How I Embraced My Italian Heritage (After My Father Tried to Bury It)

Jul 10, 2024 181

My father was ashamed of his Italian heritage. I hate to say that, but it’s true.  Allow me to start at the beginning: His mother, Assunta Bevevino, immigrated to the United States from Calabria, Italy, in the early 20th century, along with countless other Europeans. I believe she was in her teens.

She married his father, Phillip Paone, who was American born, but of Italian ancestry. My father and his sister, Elvira, were children during the Great Depression. It didn’t help that their parents had no education and were pretty damn poor to start with, regardless of the state of the national economy.

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