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May 17, 2013

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POST-GAZETTE, MAY 17, 2013 Page13 J / anna Babb?]nonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance To continue from last week, I was saying that this week (on the 15th) is the 22"d anniversary of my column, Nanna and Babbononno. When Babbononno finally settled in Boston, he was told that Boston's North End had many Italians for residents. He headed for a cup of coffee and something to eat and began talking to another Ital- ian, Antonio Ceruolo. They seemed to hit it off and my grandfather told his new friend about his experiences in America. Antonio listened and informed his companion that he and several other countrymen were sharing a North End apartment and one of them was moving out. If Babbononno was in- terested, he could take the man's place• He did. Antonio was a plasterer. Before there were forms for doing fancy scroll work or other decorative ideas, he carved them by hand. He was • always working as a result of his talent and was saving his money to bring his sib- lings over from Italy, one by one, but not in steerage, the way he had traveled from Italy to America. Two of his sisters had already arrived and a 3rd was preparing to emigrate• He showed pic- tures of his siblings to his new roommate and men- tioned that one, Giovannina was not married. Babbo- nonno liked the looks of the unmarried sister but didn't say anything out of respect, but kept the image of her in mind. Antonio was dating a tiny young lady from Avellino and referred to her as Mariuccia. As time progressed, they were married and headed to East Boston. Babbononno, in the meantime, found a day job both making and finish- ing furniture• He networked around the North End neigh- borhood and found out who the local musicians were and began to play at night. One of them was Guy Schirraffa, who was in the process of putting the Roma Band to- gether and when he did, the band marched in parades, played for holiday gatherings and each occasion featured Michele Contini (Babbo- nonno) on drums. He soon joined the Italian Marine Band in America and would remain with both 'for years to come. With two jobs, he began to do well financially, and when Antonio's sister, • Giovannina arrived, Michele asked permission to date her. Dating in those days was always under the super- vision of the girl's family. Antonio and his married sisters kept their eyes on Michele. He was a friend, but musicians had bad reputa- tions with the ladies and they were worried about their sister. After a brief courtship Michele Contini and Giovan- nina Ceruolo were married at the Mt. Carmel Church in East Boston with Antonio and Mariuccia standing up for them. They rented an apartment in the same building as Antonio and Mariuccia, who was already expecting her first child• To Americanize, Michele be- came Michael and Giovan- nina became Jenny. My mother was the first born, then Uncle Nick. A third child was born, Anto- nio, but while still an in- fant, pulled a pan of scalding hot water off the kitchen stove and didn't survive the ordeal. He would be the first of my family to be buried in America. They tried again and the result was Uncle Gino. Nanna took a part time job as a stitcher doing hand tai- loring on men's suit jackets and heard some gossip about her husband• The gossip con- tinued and she confronted her husband because it con- cerned him. She heard that he had a wife and children back in Foggia. Babbononno confessed that he had two children but was widowed, having had lost his wife when the 2nd child was born. He told my grandmother that his mother was caring for the children and he hadn't wanted to mention it for fear that she wouldn't marry him. My grandmother went to an unused sugar bowl and pulled out some money she was saving and told Babbo- nonno that his children belonged with him not his mother and that the money should be sufficient to bring the children to America. Within a short period of time, they arrived and the family was established with Grace being the oldest, Paul being the second oldest and then the American born, Angelina (my mother), Nick and Gino. Grace married young and pulled away from the family. As a result, I never really knew her. When their Orleans Street apartment was robbed one day, Babbononno decided to buy a house in the then Anglo neighborhood of Eagle -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 Hill. He purchased what to- day we call a three decker on Eutaw Street and the family settled in for what amounted to suburban liv- ing. Babbononno supported his family with two jobs, building furniture during the day and playing music at night. I mentioned that he played drums, but he also played guitar and joined a dance band. As his sons grew up, they followed in their father's musical foot- steps. Even before they were adults, Uncles Paul and Nick became professional musi- cians, both playing clarinet and sax. Uncle Gino was taught drums by my grand- father, but WWII would interrupt a career of enter- tainment• Following a stint with the Army Air Corps, he would go into business and forgo music. Uncles Nick and Paul were working with a band and brought the bass player home for dinner one night. Babbononno liked him right off as did their sister, Angelina, who was now call- ing herself Anne. The bass player, John DeCristoforo and Anne dated throughout the early 1930s and were married in 1936. I came along in 1938. For the two years before I was born, Mom and Dad lived in Allston, in a section called Musician's Row. Most of the people who lived there were musicians Dad and Uncle Nick worked within various bands. When I was born, they moved back to 70 Eutaw Street in East Boston. Toward the end of WWlI, Nanna had a heart attack and Babbononno knew the big house was too much for her and he sold it. He rented an apartment on Princeton Street, a five minute walk from the old house. We moved to 74 Eutaw, where I grew up. Well, that's the story of how my family came to America and is my anniver- sary story. Uncles Paul and Gino would have two chil- dren each and Uncle Nick, none. I was like a son to Uncle Nick and my two sons were his surrogate grand- children. Nanna passed away in December of 1958, suffering with breast cancer for a few years. Babbononno made it to age 98. Dad died in 1991, Uncle Paul in 2004, Nick in 2006 and Mom in 2007. The only one left is Uncle Gino, who will be 96 this June. He would hang around with me if Aunt Ninna, his wife, would let him. But, she probably thinks I would lead him astray. Hopefully, I will Le able to continue with stories about my family well into the future and all I can say is, Fully Insured Lic #017936 Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 Leave the "LI 'EI to Us[ .]P I With a Gift Subscription to the J/7 Post-Gazette, your generosity will be remembered every week of the year. We'll send the recipient an announcement of your gift. Their subscription will begin with the current issue and continue for one year. ....................... 