Author Q&A: Gathering ingredients of father’s full life

Dec 09, 2013 1168

By Tom Atwell

Armando Polito sailed to the United States in 1920, when he was 10 years old, with his mother and siblings. His father, Giovanni Polito, had been in America for eight years, successfully running the Napoli restaurants in Maine. Shortly after Armando died in 2003, his daughter – Nancy Jo Polito – had trouble sleeping one night, and listened to some tape recordings he had made.

The result is "Nobody Washes Me, I'm Italian," a 270-page book telling a story similar to that of many Italian immigrants. In the first 50 pages, Armando tells about his ancestors, his life in Bovino, Italy, the Napoli restaurants in Portland and Old Orchard Beach through the 1940s, and the creation of Luigi's spaghetti and pizza sauce.

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