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1452033153
ISBN-13:
9781452033150
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A Determined Man

A Determined Man

by Arthur O. Aloisio

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Overview

From the moment he was born his mother witnessed a severe accident that almost claimed his life but was luckily saved.

He grew up as a shy child of immigrant parents after the depression. Eventually the author was able to break out of his timidness and succeed in two careers. The story shows how his personality exploded in his middle twenties to eventually become a confident individual in large groups.

In his early childhood his family was unaware of a certain hardship that existed. Being the youngest child of the family, he always thought that he had to prove to others that he would succeed. The author points out that in life you can set goals for yourself and sometimes exceed them.

In elementary school he was not considered the top student in his class, but never feared that he could one day reach that level.

As a parent he was aware of his duties as the leader of the family, to seek out opportunities to better himself monetarily and change careers for it.

You will be able to see how this author approached life with a competitive spirit that allowed him to adapt with the conditions that existed at the time, and succeed.

Some families today may have children who have the same issues that the author had, and apply the same principles that this author described in his story.

It's an extraordinary story about someone's life who reached success by true grit.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452033150
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 12/29/2010
Pages: 124
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Determined Man


By Arthur O. Aloisio

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2010 Arthur O. Aloisio
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4520-3315-0


Chapter One

The Beginning

For the past thirty years, I have been approached by some of my friends and relatives to write my autobiography. I would always say to myself, "Maybe someday."

Since 1985 Carol and I have been vacationing in Scottsdale, Arizona, at various times of the year. Spring and fall are the best times to travel west; the weather is absolutely beautiful.

Carol, a vivacious woman with a tremendous personality, loved the Scottsdale area for many reasons, including great shopping, the beautiful sights of the Grand Canyon, and the pink country of Sedona.

In the late eighties, we traveled to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and La Jolla, California. Our vacations were filled with breathtaking sightseeing, super entertainment, and a great deal of relaxation

One nice spring day in April of 2009, while at my office,

I called Southwest Airlines to schedule an October trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. This would be our seventh trip since the year 2005, when Carol had suffered a severe stroke. When I arrived home I gave Carol the news of our fall trip. She was always apprehensive but amicable. She was confined to a wheelchair, though a cane provided her with limited walking ability as well. The stroke had affected the right side of her brain (which affected the left side of her body).

Through rehabilitation, she was able to enjoy life with her handicap; however, it certainly wasn't easy.

Normally our trips to Arizona lasted three to four weeks. This particular trip never materialized. Carol, at age seventy passed away in July of 2009.

The October Trip

With the airline tickets in hand, I spoke with my children regarding the trip. They both encouraged me to go to Scottsdale for a while. My son and daughter-in-law thought it would be nice if they joined me for a week to keep me occupied.

The children and I came out together for a week. I was scheduled to stay in Arizona for a four-week period.

During the week, my son, Arthur, and daughter-in-law, Renee, managed to enjoy ourselves, especially going shopping and eating fine meals and seeing the sites in the area.

On Wednesday morning, the kids departed for Providence, Rhode Island. Arthur and Renee, both professionals, returned to their respective jobs as professional insurance agent and director of internal operations in an accounting firm.

Early the following Monday morning—October 19, 2009—I had just finished doing my exercises when I received a call from my son.

"Good morning, Dad. How are you?"

"Pretty good."

"You don't sound like yourself."

"Well, I had some sad moments over the weekend." I really couldn't describe my feelings to him, because no one can understand the feelings you have when you lose your partner of fifty-one years.

He said, "Dad, you always talked about writing your life story. Why don't you do it?"

I paused and said, "That's a good idea. I now have time."

We chatted about business issues, and I said I would speak to him in the morning.

The Challenge

A few days went by and I accepted the challenge. I went to the bookstore and purchased some paperback books on writing an autobiography. I later went to a stationery store to purchase paper, pens and other supplies.

Every morning I had a daily routine. In a reflection of my years of total discipline, I exercised for twenty-five minutes, had breakfast, showered, dressed, and began my day with the challenge of writing my life story.

Sitting at the dining-room table, I was reminded of Carol's artistic skills. Inside the basket were two small ceramic turkey displays that had graced our Thanksgiving Day table.

