Interview with Jennie Sicco Leto, 1984 June 21 [audio]

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  • Squirrel Run and Free Park neighbors; Taking lunch to the powder yards; Visiting Italy
    Keywords: Beacom family; Brandywine Creek; Cascina, Italy; Chicken Alley; Ferraro family; Free Park (Del.: Village); Gaino family; Immigration; Italian Americans; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village)
    Transcript: Johnson: Maybe I'd better start by saying, I'm Dorothy Johnson. Today is June 21, 1984 and I'm interviewing Mrs. Leto in Kennett Square. And I thought I would like to ask you if you recognize any of the people in this picture.

    Leto: Oh, I don't know those people, were Squirrel Run. That was my godmother, she moved up there, they bought that grocery store was Breckley's (possibly Blakely's) store. My daughter, Mary.

    Johnson: Hello, I'm Dorothy Johnson.

    Woman: Were you here last time?

    Johnson: No, Peggy Bennett was here last time.

    Leto: But I don't know these people, no not those people. They bought: we used to live in back of the store. See, they have two sides, was front and back, and the people next door to us was Mrs. Walker. She lost her husband in the powder mill, and she have two daughters and a son, Lizzie and I forgot the the name: Tom, the boy was: the last one was: I forgot the name of the girl, Marie I guess, or something like that. But we left them, and then next door to us was Mrs. Arness, but Pesce moved there next door.

    Johnson: You were in Squirrel Run?

    Leto: Yes, was Victor Pesce, was her name Gina, her wife. They used to live with (indistinct). And they moved there, but then we moved the same week they were there, we moved down Wilmington because they have the strike there.

    Johnson: Oh yes.

    Leto: See they give us thirty days, and then they gave another thirty days, but then we move out, we move Second Street, was Second Street. And then here is Flea Park, my Grandmother used to live here. Let's see, Flea Park.

    Johnson: This would be Flea Park.

    Leto: Yes, no, that's not my Grandmother. Here is where I was born, right here in this house, the first house here.

    Johnson: The first house.

    Leto: And my Grandmother didn't want to leave here, she wanted to go back home because the Brandywine Creek right there. She was afraid, there was my Mother, she was 15 years old, then, and my aunt was two year old and my Grandfather, they have a picture there: Elda, you get the picture for me please. It's in the buffet. And here's Flea Park, it was over here in the front picture, a different book, they have it different. Now this is all: not let's see the front page. Here it is, there's my Grandmother, the house was right here. This was two new couple just married in this house. Here's the pump where we used to get the water, the pump right next. Here was all the cattle used to come sleep under this tree here.

    Johnson: Oh, that was really close.

    Leto: In the night time, see.

    Johnson: Did they make any noise or were they...

    Leto: And I remember well this house. My Grandmother house torn down, but maybe was not on the picture there. We went there this summer.

    Woman: Last summer.

    Leto: We didn't recognize: they start the new homes now, next to the church.

    Johnson: Yes, and they've torn down...

    Leto: And there the pump, we used to come get the water right there. And Charlie Deer was live in this house. His wife, she was fat woman, and they have a daughter and a son. The son, he wanted to learn to be a butcher, so then they used to come around with the wagon with the meat like that. Then they move all the way down Wilmington and then we got lost each other. And then one day, with Jack in the hospital, we met the daughter, his mother was there sick, and then I met her again, she said my mother died, was the first one, in the Memorial Hospital there, what's the name of that hospital right below Fourth Street, the first one she died that hospital.

    Woman: Wilmington General.

    Leto: Then I didn't meet no more. Only one we have, we were big friend, Bessie Beacom. I used to go their house. The mother, she always wanted me and Sadie, we go eat supper there. They used to eat by the clock. I remember well we have one, I don't know, we have a pork chop or what 'cause each person, she had a lot of different things, potato, beans, everything. Yes she had four sons, and she had Madeline and Bessie. And Mr. Beacom, he used to watchman way up in Upper Yard where my Father used to work up. I used to carry lunch, used to yell to me, "No-o-o", he have a deep voice, he used to say to me, "Now Jenny, you can't go in there, you're not allowed." And so heget the kettle for my Father. He wanted soup, every lunch, so I used to leave it, walk there from Squirrel Run. First we used to live Flea Park with my Grandmother, then my Grandmother, she left for the old country, so I moved Chicken Alley, in Chicken Alley someplace back there,with Mrs. Nicolai she didn't want me to stay there, see my other aunt, she was coming back. She was coming back to Chicken Alley there.

