Tag Archives: frontiero

Christmas Memories From 83 Year Old Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

My childhood Christmas memories were mostly of great anticipation of thinking Christmas would never come. Putting up the Christmas tree. Baking our traditional “cucidatie” Christmas cookies. Mixing the dough and making the filling from using the meat grinder to grind up the figs and raisins, chopping the walnuts, then mixing the ingredients for the filling adding cinnamon, orange zest and black pepper. We would roll the dough into little strips and put some filling in the middle, then close and roll strips, encasing the filling.  After the cookies were baked we would cut the rolls into pieces diagonally and frost them, adding colored sprinkles.

Early memories of Christmas dinner were at my maternal Piscitello grandmother ’s kitchen, just downstairs from where I lived. Long tables were set up and a long bench against the wall. All the kids sat on the bench, which could hold a lot of kids. I now marvel of how so many people could fit in that room. My Dad had a saying in Italian, which translated meant  “A home could hold as many people, as the owner cared to invite.“ My Nana was a wonderful cook and the table was set with all our Italian favorites. This meal was a banquet. My Nana never sat down to enjoy dinner with us. She was always too busy serving everyone, making sure everyone had enough to eat. Then she would sit down to have her meal, when we all finished eating. I marveled at the joy she emanated in serving everyone. wishing us all to be happy.

One Christmas eve stands out in my memory. I was about seven years old. My Dad returned from a fishing trip. He would always whistle as he climbed the stairs two short blows followed by a long whistle. My heart would jump with joy, when I heard this whistle, as Dad was home again safe and sound and I would greet him with a big hug. When Dad opened the door he threw in his hat and asked permission to enter, as he said they had a “broker” The crew had not caught enough fish to cover expensed and he got no money. We all hugged and kissed him and were happy he was home for Christmas. That evening I was awakened by my parents quarreling. I remember my Dad saying he was going to his father to borrow $5.00 for Christmas gifts, he had no money and no gifts to put under our tree. My mother was so embarrassed to have him ask anyone for money. Christmas morning I found a little doll for me, a fire truck for my brother, Paul and a musical doll cradle for my little sister, Rosalie  under the Christmas tree. We were all so happy with our gifts. My parents were so in love and we were loved and Christmas was love.

In my teenage years I began to attend the grown-up gatherings at my grandparent’s home. They moved from Gould Court to Pine St. A gate cut into the fence that separated both houses. When my uncles were home from fishing in the evening my family would gather in the basement, street level kitchen around a long table, with a bench against the wall. Nightly we would start paying cards around the first of December. We played poker for nickels and if anyone went “broke” the winning player would give them some change to continue playing. We would have dessert and snacks, including a dish of  pumpkin seeds “semense” and dried chick peas “garlia”, bread and olives  and lots of cookies.,

The day before Christmas my Nana and my aunts would spend all day cooking. First fish dishes, as we did not eat meat before attending midnight Mass. My Nana made a kind of fried  dough that was so light and delicious. She called them “spengie” She put flakes of dried cod fish and I believe she used some baking soda, to make the dough so light. No one ever asked her for the recipe or could ever copy this dish. Her table was filled with shrimp, octopus, salted cod fish “bacala,” all kind of olives, salads, and homemade bread. After dinner we would play cards until it was time for Midnight Mass. After Mass we all walked back to my Nana’s house and she would have all the meat dishes ready for us to enjoy. We had delicious homemade pasta and meatballs, “meduga” steak, sausages, eggplant and lots of homemade pastry. so many delicious foods and lots of deserts, including cookies and a large cassada cake with layers of pudding, whipped cream, rum  and fruit. We all had to taste my grandfather’s home made wine. He also made lighter drinks called anisette and rosollio. These were ladies drinks. We would then play cards again until at lease 2 am. Some of my relatives stayed all night. My Nana would say “Norte Natale” night of Christmas, when no one slept. How I miss these wonderful happy times, my wonderful family, my grandparents. mom, dad, aunts, uncles and cousins all together having a good time. Everyone was so happy at this wonderful celebration of Christmas. Our gathering and card games continued until little Christmas, January 7th, holy day of the Ephany, when Christmas is celebrated in Italy. My Nana related that this was the day as a child  she received her gifts, which were brought by the “bifana.” The little old women who is still looking for the Christ Child and brings His gifts to everyone in her native Italy. 

