Italian Immigrants in Philadelphia 1926: Hole in the Ceiling

Italian Immigrants in Philadelphia 1926: Hole in the Ceiling

by Robert DiSpaldo


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In 1926 Philadelphia was a haven for immigrants looking for a better life. Philadelphia had the reputation as the manufacturing center of the nation and the world. Immigrants that came to Philadelphia settled in neighborhoods where people from their own countries lived. The immigrants strived to assimilate by learning the language and the ways of the United States. They believed they should keep the traditions of their mother countries and not to forget where they came from and how they once lived. The immigrants had one common goal, to achieve the promise that America offers, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Robert DiSpaldo has written a story inspired by his memories growing up in an Italian family in South Philadelphia. Combining tales his father and mother told him and his own experiences makes this story authentic.

The summer of 1926 Philadelphia was the host for the “Sesquicentennial Exposition,” a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Joey Nocelli a nine-year old Italian boy saw exhibits displaying other cultures from around the world. Seeing these exhibits Joey realized the way other people lived was very different from his own way of life.

The summer of 1926 Joey learned that boys and girls where different from Camela the girl next door. Joey’s father Giovanni made wine for his own family and friends to share. Prohibition was the law of the land. One day Giovanni was confronted by evil men called the “Black Hand” interested in his home made wine.

In 1926 radio was a source of entertainment if you had electricity. Homes were heated with coal that was stored in the basements. An illness called diphtheria would warrant a quarantine and separate families for months.

Joey’s corning of age journey begins when he climbs in a “Hole in the Ceiling” in an alley between row houses.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524690663
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 06/30/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

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