Tag Archives: grandfather

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.

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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.

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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’.

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

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and participated in the life of the town.

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

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

He and Marianna grew old together,

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and died within a year of each other.

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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.

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Filed under Family history, Inspiration