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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52a-Serrapede Family in America: The Great Depression, Part 2

(This posting is a continuation of 52a-Serrapede Family in America: The Great Depression, Part 1)

Discussion with Uncle Sammy on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Topic:  What do you associate with the 1930s?

EmilyAnn:  First, I think of what happened on the day the Stock Market Crashed in 1929.  Mom told me that some investors were so shocked or ruined that they soon committed suicide.  Dad always said that as bad as things were that should never have happened.  People live through tough times by drawing closer to each other. Mom and Dad repeatedly emphasized this. With this in mind I wondered how people coped.

My parents and grandparents often told me that the movies offered a great escape.  I think of the Endicott Theatre that was located on 13th Avenue and 70th Street.  Mom and Dad shared many of their memories with me about their happy times at the Saturday afternoon matinees.  One of Mom’s favorite series of films came out towards the end of the 1930s.  She was a fan of Mickey Rooney and the “Andy Hardy” films he made.  Mom thought he was cute.  I couldn’t understand the appeal because as a child I knew Mickey Rooney as an older actor.  When I saw the photos of him as a teenage star I quickly understood how Mom, as a 6 or 7 year old girl, could develop a crush on him.

52a-Mickey Rooney
Opening credit for Mickey Rooney from 1939 film, “Babes in Arms.”

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