This family tradition continued for many years.  I attended until I was married, then I was.
busy with my own family and new traditions with my Irish husband.
  
                                Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon   

Treasured Audio-Gloucester History Cigar Joe Talks About Fishing In the Early Part of The Twentieth Century Part VI

Good Morning Gloucester  Exclusive

Cigar Joe Frontiero born in 1898 these tapes were recorded in 1981 when he was 83 years old.

Click here or the arrow below to listen to the audio

The family of Cigar Joe Frontiero brings Good Morning Gloucester these treasured recordings of Fishing out of Gloucester MA in the early part of the century  in the second of the multi-part collection of recordings.  I’m happy that the family entrusted GMG with these priceless recordings and am proud to be able to have the platform in which we can archive and share with the community.

To listen to the previous Cigar Joe Recordings Click Here

image

image

Treasured Audio- Cigar Joe Frontiero Talks About Fishing Out Of Gloucester MA In The Early Part Of The 20th Century Part IV

The family of Cigar Joe Frontiero brings Good Morning Gloucester these treasured recordings of Fishing out of Gloucester MA in the early part of the century. I’m happy that the family entrusted GMG with these priceless recordings and am proud to be able to have the platform in which we can archive and share with the community.

Thank you to the family of Cigar Joe Frontiero

Cigar Joe Photos Provided By The Frontiero Family
Cigar Joe Photos Provided By The Frontiero Family

Cigar Joe Frontiero born in 1898 these tapes were recorded in 1981 when he was 83 years old.

Click here or the arrow below to listen to the recording

The history behind the tapes: Someone had asked Cigar Joe for an interview for an oral history project but Cigar Joe decided to do the recording himself. At the time he was having trouble with circulation in his legs and spent most of the time at home so he bought a tape recorder. He had trouble with the tape recorder and threw all of the tapes away. His mailman took the trashed tapes, spliced them, and made copies. He gave Cigar Joe copies and kept backups (with Cigar Joe’s consent) in case the originals were lost. This occurred in 1981.

For The Other Parts Of This Series-

Treasured Audio-Gloucester History Cigar Joe Talks About Smuggling Liquor In the Early Part of The Twentieth Century Part 1

Treasured Audio-Gloucester History Cigar Joe Talks About Fishing In the Early Part of The Twentieth Century Part II

Treasured Audio- Cigar Joe Frontiero Talks About Fishing Out Of Gloucester MA In The Early Part Of The 20th Century Part III

Look for part V of VI April  13th and 16th

 

 

 

 

Treasured Audio- Cigar Joe Frontiero Talks About Fishing Out Of Gloucester MA In The Early Part Of The 20th Century Part III

Good Morning Gloucester  Exclusive

image

Cigar Joe Frontiero born in 1898 these tapes were recorded in 1981 when he was 83 years old.

Click here or the arrow to listen to the audio

To listen to the previous Cigar Joe Recordings Click Here

The family of Cigar Joe Frontiero brings Good Morning Gloucester these treasured recordings of Fishing out of Gloucester MA in the early part of the century.  I’m happy that the family entrusted GMG with these priceless recordings and am proud to be able to have the platform in which we can archive and share with the community.

Thank you to the family of Cigar Joe Frontiero

image

The history behind the tapes: Someone had asked Cigar Joe for an interview for an oral history project but Cigar Joe decided to do the recording himself. At the time he was having trouble with circulation in his legs and spent most of the time at home so he bought a tape recorder. He had trouble with the tape recorder and threw all of the tapes away. His mailman took the trashed tapes, spliced them, and made copies. He gave Cigar Joe copies and kept backups (with Cigar Joe’s consent) in case the originals were lost. This occurred in 1981.

Part IV will be released Sunday April 10th at 6PM

Treasured Audio-Gloucester History Cigar Joe Talks About Fishing In the Early Part of The Twentieth Century Part II

Good Morning Gloucester  Exclusive

Cigar Joe Frontiero born in 1898 these tapes were recorded in 1981 when he was 83 years old.