    Johnson: Yes, I think it's on the map anyway.

    Leto: Old houses, and they had to go two twist step that go upstairs - no, it's a picture in there.

    Johnson: Oh, I see, you have a picture.

    Leto: Chicken Alley, Chicken Alley, Chicken Alley, old houses. The house next to the gate. Oh, we went there this summer, she want to go in, but we didn't go in. Here's the house my aunt used to live, here. In 1870 she had this full of boarders, all French people and everyone at night they help her and her husband helping clean.

    Woman: That's the Gibbon's House.

    Leto: The kitchen, it's next to the gate.

    Woman: Chicken Alley is on Page 46.

    Leto: Chicken Alley - old houses. They were gonna tear them down, but still there, yes. And what is the other place - up Keg Mill, look like the Keg Mill.

    Woman: That's Walker's Banks.

    Leto: And here was the Ferraro - Madeline, she just pass away about nineteen - she died, I forgot the number of the day, but 29th of December.

    Woman: Must have been about 5 years ago.

    Leto: Then we have...

    (Several people talking at once, can't make out what they are saying.)

    Woman: Four or five years ago.

    Leto: Yeah, I put in the drawer, what day she died. I have everything.

    Johnson: She lived in this end house on the other...

    Leto: No, Madeline used to live here, the last floor, the second floor, but she owns all the house, even front. That's what she told us, when they start to – the father went to the boss, he said, "Now I have extra children, we would like to have the second floor.” See, they were: family live in front, and family live in back. See this is: they belong to people live in back. Now they all living there again. See that's a brick house. They didn't throw them down this house. Our house where we live Squirrel Run, they all tore down.

    Woman: Well, you were born in this part.

    Leto: Yeah, in the first house.

    Woman: It's not there anymore.

    Leto: No more, we went there, yeah it's tore down. Because the road used to pass in front and it was too short, so they close it. They tore these houses, they were too old. See the water would come down from the road on the top road, so then they made the road in back.

    Johnson: Do you think that's one of the things that bothered your grandmother too, the fact that the water came up there?

    Leto: You have to talk louder.

    Johnson: I say, would the water have bothered your grandmother, do you think it came in the house when she was there?

    Leto: Oh, the dampness, too damp, yes.

    Woman: She was concerned about the dampness, being close to the creek.

    Leto: Oh, my Grandmother, she was scared of the creek. See the children, they might fall, so she went back home. Where that picture: here it is.

    Woman: By "back home", she means back to Italy.

    Johnson: Yes.

    Leto: See, this was my Mother, she was fifteen years old, that's my aunt, two years old. And my Grandmother and my Grandfather. My Grandfather came first, 1870.He supposed to go in Baltimore, instead he met somebody on the boat, they said, "Why don't you come with me, we work at DuPont, they give you more money." He said, "Oh no, I have to go Baltimore."

    Johnson: Do you know what he was going to do in Baltimore?

    Leto: I don't know, he said he was going with his friends, see they have a grocery, I don't know what they have. So he went to Wilmington.

    Johnson: Now I wanted to ask you, you said you went to Cascina in Italy in 1927, was that was where your father was from?

    Leto: That's my Grandmother she was born.

    Johnson: Now is that near Florence?

    Leto: No, my Father he was from Genoa, Salona, see that's where my Father...

    Woman: I was there in April and I'm going back next week.

    Johnson: Yes. And were you all from the same place, your grandmother and grandfather, all from the same town?

    Leto: Oh no, we were far away, they didn't know each other.

    Woman: They met here in the Hagley Yard.

    Leto: They just met after, see. My Mother then, my Mother came back and my Father, he used to board in this house. See when his sister came home, in seventy, her and her husband, they wanted to come home, they raise family, see they have a home. And then, see, then his sister told him to my father, said she was the first one in the family, and she said why don't you go down Walker's Bank, you find the Ferraro lives there. See Ferraro was the same town where my Father was born, but when Ferraro left the town was seventy, and they were gonna start the war, so he run to France and he went to France. He got a boat, he came to United States. That's Ferraro told us like that.

    Woman: Now he wasn't in the army or anything like that, but he had the inclination that the country might go to war.

