I’ve long been thinking about a series of posts on women, past and present, who have influenced my life. Wrapped up in that word ‘influenced’ ……… inspired, nurtured, loved, set the bar high, blazed the trail, lived with grace, risen to the task, used their gifts, modeled kindness, exhibited joie de vivre………..
I awoke this morning, the 113th anniversary of the birth of my Aunt Louise, determined to begin….
Born to Italian immigrants in a tiny mining town in Colorado, she and her younger sister, my mother, Theresa
(see post ‘Mothers Day: my definition…’)
were the first in their family to attend college, thanks to their older brother who sold his truck to make it possible. Both graduated from Colorado State Teacher’s College. Louise, after teaching for several years went on to earn a Master’s Degree at Columbia University as Teacher of Spanish
She studied Spanish in Madrid, fearlessly traveled the world as a single woman
Piazza San Marco, Venice 1930
taught high school in what was then the Panama Canal Zone, worked in the Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C., as well as the American Embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and La Paz, Bolivia.
Returning to the United States she taught high school Spanish for nearly twenty years, retiring in 1965 as her hearing was deteriorating due to an infection contracted while she was in Panama. Wanting to add to her retirement income, she brushed up her typing and shorthand skills acquired at Woodbury College in 1942 and went on to work several more years. In 1971 she traveled to Italy, for the last time, again visiting the Piazza San Marco
as well as the hometowns of her parents, Bosconero and Castellamonte.
Louise never married, never owned a car. Always ready to travel, she organized trips to Catalina, San Francisco, Monterey, Disneyland, Olvera Street and Knott’s Berry Farm when I was a child; often including cousins and her sister, Nota. At the end of the day, all piled into the bed that pulled out from the wall at Aunt Nota’s, ever the teacher, she would quiz us on current events as we drifted off to sleep.
A beloved aunt, she influenced and enriched my life in so many ways.