It was the summer of 63 In Gloucester- Cousin Elisa In Detroit explains

The Christmas before last was the last one we had my Dad with us for the holiday.  With his Alzheimer disease he had been slipping pretty badly but could carry on a conversation to a degree.  it was just before that Christmas that a box arrived from Detroit with my father Libby Ciaramitaro’s Navy Uniform in it.

You may recall this post from back then if you’ve been with the blog-

My Dad’s Navy Uniform 50 Years Later Shipped From Detroit

Posted on December 26, 2010 by Joey C

About three months ago I got a phone call from my dad’s first cousin Joe from Detroit (yet another Joe Ciaramitaro).  Joe follows the blog daily and tells me he knows more about what is going on in Gloucester due to GMG than he does in his own town in Michigan.  This is something that I hear from Friends of the Blog all over the country.  Joe tells me he feels as if he could walk down the street and know everyone in town.

Anyway, cousin Joe’s mom, my dad’s aunt had his Navy uniform hanging in her closet for almost 50 years. I’m not sure how the uniform found it’s way to Michigan, perhap[s cousin Joe will write in the comment section and explain the story better than I can.

My dad was stationed in Key West- tough gig, huh?  He was aboard the USS Saufley and from what he tells me part of his tour included circling Cuba during The bay of Pigs aboard the Saufley.

Well Joe shipped a box with his Navy uniform and sailors cap directly to my house where we stashed it away so we could wrap it and have my dad open it for Christmas.

The uniform wouldn’t have even fit me but nephew BJ tried it on while everyone sat around stunned.

It was a great surprise and made this Christmas super special.

Thanks Cousin Joe.


I got an email today from my Dad’s first Cousin Elisa explaining how my Dad’s Navy Uniform ended up in Detroit and about how she spent her days in Gloucester back in the summer of 1963.

Elisa writes-

I am elisa. My mother angela {angelina} was your grandfather (captain joe’s) sister. Your dad is my 1st cousin. I spent a whole summer in gloucester one year when cousin angie ciaramitaro and nick taormina were getting married. Summer of 1963.

I left michigan when school let out in the middle of may and didn’t return home till the 2nd week of september. I spent a lot of time with aunt felicia your grandmother and uncle joe (Captain Joe). I remember packing yarn and needles and walking to cressey’s beach to meet up with her sister anne and other ladies and they would knit sweaters,hats,and booties for who ever was having a baby.

At lunch time we would walk up the hill home and make lunch and drive it to the dock so your father, uncle charlie and grandfather could eat.

It was that summer your dad gave me his navy uniforms. One white and one blue. I have 2 younger brothers ~ joe and carlo. Joe would wear your dad’s unifom and go dressed as a real sailor on halloween.  My mom passed dec of 09 and going through the closets we found what I thought was my dad’s navy uniform and when joe looked inside it had your dads name on it.  Hope you got it ok.  Maybe it might spark a memory for your dad. 

My brothers and I were born in san pedro california (1947~1952) . In the late summer of 52 we moved cross country to gloucester where my mom had her brother joe and a sister mary.  My dad had his brother captain carlo and his sister rose. My mom and dad are both ciaramitaro’s cousins. My mothers parents as you know are carlo ciaramitaro and gerolama brancelone.  My dad’s parents were giuseppe ciaramitaro and elisa tocco.  Carlo and elisa are buried at mt olivet cemetary in detroit.  Gerolema is burried there in gloucester the same one your grandfather is at. I visit the site every time I come to gloucester.     

Me I am totally computer challenged.  I don’t own a computer but I got a smart phone for xmas and am hand pecking on that. I’m loving the goodmorning gloucester web site.  You and your crew are doing a remarkable job for your community.  When I finally semi retire I’ll come down with cousin agostina (she was born there moved here with her mom~mary when her dad died in 1957). We talk about it all the time.  Give my love to everyone especially your mom, dad if he is in a memory mode and angela. 
            Cousin elisa


Thank you for this cousin Elisa.  Dad doesn’t have memory mode moments enough to take this in but I’ll go see him and tell him anyway at the nursing home. 

10 comments

  • What a treasure ~ so hard to watch ‘our loved ones’ moving into the beyond ~ remember the love ~ namaste, Carol ^_^

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  • I agree totally with artmusedog. A treasure.

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  • Cousin Elisa, Thank you for sharing that story and thank you and Joe for my Dads uniform…It was fun to see my son and all the Grandchildren take turns wearing the hat!. I have the uniform safe and paln to put it in a shadow box with a photo of my dad in his uniform. I look forward to your visit to Gloucester… <3

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  • Joey how wonderful you posted the original post and the post from cousin Lisa.
    Xmas was wonderful with the kids and it was such a nice visit with all of us with Dad at Seacoast in the Library on Xmas Day. Even though he wasn’t with us at home at least we were with him a couple of hours on that day. I still can’t get over it. Lisa thanks for your post. I do hope you come someday. You and Augie can stay with me.

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  • What a great story. So wonderful to have these little surprises in our lives.

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  • Thank you for sharing–and so wonderful to have the photo of your dad with BJ in his uniform–a real treasure.

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  • good stuff Joey. i have my dad’s uniform in my closet as well.. and his
    Purple Heart Medal just made its way back to me a few weeks ago! I am
    so proud of him.

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  • Memories are so precious!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • My name is Gail Fales I was born in 1952 and grew up on Charlemagne St on the east side of Detroit. I remember a Ciaramitaro family that lived down the street. Carlo, Joe and their cousin Auggie. Carlo would be about my age and we played together often in those early years. The father used to have a fruit wholesale business at Eastern Market. I remember in the early days (1950’s ?) the dad had a truck that would ride up and down the blocks selling fruit. He would announce his arrival on the street with a loud speaker. Is this your family?

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    • Yes Gail you have the right family,and I do remember you. I remember playing baseball for hours with your brother Tommy,and the rest of the guys in the parking lot on the corner of our street.When the weather was bad outside we would be in your basement playing with his train set.The wholesale fruit business at eastern market belonged to my fathers cousins,however my dad did have a fish market/ fruitstand at the corner of Gratiot and Gunston utill 1960, when the state bought him out to widen the road.My god where did the last fifty years go?

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