Carol had many skills, and one of them was putting together various designed bouquets to make her home warm and personal.

The Journey Begins: My Mentor, Mal

My mother, Louise, had two brothers and three sisters. Her youngest brother was named Orlando. When I was born, my mother named me Arthur Orlando. Orlando, often called Mal ,was the only child in the family who went to college. He graduated Providence College in 1934. He was kind of a father figure to me; my father had passed away when I was ten years old.

Mal was much respected in the community because of his smarts. He was the only person in the area to have a college degree.

My mother asked Mal to guide me during my teenage years to behave properly and do the right thing. He was a constant presence. At times I often became offended by his constant nagging, but as time went on, I gained a perfect understanding of his methods. I looked up to him and respected him as a father figure.

Occasionally, on weekends, I delivered groceries for him. He owned a large supermarket in south county, Rhode Island.

During my early high-school and college days, my primary desire was to become a professional baseball player. I played regularly in the Providence amateur league several days a week during the summer. Because of my uncle's business, he never saw me play. I would have liked for Mal to see his nephew play baseball but understood his issues.

As I matured, I grasped the scope of Mal's responsibilities. Mom would say, "Arthur, he has to take care of his family first."

The Ultimate Incentive

I had completed my junior year in college and was helping my Uncle Mal delivering groceries when he approached me on a late Friday evening and said, "Arthur, when you get out of college, we are going to set up a finance and loan business."

At that time, I felt honored and said. "Great! I look forward to it."

Well! It so happened that throughout my senior year in college, he never again mentioned setting up a finance and loan business to me. I never did ask him about it.

I often wondered why the plan hadn't come to fruition. I knew that Mal had some family issues with his boys, but I also felt saddened that no business had been consummated.

I recall thinking to myself that somehow, my uncle was telling me to do something on my own.

My desire to succeed and demonstrate my talent to my uncle came out, especially after my graduation in 1956.

I purposely pushed myself with the intense desire to succeed. I pursued my career in teaching and later changed to a business career.

I guess I really owe it to my uncle, who let me go on my own. His thoughts were well taken at the time, but for whatever happened to the finance business gave me an incentive to pursue my career on my own and succeed.

In life things sometimes happen for the best.

As I look back, my uncle did what he had to do for me. Whatever he couldn't do for me made me a better person, and to this day I still admire my uncle, my mentor, and my friend.

My Childhood and Siblings

History has described the Italian movement to America as occurring on a large scale from 1871 to the late 1930s. I was born in 1934 to immigrant parents from Calabria, Italy.

Generally speaking, at one point in the New York harbor's history, five thousand Italians arrived at Ellis Island daily. The Italian peninsula was engulfed by many political issues. The Northern Italians did not get along with the Southern Italians as well as the Sicilians. These two groups were like separate states. The northerners were mostly artisan's bricklayers and sculptors, while the southerners were mostly farmers.

Many Italians from the south were exposed to famine and poor health. These people fled to America in droves. Those who arrived in New York, Boston, and New Orleans sponsored many of their relatives' migrations to America.

My mother, Louise, was the oldest child in the family of seven. She was able to attend school until the fifth grade. My father, Antonio, came to America when he was sixteen, sponsored by his cousin.

The traditional Italian family was a close-knit group of people. Families helped each other by working the farms in Italy and later in America.

Mom and Dad were introduced by their families and relatives and married in their early twenties. My sister Anna, the oldest child in the family, my older brother Anthony, and I lived in our maternal grandparents' home on the second floor. My grandparents, aunts, and uncles lived on the first floor.

This building was a three-family residence in the north end of Providence.

Living with my relatives as a young boy had its great moments and poor moments. My grandmother Domenica operated a dry-goods store on the basement level. My grandfather Domenico was a businessman. He sponsored some of his relatives' journeys to America and worked in the textile industry.

Both grandparents worked hard and conserved their money to purchase three dwellings and additional land, which they used for farming.

Life in the 1930s and 1940s

As history has shown us, our parents had many problems to contend with during the early thirties and forties.

The stock-market crash and unemployment brought many hardships to the people living in America. At a young age, I was not able to understand my parents' problems, but Italian families worked together and helped each other survive.