Click here if you don’t see the arrow below to listen to the audio

The family of Cigar Joe Frontiero brings Good Morning Gloucester these treasured recordings of Fishing out of Gloucester MA in the early part of the century  in the second of the multi-part collection of recordings.  I’m happy that the family entrusted GMG with these priceless recordings and am proud to be able to have the platform in which we can archive and share with the community.

Look for part III April 7th at 6AM

Cigar Joe (Charlie Lowe Photo)1975

Ray Witham and Joseph “Cigar Joe” Frontiero land an 18 foot basking shark after it got tangled and died in a mackerel net off Rockport.

The history behind the tapes: Someone had asked Cigar Joe for an interview for an oral history project but Cigar Joe decided to do the recording himself. At the time he was having trouble with circulation in his legs and spent most of the time at home so he bought a tape recorder. He had trouble with the tape recorder and threw all of the tapes away. His mailman took the trashed tapes, spliced them, and made copies. He gave Cigar Joe copies and kept backups (with Cigar Joe’s consent) in case the originals were lost. This occurred in 1981.

Part I can be heard here

image

Treasured Audio-Gloucester History Cigar Joe Talks About Smuggling Liquor In the Early Part of The Twentieth Century Part 1

Good Morning Gloucester Exclusive

image

The family of Cigar Joe Frontiero brings Good Morning Gloucester these treasured recordings of smuggling liquor into the Essex River and into Annisquam in the first of a multi-part collection of recordings.  I’m happy that the family entrusted GMG with these priceless recordings and am proud to be able to have the platform in which we can archive and share with the community.

Cigar Joe Frontiero born in 1898 these tapes were recorded in 1981 when he was 83 years old.  Cigar Joe lived to be 96 years old and had whiskey and cigars at his nursing home every day til the day he died according to his granddaughter Josie Cary.

Click the arrow below to play the audio file

If you don’t see the arrow you can click this link to listen to the audio

Cigar Joe (Charlie Lowe Photo)1975

Ray Witham and Joseph “Cigar Joe” Frontiero land an 18 foot basking shark after it got tangled and died in a mackerel net off Rockport.

The history behind the tapes: Someone had asked Cigar Joe for an interview for an oral history project but Cigar Joe decided to do the recording himself. At the time he was having trouble with circulation in his legs and spent most of the time at home so he bought a tape recorder. He had trouble with the tape recorder and threw all of the tapes away. His mailman took the trashed tapes, spliced them, and made copies. He gave Cigar Joe copies and kept backups (with Cigar Joe’s consent) in case the originals were lost. This occurred in 1981.

Look for part 2 of the recordings Monday April 1st at 6AM

BANANAS, ROCK!!!!! Breaking News Update!

Drats! I’ve Been Out smarted again.

The clues I gave must’ve been too easy.

I think it was the Banana Splits TV Show Theme Song that Gave it away.

Here’s The  photo of Kerry, and Her Mom, Karen McNally After Winning the “Bazaar Art Rock Contest”.

They are the Winners of a ROCK! An “ART, ROCKS!” Rock.

They Figured out all the clues and Found their way to the Vintage Clothing Store “Bananas” to claim their Prize.

Here’s the Emails I received from Kerry and Her Mom Karen;

Hi Mr. Frontiero,

I would like to let you know that I found your awesome rock at Bananas!
My mom and I are very excited!!!!

I love painting, and I have been collecting art work from different states. I would love to add your rock to my art collection.
We walked around main street, this afternoon, telling your story of the painted rocks.

My mom had fun solving the riddle, and I couldn’t believe that I actually found one of your amazing rocks!

Thank you!

-Kerry McNally

From Karen; (Kerry’s Mom)

Your artwork, and how it was discovered, has been Kerry’s main topic of discussion with friends and family since Saturday.
The excitement of it’s find has not diminished, and I don’t think that it ever will!

Kerry says “Thank you for the great adventure”.

Thanks!
-Karen

I’m Humbled. Well Honored is probably a better word. :)

For my Rock to Be included in Kerrys Art Collection.

Thanks so much Kerry for the Inspiration!

 Big Thanks go to my Friends at BANANAS for hosting the contest.

Thank you Richard and Debbie!

 Can anyone name all 4 members of the Banana Splits?