    Leto: Oh, we skip a lot now.

    Johnson: And you said your father was in the army?

    Leto: Huh?

    Johnson: Your father was in the army, is that right?

    Leto: He was in the army, he had to make 34 months before they used to pull the number at that time. He was 24 years old. When he got home, his sister was home already. He said, "Oh, I don't want to stay home and work on the farm here, I got a lot of brothers, let them do it, I want to travel."

    Johnson: What town was he from?

    Leto: He was from Liguria. See, my Mother, they were Piedmont, from Piedmont, see. So she told him, "Go there to Sam Ferraro, live Walker's Bank and there's a man, would be my grandfather, I know he could take you in because he has a lot of empty rooms." His wife didn't want to stay there, she was scared of the water. So then my Father, he got there was '82 or something, I don't remember exactly it's on the book there. And so he saw my Mother's picture, but then she was already old, she was around 22 or like that.

    Johnson: (Laughs)

    Leto: And my Grandfather, would be my Grandfather, he said, "Who's the nice girl?” "Oh, she's my daughter." He said, "Why she don't come here in America?" He said, "Yes, she was here once, my wife didn't want to stay here, she didn't like this place." He said, "Alright, you like my daughter?” He said, "Yeah, why don't you send for her?" And so he did, and then she came over with the Gaino, one of the daughter, and then she sent for them. When they got married, see I have a picture upstairs, they got married 1887 or something like that. Then I was born 1889. So, well I skip now again.

    Woman: Now in the interval, when he married her and when he met her was...

    Leto: I think she's dead, the picture, Mrs. Gaino, see I think it's her. She came over with my Mother, I think it's her.

    Woman: Here it is, Gaino family, yes, the second one.

    Leto: And then she married Catalino, he was...

    Johnson: Oh, your friend.

    Leto: Yes, she married Catalino, he was a watchman on the wooden bridge they used to have. There were a lot of bums there, at night the people pass and they were afraid, so they put: she married this man, he was a tall man, tall, strong, he wasn't afraid, so he used to go in the night and stay through the morning and he used to watch, she married him. And I think it's her, my Godmother, she came on this country.

    Johnson: Oh, yes.

    Leto: See, these are the old Gaino, but I didn't know them, I knew her, that's all. And now we were looking for Chicken Alley: now here we went there when I was 94, they took picture of me, they have a bench, these people live here.
  • Visiting Free Park; Leto's own wedding; Family working in the powder yards; Father's death in an explosion
    Keywords: Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Explosions; Ferraro family; Free Park (Del.: Village); Hagley Yard; Hodgson Bros. woolen mill; Immigration; Italian Americans; Italy; Weddings
    Transcript: Woman: Couple years ago, I took her there.

    Leto: And he want me to go there that he wanted to take the picture of me here. And I said, "No, I don't want go with my shoes." So they have a bench there and a table, I sit there, so he took my picture right there, that's their house.

    Woman: That's about two years ago. When I first got interested in all these places that she mentioned, like Chicken Alley and Flea Park, Walker's Bank.

    Leto: My God, there I get sick, I was sick all winter this year, I had worst winter I ever had for me. Now I just went last Friday, take an x-ray.

    Woman: Now you used to live, you used to work in the mill, what was the name of the mill that you worked in?

    Leto: The Hodgson Mill.

    Woman: She called it Hodgson Mill.

    Leto: Yeah, that was the Hodgson Mill.

    Woman: Two brothers owned that mill?

    Leto: It was Tom, and the other, what was his name: Billy?

    Woman: Billy?

    Leto: Billy, yeah, he was a big stomach, and Tom was a tall fellow, he was so nice, very nice. And his wife used to come in sometime, that Tommy. And Billy, his first wife died, he married one of the girls working on the: then he had a son.

    Johnson: Did you go to that wedding by any chance? Did they ask the girls who worked there?

    Woman: You didn't go to the wedding?

    Leto: No.

    Johnson: We're supposed to ask you if you went to any weddings when you were living here, what it was like, or what the girls wore.

    Woman: Did you ever go to any weddings while you were living in Flea Park or Squirrel Run?

    Leto: No, I went christen, my son's baby, Flea Park, we went St. Georgia Church, I forget...

    Woman: Not your son's baby.

    Leto: Francis, my uncle.