2£ 222S Fill out coupon below and mail with payment to: Post-Gazette, PO Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 I would like to send a one year Gift Subscription of the Boston Post-Gazette to the following person(s). I have enclosed $30 per subscription. Recipient Name Giver Name Address Address City City State Zip State Phone Phone Zip "Mille Gracie," for reading my stuff and identifying with a typical Italian family in America. In reality, we're the good guys!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA LEGAL NOTICE MASSACHUSETTS PORT AUTHORITY NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS Sealed General Bids for, MPA Project No. L1013-C2, 1257 & 1263 SARATOGA STREET, DEMOLITION AND SITE RESTORATION, EAST BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, will be received by the Massachusetts Port Authority at the Capital Programs Department Office, Suite 209S - Logan Office Center, One Harborside Drive, East Boston, Massachusetts 02128-2909, until 11:00 A.M. local time on WEDNESDAY, dONE 12, 2013 immediately after which, in a designated room, the bids will be opened and read publicly. NOTE: PRE-BID CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT THE CAPITAL PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT (ABOVE ADDRESS) AT 10:00 AM, LOCAL TIME ON TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013. The work includes DEMOLITION OF VACANT BUILDINGS & STRUCTURES, UTILITY DISCONNECTIONS, REMOVAL OF UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS AND ALL ASSOCIATED PIPING, REMOVAL OF CONCRETE PADS AND ASPHALT, FENCE REPLACEMENT, REGRADING, RESEEDING, AND SITE RESTORATION. Bid documents will be made available beginning THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013. The estimated project cost is $354,000.00. Bid Documents in electronic format may be obtained free of charge at the Authority's Capital Programs Department Office, together with any addenda or amendments, which the Authority may issue and a printed copy of the Proposal form. In order to be eligible and responsible to bid on this contract General Bidders must submit with their bid a current Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Division of Capital Asset Management and an Update Statement. The General Bidder must be certified in the category of DEMOLITION. The estimated contract cost is THREE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($354,000.00). Bidding procedures and award of the contract and sub-contracts shall be in accordance with the provisions of Sections 44A through 44H inclusive, Chapter 149 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A proposal guaranty shall be submitted with each General Bid consisting of a bid deposit for five (5) percent of the value of the bid; when sub-bids are required, each must be accompanied by a deposit equal to five (5) percent of the sub-bid amount, in the form of a bid bond, or cash, or a certified check, or a treasurer's or a cashier's check issued by a responsible bank or trust company, payable to the Massachusetts Port Authority in the name of which the Contract for the work is to be executed. The bid deposit shall be (a) in a form satisfactory to the Authority, (b) with a surety company qualified to do business in the Commonwealth and satisfactory to the Authority, and (c) conditioned upon the faithful performance by the principal of the agreements contained in the bid. The successful Bidder will be required to furnish a performance bond and a labor and materials payment bond, each in an amount equal to 100% of the Contract price. The surety shall be a surety company or securities satisfactory to the Authority. Attention is called to the minimum rate of wages to be paid on the work as determined under the provisions of Chapter 149, Massachusetts General Laws, Section 26 to 27G, inclusive, as amended. The Contractor will be required to pay minimum wages in accordance with the schedules listed in Division II, Special Provisions of the Specifications, which wage rates have been predetermined by the U. S. Secretary of Labor and/or the Commissioner of Labor and Industries of Massachusetts, whichever is greater. The successful Bidder will be required to purchase and maintain Bodily Injury Liability Insurance, Auto Liability Insurance, and Property Damage Liability Insurance for a combined single limit of $1,000,000. Said policy shall be on an occurrence basis and the Authority shall be included as an Additional Insured. See the insurance sections of Division I, General Requirements and Division II, Special Provisions for complete details. This contract is subject to a Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise participation provision requiring that not less than THIRTEEN PERCENT ~ of the Contract be performed by minority and women owned business enterprise contractors. With respect to this provision, bidders are urged to familiarize themselves thoroughly with the Bidding Documents. Strict compliance with the pertinent procedures will be required for a bidder to be deemed responsive and eligible• This Contract is also subject to Affirmative Action requirements of the Massachusetts Port Authority contained in the Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action article of Division I, General Requirements and Covenants, and to the Secretary of Labor's Requirement for Affirmative Action to Ensure Equal Opportunity and the Standard Federal Equal Opportunity Construction Contract Specifications (Executive Order 11246). The General Contractor is required to submit a Certification of Non-Segregated Facilities prior to award of the Contract, and to notify prospective subcontractors of the requirement for such certification where the subcontract exceeds $10,000. Complete information and authorization to view the site may be obtained from the Capital Programs Department Office at the Massachusetts Port Authority. The right is reserved to waive any informality in or reject any or all proposals. MASSACHUSETTS PORT AUTHORITY THOMAS P. GLYNN CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Run date: 05/17/13