Most learn of the struggle of immigrants during the early twentieth century through the impersonal analysis of secondary sources. Viewing these times through the eyes of author, Alfred DiGiacomo provides a rare personal glimpse of life for an Italian immigrant family during this time. He brings us back to a small village in southern Italy called San Giorgio, Albanese - the birthplace of his parents - and gives us a glimpse of life within their village. We learn of his father, Francesco, and his journey to America, his service in World War I, and his return visit to Italy where he met and married his wife. Settling in Huntington Station, New York, the couple began their lives together during the Roaring Twenties and face, with their growing family, the hardships of the Great Depression of the thirties. Mr. DiGiacomo describes everyday life - his schooling, work, and activities - while growing up as an Italian American in the small close-knit town. In doing so, he tells of the experience of all immigrants, who arrive during a period of transition and turmoil and whose sacrifice and determination allow the seed of hope for a new life to grow.
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Mr. DiGiacomo was born on November 29, 1922. He attended local schools graduating from High School in 1941. In the 30's his father was unemployed. When he was 14 he worked picking string beans. At 16 he worked part time in a grocery store. After graduation he worked there full time. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 serving 3 year, 2 years in Europe helping defeat the Nazi regime. He then worked as an architectural draftsman. In 1961 he became a licensed Architect designing numereous school buildings and other public buildings. In 1980 he was employed by Cornell University as Manger of Architectural and Engineering Services. After his retirement in1993 he wrote "A Soldier's Diary" a book about his 3 years in the U.S. Army Air Force.
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