My grandparents fortunately were able to farm and raise their own fruits and vegetables. The entire family—aunts, uncles, brother, and sister—pitched in to harvest tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplants, carrots, pears, and grapes.

The troublesome parts of farming were tilling the soil, planting the vegetables, watering, and spraying for insects.

These were chores I tried to avoid doing each summer, but at times, I could not escape.

Through the end of August and all of September, my entire family harvested these fruits and vegetables and later preserved many of them for the winter months. We preserved tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, pears, and mushrooms by the case. Grapes were preserved into wine.

As I look back to those times, I can appreciate how familiar my relatives were with farming; it was just part of life. Today, with the diversity of our culture and the modernity of our workload, very few people have their own area at home to farm vegetables.

I was fortunate to be the youngest in my family. I made excuses: "Oh, Mom! I don't know how to do that!" I always had a reason to get out of work, and it worked pretty well for a while.

Early childhood was not complicated in the 1930s. Living next to a school and nursery, my days as a five-year-old were such that I stayed at the nursery school while my parents were both working. The Italian nuns were great. They loved taking care of me in preschool. My mother would compensate the nuns by doing embroidery work for them. My brother and sister went to public schools, as they were older.

Anna was a good student and eventually went to a Catholic high school for girls. Later she entered the nursing profession. My brother Anthony was a whiz in math and science freak. He worked when he was twelve years old as a busboy in a local hotel. Eventually Anthony became an electrical engineer.

Because the nuns took a liking to me and the school was next door, it was very convenient for my parents to send me there. Eventually I went to a Catholic elementary and early secondary school (also next door to my home), from 1940 to 1949.

I was a conscientious student who worked hard to achieve. Nothing came easily for me (especially math), but I studied for long hours to become a good student.

The Adolescent Years

On a hot summer day, walking on Scarborough Beach, in south county Rhode Island, I thought of the time I spent as a fourth-grader being harassed by a fellow student.

Robert was a very aggressive kid, and to seek attention, he would constantly call me names in front of my classmates. It troubled me to the point that the nuns had to quash our potential fights in class.

One of my close friends, Ron, who was an altar boy like me, saw the steam in my eyes whenever Robert's name was mentioned.

One day, after Mass, Ron and I discussed my problem. Ron was a very athletic kid and pushed me to challenge Robert to a fight and settle his constant name-calling.

A few weeks went by, and I finally made up my mind to take his advice.

I said to Ron, "That's it! Set this match up. I'm ready to take him on."

The scene unfolded at a large park near the church, where many students sat and talked leisurely.

On a Sunday morning after Mass, we tangled with each other. We were not the professional boxers we had both thought ourselves to be. I finally got the monkey off my back. Cuts and bruises appeared on both of our bodies as friends watched and cheered. When it finally was over, that fight became the best thing that had ever happened to me. I was relieved of Robert's torment and harassment.

To this day, as I sit here writing this story, I consider my friend Ron as a true friend forever. We still communicate often.

Some of the kids in my class watched this fiasco and were delighted to see the match.

As time passed during the school year, the Sisters of Mercy, who operated the Catholic schools, saw a difference in my schooling. I was prepared to handle myself in the future.

Catholic Families

As a teenager, I enjoyed sports, which became a significant part of my life.

Playing basketball and baseball in the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) leagues kept me off the streets.

The late 1930s and the 1940s brought World War II. Most families that lived in the North End had night curfews. Windows were painted on the lower part to block lights, and alerts of enemy attack were prevalent in our daily lives. Young men in the area joined the Armed Forces.

On weekends, my brother and I would shine shoes on street corners or in the local bars and clubs. I believe the shoe-shine charge was ten cents per shine. We made a few dollars each and would help my mother, who was a widow by that time.

Anthony was not a shoe-shine kid for long. Along with his friend Joe, he was hired as a busboy for a hotel in Providence. Meanwhile my shoeshine business was great. My steady customers included a group of young men, some from the service, as well as a family who owned a hardware store. Some weekends I made seven to nine dollars. It certainly helped with the family expenses.

