Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rachel A to Z Challenge

Blogging from A to Z Challenge
April 2015
This month I will be participating in the “Blogging from A-Z Challenge

What is it?

I will be Blogging everyday beginning on April First with a topic themed on something with the letterA, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

My theme will be short fictional (well mostly fictional) stories about women.  Each woman’s name will begin with the appropriate letter of the alphabet for that day.
All of the women will have the common life experience of a loss of some type.
I invite you, Dear reader, to comment on how you interpret the loss.


I came across it the other day. 

I was looking for something in the drawer of the dining room hutch.  It was one of the pieces I claimed from my mother’s house after she passed away.  It had been her mother’s. 
The drawer wouldn’t open all the way.  Something must be stuck in the back, I thought.   I reached in and pulled out a faded envelope.  Inside was a photo and a handwritten letter. 
I studied the photo.  I recognized my grandmother, my mother and my aunt.  There was another woman carrying a child.  I could not identify them. 
It appeared the group was unaware their picture was being taken.  They seemed to be walking as if they were in a hurry.   My grandmother was leading the pack with a determined look on her face.  I fondly remember that look. 
There was a sign on the building in the background.  It was Kresge’s Department store in Newark, NJ.   I did a search and found that the store was a subway stop for trollies. * Perhaps they were rushing to catch the next trolly. 
The letter was written in Italian.    Even though all four of my grandparents were born in Italy and English was their second language, regretfully I don’t speak or understand much. But I did recognize a word or two.  
The ink on the letter was quite faded. 

Buon giorno a voi zia , Spero che questo si trovi bene . Si prega di aiutare mama prendermi cura dei miei Tony . Mi mancherà caro . Un giorno , presto , spero , sarò di nuovo per lui .
Innanzitutto devo cercare di trovare Alfonso . Si è messo nei guai .
Zia , sei forte . Mamma ha bisogno di te . Lei è preoccupato .
Addio per ora.
Con tutto il mio amore ,


I managed to transcribe it into a word document.  I found a program on the net and translated the letter.

Good day to you Aunt,
I hope this finds you well.  Please help mama take care of my Tony.  I will miss him dearly.  Someday, soon, I hope, I will be back for him. 
First I must try to find Alfonso.  He has gotten himself into trouble.
Aunt, you are strong.   Mama needs you.  She is worried.
Good bye for now.
With all of my love,

I never knew Rachel’s mother or of her, actually.  I remember my uncle Tony.  He was a nice, quiet and gentle man.  He called my grandmother mama.  I always thought of him as Uncle.  But, now I know that he was a cousin not my uncle.   
I wonder whatever happened to Rachel.  Sadly, I have no one to ask.   
But I do have the photo and what a great story that would make. 

*Broad St was the major shopping street of Newark. In 1926, the Kresge's store at the southwest corner of Broad and Cedar arranged to have a platform opened in the subway at its basement level, allowing customers to come in directly from the subway. The station was opened in January 1927 on the inbound side. The only access was through the store. Kresge's was a general store similar to Woolworth's. The company now operates the Kmart chain.


  1. Love the story with the photo! Great stuff.
    A to Z blogger

  2. Strong story, emotion-wise, to accompany such a simple looking photo.

  3. I too wonder what happened to Rachel and did she ever find Alfonso? I'm wondering if this is not a fictional story but from your family? It is hard when people pass on and we never do find out the rest of the story so to speak.


    1. Well, Betty, I can tell you the photo is a family photo. The woman in the front is actually my grandmother. The rest of the story, though, is purely fictional.

  4. Oh, it is fiction? It sounded so much like the truth...

  5. So disappointing to find out it's not a real story. I was sooooooooooooooo geeked up. As a person who does genealogy and LOVES old photo's my mind was beginning to race to determine how we might get to the bottom of the mystery about Rachael...see my crestfallen face. It's a cool photo though and nice you have it...so what's the real story then?

    1. There was an inspiration for the story, actually about my great-grandfather. That would be the woman in the photo, leading the pack, her father. He came to American in the early 1900’s and basically disappeared. My grandmother came to this country at age 16 to look for him. He was never found.