Italian Heritage – part 1

As life races on at lightning speed, reflecting on the past quiets the soul.  Blessed to have the opportunity to actively participate in the lives of my grandchildren, I find myself often thinking of my maternal grandparents….grandparents I never met.

My grandfather – Pietro Cresto – born in Castellamonte, in the Piedmont region of what is now northern Italy in 1858.

IMG_8341

IMG_8356

A man of the ‘terra’, he worked as a potter – terragliere.

His hobby was music, his instrument of choice the cornet.  While stationed in Milano during his military service, he was a member of the regiment’s band, and was often asked to fill in at the La Scala Opera House when the orchestra needed extra musicians.

IMG_8357

Pietro came to America in the early 1880’s settling briefly in Kansas, and then moving on to Colorado.  In Rockvale,  he worked in the coal mine – another iteration of a man of the ‘terra’.

IMG_8358

After loosing his first wife and a son, he and his second wife raised seven children – ‘his and theirs’,

IMG_8342

IMG_8344

IMG_8347

and participated in the life of the town.

IMG_8343

IMG_8346

IMG_8345

He continued to play his cornet, teaching his son Achille to play,

IMG_8361

and entertaining his family from memory with selections from the operas he had played at La Scala.

He and Marianna grew old together,

IMG_8348

IMG_8349

and died within a year of each other.

IMG_8354

Although we never met, I experience his presence today.  I see his face reflected in those of cousins who inherited his handsome Roman nose, I hear the echoes of his musicality from gifted cousins, and I feel the pull of the earth and its provision for us in my bones.

1 Comment

Filed under Family history, Inspiration

One response to “Italian Heritage – part 1

  1. Suzanne Bingham

    Beautiful Susan. Thank you for sharing. I love it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s