Childhood as I saw it was normal; however, other kids in the area had bicycles for enjoyment during their spare time. My friends let me use their bicycles whenever I could. I never thought to ask my mother for a bicycle. I knew that affording one would have been difficult for her.

Today many Catholics families participate in various sports; however, it was quite different in the 1930s and 1940s.

A Forgotten Incident

I recall as a five-year-old boy sitting down with my mother, who explained what had happened to me when I was a year and a half old.

She had just finished making dinner and said to me, "Before you eat today, I want to warn you to chew your food and eat slowly."

I said, "Mom! You know I always eat fast."

She then explained to me what had happened four years before. I was eating a piece of a pear when suddenly I started to choke; the pear was caught in my throat. Mom took me to the Health Clinic at the Boys Club across the street. Upon entering the building, she hurried upstairs as she held me over her right shoulder, and the pear loosened and eventually was dislodged from my windpipe.

According to Mom's description, she knew I had been in trouble and was fortunate to be alive. She said God had listened to her prayers.

My Early Boyhood

I was a curly-headed kid when I was born. Mom told me, when I was old enough to understand, that I had come out of the chute quickly, a no-nonsense and efficient kid. As I grew older, I did many things in a repetitive manner.

I recall an incident regarding my health as a third-grader. Ray, my closest friend, came over to the fence to deliver a note from class to my mother. The class wished me a speedy recovery. I was very sick, recovering from a fever. Today it would be called some kind of flu virus. I was out of school for six to nine days. I recall Dr. C. coming to the house. He examined me, gave me some medication, and stated that I must rest. After I finally got better, I never really found out the particulars regarding my illness. My sister thought it was rheumatic fever, but she wasn't sure.

As time went on, the Sisters of Mercy nuns—namely, Rachael and Colette—remained keenly observant of my health status as I continued to get better.

Ray was the son of a tailor and textile worker. He was a tall, lean kid with a great smile. The teenage girls loved his charm.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Determined Man by Arthur O. Aloisio Copyright © 2010 by Arthur O. Aloisio. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Section I....................1
The Beginning....................3
The October Trip....................4
The Challenge....................5
The Journey Begins: My Mentor, Mal....................5
The Ultimate Incentive....................6
My Childhood and Siblings....................7
Life in the 1930s and 1940s....................8
The Adolescent Years....................10
Catholic Families....................11
A Forgotten Incident....................11
My Early Boyhood....................12
My Sister....................15
My Brother....................16
Unforgettable Memories....................18
Baseball as a Kid....................19
My High-School Days....................20
The Baseball Tryout....................21
Making the Team....................22
Augusta, Maine....................24
My First Automobile....................25
College....................26
An Uncertain Student....................27
The Summers of 1953 and 1955....................27
Our Christmas Vacations....................28
My Pursuit of a Professional Career....................30
Section II....................33
Student Teaching....................35
My First Teaching Position—Long Term Substitute....................37
My Brief Military Career....................38
My First Teaching Contract....................40
A Defining Moment in My Career....................40
Teaching in the Sixties and Seventies....................41
Life as a Driver-Training Instructor and as President of the Driver-Training Teachers Association....................44
My New Homes....................45
Looking Back at My Teaching Career....................46
Section III....................59
How I Met My Wife....................61
Our Wedding....................62
Our Early Life as a Married Couple....................63
Attending School....................64
Becoming a Grandparent....................64
My First Exposure to Politics....................65
The Big Turning Point....................66
Graduate School....................67
Politics....................70
My Legislature Days....................73
Re-election Campaign of 1974....................76
Life After Politics....................78
Watergate....................78
Section IV....................81
A Second Career....................83
How Sports Related to My Second Career....................83
The Insurance Agency....................85
The Growth of My Second Career....................87
Purchasing Two Small Insurance Agencies....................89
A Level Head in Sales....................90
My Medical Scare....................91
Our Vacations....................92
A Florida Purchase....................94
A Trip to Arizona....................94
Our Trips to Italy....................97
My Charitable Work....................99
A Change in Leadership....................101
Mary's Return....................102
Section V....................105
A Tragedy on Good Friday....................107
Learning the Domestic Side of Life....................108
My Formal Retirement....................110
A New Era in Life....................111

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