57-Serrapede and Muro Families in America-Bergen Beach, 1936

Introduction

Josie’s photo album contains two photos of an outing her brother Peter Muro and husband Sam took to Bergen Beach in Brooklyn during June 1936. At first we thought Peter was in Brooklyn for a short visit. We got in touch with Claudia Muro in Pennsylvania for some help with questions we have about Peter’s life during the 1930s and 1940s. Claudia is married to Peter’s youngest son Robert. The information she provided expands the story behind the photos. It also provides a possible link to other paesani in the Serrapede family’s network who may have helped Peter while he was in Brooklyn. We also learned quite a bit of local history as we pieced together a short history of Bergen Beach. What started out as a posting about two photos turned into a pleasant journey back in time based on the memories Uncle Sammy and Robert shared. It also validated family stories Mom passed on to me about my Grandpa Sam’s attitudes towards visits from relatives. The shorter they were the better to his liking.

Relationship Notes

Josie Muro Serrapede (1909-1995) was the wife of Sam Serrapede (1900-2002). They were the parents of Emily, Gerry and Sammy.

Peter Muro (1913-1992) was Josie’s younger brother. Their parents were Nick and Letizia Muro.

Emily Leatrice Serrapede (1931-2011) was EmilyAnn’s Mom and Sammy’s sister.

Bergen Beach, Brooklyn-June 1936

There are two photos from Peter Muro’s vacation in Brooklyn during June of 1936. One is of Sam in a rowboat looking very unhappy as he sits hunched over some rope in the boat.   On this photo Josie wrote “Bergen Beach, June 1936.” The other photo shows her brother Peter enjoying himself during the little excursion on the water.

The family knew that Sam did not encourage prolonged stays when the relatives from Pennsylvania came to visit. The Serrapede family was living in a very small apartment so the addition of one or two guests meant the living room would be crowded. Sam would not be able to relax and read his newspapers or listen to the radio when he came home from work. Sam never declined a request from his in-laws or own relatives when they needed a place to stay for a short time. He let Josie take care of the meal planning, sleeping arrangements and sightseeing activities. He felt that the little apartment was first and foremost a refuge for him, his wife and their children. Given the size of Josie’s family (11 siblings altogether) he thought it was the reasonable and right thing to make it clear what the guidelines were as far as staying over. He was very upfront, in a polite way, about that point.

Uncle Sammy and I saw this trait at work in Sam throughout his life. He was passionate about his privacy and having the full attention of his wife, children and grandchildren. Sam was dubbed “The Codge” by Uncle Sammy, a nickname we use with great affection whenever he comes to mind. Although “The Codge” would complain about all the work a visit from the relatives made, he was the first one to pour a glass of wine for the visitors and then engage them in a conversation.

The photographs used in this posting were digitized in 2014. The service we used eliminated the decorative borders around the photos as well as Josie’s handwritten comments.

Peter Muro in Brooklyn, NY 1936

In her email reply of April 16, 2016 Claudia Muro informed us that Peter came up to Brooklyn at the recommendation of his sisters. We think these were his oldest sister Josie and his second sister Filomena, both who were living in Brooklyn. His third sister, Rosie, was just 15 years old at the time. We do not think she came to Brooklyn until a few years later.

Continue reading “57-Serrapede and Muro Families in America-Bergen Beach, 1936”

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: The Mystery Wedding Photo”

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.

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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.