Featured DIYChatroom Member: JazMan
Posted 09-16-2014 at 06:52 AM by DIYChatroom
I was born in Buseto Palizzolo, a small town near Trapani (Sicily) Italy on March 3, 1948. My parents Vincenzo & Francesca were about as poor as anyone there. I was the youngest of their 4 children, although the oldest, my sister, died at age 7, years before I was born. Being extremely poor my father joined Mussolini's army 3 separate times, twice without telling my mother. He just left to go to town and came back 3-6 years later.
He was captured by the English in North Africa one time and was a prisoner of war for about 5 years.
One of his brothers had come to New York and then Detroit years earlier and so my dad made plans to come to America and be rich like everyone else. The first step was not so easy. The U.S. had a very low quota for Italians in the 1950's. He'd have to wait for many years. However, my father was born in Tunis, Tunisia, (a French Colony), and so he was able to come as a French citizen. He arrived in 1954. Mom, my sister, brother and I arrived in 1956.
My father had bought a house which cost $8,000.00 and so I thought it must have been a palace..................not.
I started working part time after school at a floor covering store at 15. Yup, .75 cents an hour. After high school I worked at other tile stores and became the manager of a new location.
I joined the National Guard after the '67 Detroit Riots instead of going to Vietnam. I was Airborne Ranger, still don't know why I volunteered to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and helicopter. Training was for 6 months, but I had camp-outs & training one weekend a month, plus 2 weeks in the summer for 6 years. No complaints, since many brave soldiers never returned from Vietnam.
I married in 1970 and have two of the greatest children, a daughter and a son. Gee, they're not children anymore.
I was the general manager of a small tile store chain which had now grown to 4 locations. In 1986 I decided that installing the stuff was definitely more profitable than selling it. Boy was I wrong about that. I went on my own in 1987 till now. I am now retired, but can be talked into a special job now and then or for consultation. Boy, this industry can use lots of consultation.
I hang out at several tile related forums trying to give my advice to people who have questions about their up coming project or the failure they're trying to fix.
If you're a regular here, you've seen my rants.
P.S. I will be returning to Sicily in the near future for a visit. I will visit many cousins and my last surviving aunt. I will also visit sites that date back over 2,500 years.
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