53b-Serrapede Family in America-Emily Leatrice’s Baptism, December 1931

Relationship Notes

Emily Serrapede is featured in this posting. She was the daughter of Sam and Josie (nee Muro) Serrapede, older sister of Gerald and Sammy, and EmilyAnn’s Mother.

Introduction

In 1930 Sam and Josie were married at the Church of St. Rosalia. The church was built on 14th Avenue and 65th Street. When their daughter Emily Leatrice was born in 1931 they were living in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn. Six months later she was baptized at St. Rosalia’s Church where the family moved before  Emily was Baptized. As young parents, Sam and Josie needed the help and companionship of their relatives and paesanos, most who lived in Dyker Heights. This was a good move. Their daughter grew up in the company of her cousins, many who became her best friends.

The Baptismal Certificate

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Baptismal Certificate for Emily Serrapede.

Although her birth certificate had her official name as Emily, the Baptismal Certificate bears her name in Italian. Emilia Pappalardo Serrapede was her paternal Grandmother. This might have been a custom observed in the immigrant community. The official record has the English version of the name and the baptismal name is in Italian. Josie and Sam followed this practice with their son Jerry.

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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.

 

Our Family Circle: Happy Birthday, Jake!

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Jake Lingle, son of Michael and Katy Lingle, celebrated his 1st birthday yesterday (February 1st, 2018).

Our favorite little boy has a big weekend ahead and it’s all about him.  Today was a birthday party with his parents and his Nanny.  Aunt Kathie will arrive early this evening.

Saturday Jake will enjoy another party with his maternal Grandparents and Kathie, his paternal Grandmother.

Michael sent this photo today.  It looks like Jake is enjoying the cake as well as all the attention!

Many Happy Returns, Jake Lingle!

Previous Posts about Jake

46e-Mike and Katy Lingle Update: Welcome to the world, Jake!

53a-Serrapede Family in America Early-Mid 1930s-Father and Daughter

Relationship Note

Emily Leatrice was the daughter of Sam and Josie Serrapede, sister to Gerald and Sammy and Mom of EmilyAnn.  She was born at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, NY on April 18, 1931.

Introduction

The family stories shared in this posting come from a combination of brief entries my Mom made to her “Our Baby Book” and the many discussions we had about them.  The entries were a type of shorthand she used to recall the memory or cluster of memories she wanted to share with me.  I listened carefully so that I could feel and see the scenes along with her.  Then I committed as much as I could to memory.  We discussed the stories so often that soon a narrative began to flow.  Stories she’d told me in my childhood now expanded to include the more recent ones entering the narrative.  In time I could recall the memories and experiences she shared with me just as if I’d been there when they happened.

We began this process over many lovely weekends.  We got up very early for breakfast and lingered over cups of herbal tea and hot cereal.   I was never sure how I would write everything into a narrative form.  These sessions took place in the mid-1990s.  The Internet, blogging, and episodic storytelling were things I had no idea would one day facilitate their expression.

Mom’s earliest entries and the stories she told me focused on how much her Dad, Sam, loved her and how much patience he had with her as she grew older.  Here are two stories which show the interaction between them.

In order to keep the narrative from becoming confusing to non-family members, I refer to my Mom and Grandparents by their first names.

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Christmas 2017: Update on Mike, Katy and Jake

 

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Jake Lingle, December 21, 2017.

Uncle Sammy and Aunt Kathie are headed for Baltimore, Maryland today.  They will spend Christmas with the Knipp and Lingle families.

Aunt Kathie anticipates more hugs and cuddles with her grandson Jake.  Jake was born in February 2017 to her son Michael and daughter-in-law Katy.

Michael sent the latest photo of Jake.  I think I see a little of Aunt Kathie in that bright smile!

Merry Christmas to the Knipp and Lingle families!

*******

Previous Posts about Michael, Katy and Jake

Michael and Katy’s Wedding, Baltimore, MD, June 11, 2016

Baltimore June 10-12, 2016

41e-Baby Lingle is coming February 2017!

Interlude: Jake’s First Halloween

 

 

 

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.

 

 

52d-Station Break: Shopping Lists and Rented Rooms in “Dime a dance”

Special Note

This is our last posting before going on winter break.  We’ll stop in during the next two weeks to exchange holiday greetings with our WordPress friends.  Regular posting will resume around the second week of January 2017.

Introduction

Uncle Sammy and I did not plan to post about a Pre-Code 1930s film as part of our family history.  The scenes from “Dime a dance” complemented the discussion we were having about how much food and rent cost during the 1930s.  The difficulties of a young couple struggling on $160 a month in this film resonated after our research on this topic.  We hope you will enjoy the synopsis of this film along with some screen shots from the movie.

Synopsis of “Dime a dance” (1931)

In “Dime a dance” Barbara O’Neill (Barbara Stanwyck) is a young, single woman working as a taxi dancer.  She is in love with Eddie Miller (Monroe Owsley) whom she meets at the boarding house where they live.  Eddie comes across as a shy, sensitive guy who just needs a break in life.  There is another contender for Barbara’s affections.  Suave, wealthy businessman Bradley Carlton (Ricardo Cortez) is struck by Barbara’s honesty and independence.  Despite the gifts and tips he gives her at the dance hall Barbara remains unmoved.

Barbara marries Eddie after he makes her leave her job.  Life does not go well as he constantly needs money.  Less than a year into their marriage, the couple is in debt and Barbara learns Eddie is not the man she thought he was.  In her troubles she turns to Bradley for help.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story since I think it’s worth checking out this Pre-Code film.  A very young Barbara Stanwyck gives a good performance.  She’s still developing her style but you’ll see the actress of substance she was to become shortly before the end of the film.

What is a taxi dancer?

The term taxi dancer is a descriptive way to define the relationship of the dancer to the patron of a dance palace.  Patrons bought tickets for ten cents each dance.  The dancer took one ticket for one dance.  In a way, it is like going into a taxi cab.  Once the drive starts, the meter is on for the rest of the trip.  To continue on with the same partner for another dance, the patron has to have another ticket.  This gave rise to the phrase “dime a dance girl” to describe the women who worked as taxi dancers.

Taxi dancers lived a very precarious existence.  They were paid a nickel off of every ten cent ticket they took in.  Assuming a dancer took 5 minutes for one dance, she could make 60 cents an hour.  There had to be break time in-between so I’d estimate that in total the dancer could make $4.00 more or less per day.  For a 6 day week her total would be about $20-24.  The dancer would have to be very resilient and focused so that she maintained a steady clientele.  Without them her daily take could fluctuate too much.

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