Violetta’s father grinned broadly as he came through the door one evening. Her mother, who was preparing the antipasti, shouted to him:
“Gaetano! What is it?”
“Gather round!” He boomed back, sauntering into the living room. Violetta scurried to put away his coat, while Agnes and Adrianna, the youngest sister, sat on the couch. Their mother appeared from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron.
“What’s happened, Father?” Adrianna asked, her voice thin with worry.
“I have landed a contract to work on one of the greatest American monuments of all! Now, which one did I get?” He asked, quizzing them. Violetta’s father ran a masonry business, both as business manager and as head mason. His skills were highly sought after in their neighborhood of the Bronx, but a national monument? Definitely a step up!
“The Brooklyn Bridge!” Adrianna guessed excitedly. Her youngest sister was twelve and always aglow with some emotional extreme.
“No, my dear, but good guess!” Gaetano was downright jovial. “Giana” -this was Violetta’s mother-“We need a feast tonight!” Violetta’s mother glowered. Her perennial role seemed to be sweating in the kitchen. Gaetano had taken a dramatic pause. “I’m to repair the base for the Statue of Liberty, who welcomed me to the Land of Opportunity fifty years ago when I came from Italy!” He said Italy like It-Lee, like a true Italian.
“Oh, Father, that’s wonderful!” All three sisters rejoiced together. Giana clapped her hands, all tiredness forgotten. She ran forward and kissed her husband.
“We must have fish!” she exclaimed. “Violetta, get your hat and go to the market.”
“Don’t tire yourself out too much today, Violetta,” her father said as she hastily pulled on her shoes, a gleam in his eyes. “For tomorrow, all three of my girls are to come and help me scout the site.”
“A private tour??” shrieked Agnes excitedly.
“Yes, a private tour,” he smiled back. Violetta grinned broadly as she dashed out the door to get their celebratory fish.
This is part one of a two-part piece I am doing within Violetta’s Story, so stay tuned! This actually did happen to my great-grandfather.