The Joy of Growing Up Italian

Thank you to John Fusco who put this together.


It’s from


If you are an Italian American, get a few tissues.  The memories are very strong and heartwarming.

The author grew up in an Italian neighborhood in the 40-50’s, I can see how, in just the 10 years , (I few up in the 50-60’s) things had changed “just a bit”.  We had many trucks come pass our block but I woke up to the smell of Italian Bread from Mona Lisa Bakery that permeated the neighborhood and my Italian grandparents and most of the family had moved to Bay Shore Long Island.   But I got to know my 2nd and 3rd and even some 4th cousins  … something that most American’s don’t get to do.

I grew up in Dyker Heights, a small part, an English speaking part of Bensonhurst Brooklyn.

One thing that Mr. Fusco doesn’t mention is that we did not celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Instead, we celebrated March 19, which is St. Joseph’s Day

In the 80’, after I moved to Staten Island, I no longer lived in an Italian neighborhood.  I heard a truck making a very familiar sound.  I ran out to see, and yes, it was the red “knife and scissors truck” — a truck that just sharpened scissors, knives and other such objects.  I ran inside to get what needed sharpening, ran to the truck and to my surprise, I recognized the driver.  Yes, he and his dad had sharpened many a scissor and knife in Bensonhurst Brooklyn.




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