Thursday, February 12, 2009
The instruments above definitely fall into the inventiveness category. The shovelene, designed by my grandfather, Joseph Ferretti, was a unique instrument which combined a string instrument with a horn. Needless to say, it didn't catch on; however it did inspire the other instrument, a handmade guitar designed and built by my cousin Anthony Bozza. He is performing in several bands with the instrument, which he named as a tribute to my grandfather. It was a lovely tribute and really wonderful to be brought in contact with a distant relative for such a musically inclined reason. After reading my entry about childhood memories, Anthony sent me his own memories which I wanted to add here for everyone to see.
My mom and dad left the city just after my birth for a house in the country. To this day it is still the only house on a dirt road. There were only a few guys around my age so we all grew up together, played ball and fought with each other. Each summer I would spend two weeks with my grandparents on Wales Ave, by Broadway and the Pulaski Skyway. My grandparents didn't have much money, they rented an apartment of an attached house, they never drove a car My Grandfather used Old Spice after shave, like Mr. Salty pretzels, White Owl cigars and Balantine Ale. Anytime there was a game on TV, everyone was in the living room yelling at all the bad plays. It was very serious stuff. The main rule was you never stepped in front of the TV during game time.
After dinner (if there was no game) everyone sat outside on the stoops or benches on the sidewalks. There was always something going on people hanging out, playing and the little old Italian women dressed in black about 4 feet tall, with their stocking rolled down below their knees. All the old people seemed to be arguing in Italian, I was told that’s just how they talk. My Grandfather would take me from group to group introducing me to the same people every year and connect me with some kids my age. I love that part it was just so different from life back home. The down side was the noise never stopped at night, I didn't think I slept the entire time I was there.
I would go to your Grandfathers Barber shop with my dad on whenever we were in the city. He would give me a quarter and a hair cut, I think hair cut was a quarter as well back then. Wow, am I that Old? I guess. I around age 11, I would refused the haircuts; I was playing bass in a band so there was a whole Rock image thing. We would always go to the barber shop before first, and then visit my dad's brother and mother if there was time.
My dad is eighty eight and still beams when talks about your grandfather and all the things they did together.