    Woman: Your uncle's baby.

    Leto: I was fourteen years old, it was a big, fat baby. He was crying, crying.

    Johnson: What did he wear, did they put the baby in a long dress?

    Leto: Oh yeah, my aunt, she got it, but my aunt didn't come that day, the church, the father and the godfather came and then my uncle picked up the baby and made it stop crying. See, he was so heavy, oh my gosh.

    Woman: She tells about her own wedding, Mattie Ferarro made your wedding dress.

    Leto: Oh yes, she came dressed me. And then I was so skinny, I didn't weigh even ninety pound. She said you got too slip here, and the dress was a white dress – here it is.

    Johnson: Oh, isn't that - was a beautiful dress.

    Woman: Madeline Ferraro made the dress.

    Leto: And so she made everything. She dressed me and said, "I made another slip here." So I had to give her another slip, I still have those two slips.

    Johnson: She had you so puffed out, you wouldn't know you were thin.

    Leto: And then I went buy shoes, high heel, and my Catherine was the same tall, but I guess...

    Johnson: You look taller, but you're not.

    Leto: Look taller, yes.

    Johnson: Oh that's a lovely dress.

    Leto: He just gonna be thirteen years old, 88 years old, he fell out there, and then he fell upstairs again, he was getting better, and he wanted to go Ocean City because we used to stay Ocean City all the time. And my daughter had a home there.

    Johnson: Is that in New Jersey?

    Leto: And they still have it, she's there now.

    Woman: She's just talking about before my father died. Now this was one of the dresses Mattie made for you?

    Leto: Yeah, yeah.

    Woman: Another dress she made for her.

    Johnson: Yes, oh, you look so pretty.

    Leto: She made it, I took picture just before I got married.

    Woman: I guess Mary wants to show you where it (Looking through some pictures and miscellaneous talk as several people speak at one time.) Her father came from Cairo - now this is all the casinos, and all the pastries: that's in Piedmont.

    Leto: No, that's Liguria.

    Woman: It would be interesting to doing an anthropological study of this whole group of people came from right...

    Johnson: Peggy started a map where she put pins in the places where people had come from, both in Italy and Ireland.

    Woman: Cassini would be up to the left. Her grandmother came from there, grandfather. Her grandmother came from Cassini, and what province is that? See, right here, there's Samora. This is Piedmont, this is Liguria, here's Monaco. You go from Monaco a couple of hours: then you're in France. That's why their dialects are so close, more related to French than Italian. See, 'cause this all belonged to France, and the Austrians before Italy was unified. See it was only city state, see Rome was all the way down. I've used this map so much over there driving.

    Johnson: That's a wonderful map.

    Woman: I've got several. So that's where all these people came from, that lived at Hagley and worked at DuPont in the early times. They came rather early. I think my great-grandfather, the first time, must have been: my Mother's says 1870. We have some old passports too.

    He retired after 35 years, worked there all his working life. And in this area, too, they made powder. There was a company, plant named (indistinct), and they would make black powder too, maybe some of them already came with the knowledge. Right in here (looking at map and naming some towns).

    Now it has become Frence, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Yeah, but they're not making powder anymore, it's gone on to chemicals and Scotch tape and film (several voices talking at once).

    Leto: This is the house, I forgot about.

    Woman: That's the Gibbons House, your aunt lived in the Gibbons House. What aunt was that, what was her name?

    Leto: It was the first one, Maria. (More voices talking at once.) They got married and they said let's go see Sam Ferraro, because Sam Ferraro used to live across the street from my Father. See, when my Father was a boy yet. See when he came out from the Army, then he came, he went to America. Here's my Father's picture. That's my uncle, my Mother's brother. That's the one, he came to America. When he arrived, he shook hands with my Father, he met my father, that was their picture taken. But we took them over because we - oh, it was funny, the other picture, and sent him my Mother.

    Woman: Is that the uncle that built the...

    Leto: Uncle Joe, he worked in the grinding mill: in the rolling mill.

    Woman: Joe Persoglio.

    Leto: Yeah, Joe Persoglio, and he had a family used to live next door to my Grandmother too. And they all worked there, but they only stay eight years, then they have a strike. That's my Father quit too.

    Woman: Which uncle was it that helped to build the machine shop down at Hagley?

