to my apartment.  I hope to come back to Pier 40 in the future to take other classes once the USCGA schedules them.

I invite all members of the immediate and extended Muro, Serrapede, Aiello and Marasco branch families to contact me with any news or photos they want to share.  I will feature them in future “Our Family Circle” postings.

 

Christmas in Agropoli 2017

Cousin Michael Muro is spending the Christmas holiday in Agropoli.  His flight was late due to falling snow.  This necessitated Michael flying from Pittsburgh to Newark.  From Newark he flew to Toronto.  Then from Toronto to Rome.  He arrived safely in Agropoli this past Tuesday.

Michael told me via email it was raining when he first arrived.  He wasn’t able to get too many photos but I think the ones he sent give us a glimpse into how the town is decorated for the holidays.  I was very surprised to see the inflatable igloos and Santas that have been placed along some of the ancient streets.  We have similar inflatable displays here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, too.

Michael is staying with the Carnicelli family and plans to spend some time with Giuseppe and Vincenzo.  If time and schedules permit he will also visit other relatives.

Thank you, Michael for sending us these photos.  Merry Christmas to you, the Carnicelli family and all our extended family in Agropoli and Calabria.

–EmilyAnn
–Sammy, Jr.

agropoli-xmas2017-right20to20left-20gerardo20carnicelli20zio20antonio20carnicelli20maria20and20daughter20danielle20friends20of20gerardo_zpskalvpstk

Michael is visiting the Carnicelli family.  From right to left:  Gerardo Carnicelli, zio Antonio Carnicelli, Maria and daughter Danielle(friends of Gerardo).

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Michael is in the center of this large, lighted gift box in the Piazza of Agropoli.

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Christmas tree made of lights in Piazza of Agropoli.

 

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Christmas market in Agropoli.

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Inflatable igloo and Santa’s helper located on one of the streets of Agropoli.

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Another inflatable outdoor display forms an arch over one of the streets in Agropoli.

 

 

51a-Serrapede and Muro Families in America: How a baby book started the family history project

Introduction

Greetings to all. It is good to be back after Summer Break. Thanks to Michael Muro, Giuseppe and Vincenzo Carnicelli, the family of Antonio Eugenio and Aldisa Aiello, and the Dell’Amore family for the enjoyable entries they contributed to during June through August.

With this posting, Uncle Sammy and I begin a shift in the presentation of the Muro and Serrapede family history. While we still have official documentation to draw on, we realize that after the 1940 Federal Census there needs to be other sources of information that will add to or verify the narrative.

We are taking a creative approach by combining family stories, local history, news coverage, pop culture, and personal history. With all the resources available through the internet the possibilities are dazzling. To start, we won’t aim for dazzling or sparkling but hope you will enjoy this story about how the family history project got its start. If it touches the heart and warms the spirit that will be more than enough feedback for us.

EmilyAnn’s story: The Our Baby Book

51a-Our Baby Book Cover

Cover of Our Baby, A book of Records and Memories.

I didn’t know what to make of Mom’s idea to use the “Our Baby, A book of Records and Memories” as a starting point for writing down her childhood memories. She bought this book while working at Brooklyn Union Gas during a long term temp assignment in the early 1990s. She said it put her into a cheerful frame of mind and provided the prompts she needed to recall specific times in her childhood. There were other journals and memory books on her bookshelf that she used to record other periods in her life. The end goal was to collect all these brief entries into a collection of vignettes and anecdotes about her life from childhood to young adulthood.

In the early 1990s through 1996 the internet was not part of our lives yet. I had taken creative writing courses in college but it was for the most part tedious and heavy handed. We read selected samples of different styles of writing. Then based on the sample we had to create something like it. There was no free writing, no prompts, nothing that got the creative juices going to take us on a journey into the flights of fancy creative writers can experience today. Thanks to the internet there is a wealth of techniques and exercises available. And then there are wonderful writing tools like 750words.com that keep one disciplined in their daily output. I’ve no idea where Mom got her unique approach to writing but it was working out well for her. As I watched the small collection of memories take written form, I thought there was something to the free form process she took using only illustrations to get started.

Continue reading