    Leto: Oh, that's my Father's brother, Phillip. And he used to come home, there was wintertime, he didn’ t work, but they give him a pair of gloves, he couldn’ t work, see they were picking the bricks, those – the brick you know, and they were frozen, but his hand freezing. Soon the machine shop, he said oh I want to go home, I don't want to stay here in America and be slave like this work, like a horse he said. So he went home, he went back home, the same clothes he came, he went back with the same clothes. And then that time, we were living Second Street, and next door to Pop, that's what I meant, Pop, West Second Street, and he said to him, he said, "You know any store, I want a pair of boots to take home, when it rains?" He said, "Yeah, I'll take you to store to buy a pair of boots." So he left, he went back home and he went and he said, "I better go home with my wife and children." He only stayed, not even a year, when they finish the machine shop, he left.

    Woman: The big brick machine shop on your way into Hagley?

    Leto: He help them to build. It's near the door, near the road you go up to Squirrel Run.

    Woman: Near the gate.

    Leto: See, they built it there. That's the way it is, and my poor Father, he quit three or four times. He didn't want to work no more, and the boss keep him, send him. The last time I didn't know what to do. We used to live 814 Madison Street and I said the man tapped the door, and I looked from the window, he saw me and I went next door to check, she was 816, and he came over there, and I didn't know what to to, to tell my Father to go back.(A noise like a click). What is it?

    Woman: That was my tape recorder, it's finished.

    Leto: And so I asked Pop, my husband, "What are we gonna do now?" He said, "Well, I don't know, up to you.” I said, "I know, it's too danger, my Father didn't want to work no more, too many young people." And so I let it pass two, three days, better not bother me. "Alright," he said, "he wants me to go back." That was, his boss, then he was a new boss, the one I gave him that pot of flower, I gave him...

    Woman: Pierre S. du Pont.

    Leto: Pierre S. du Pont, that was his boss then because he was the last one boss in the Hagley Yard. And so he said, "Charlie, I want you to come back.” He said, "You know why I don't wanna come back. You got too many people, too many strangers, no more the old people here. I'm the only one left." So he went in a couple months. He went – but - was one of the cousins of mine, he went to see my Father. He say, "Uncle, how you makin' out?" And he told him he was dead, my Father. And he said, "Oh, I had a lot of trouble this morning with this mill. Last night he was alright, when I close it, and now I work all morning, I couldn't make it work. But now seeing he's running pretty good.” He said he was nearing at the gate (claps her hands), he went off.

    Woman: He heard the explosion?

    Leto: Jenny's husband was my cousin.

    Woman: And your father...

    Leto: See he married Joe Persoglio daughter, she was my first cousin.

    Woman: When was this explosion?

    Leto: And he said, he told us that thing to us. I don't know why, it may be that somebody went: and they...

    Woman: Well, that's when your father was killed.

    Leto: ...asked us if he had any against him. He said, "No, they're all my friend." He asked me if he used to come home, complain if anybody was mean to him. No, he said they were all nice, they were all nice people. And that's the way it is.

    Woman: That was in 1917.

    Leto: I couldn't get it over, I wish I never work in that morning. See, that morning it was a trolley, he was getting the trolley, he would get off at the end of the trolley, way up, there used to be a grocery store that corner at one time.

    Woman: At Wagoner's Row she's talking about.

    Leto: And so that's the way it is. He said this John, we call him, but he died now, about two-three years ago he pass away, that's what he told us, he came, he said he couldn't make him run. And then he was alright, Pappy said "Oh, it's running fine now.”

    Johnson: Was that John Perry?

    Leto: And then the gates, he was the gate, far away from here up at the garage. And Mr. Beacom was the gateman there, see he was hurt in earlier time when there was explosion, and he got hurt, his back or something, and he walked with the cane.

    Johnson: Now when your father, when that explosion, was he the only one, was he the only one that was killed in that explosion?

    Leto: In the paper that night, it was quarter after two, the explosion, and then Pop came home, my husband, he was out with the wagon with his brother. What is that?

    Woman: It's in the paper, it was in the paper. That's the paper. Yes, see, but I didn't show it to her.

    Leto: And so in the wagon, he was working for Bavarian Building Company up Du Pont Street, West 6th Street, and the horses shake, and Pop knew: he said that's my father-in-law, he told Uncle Pete, he said, "I'm pretty sure." And so it just happened there was a trolley that time there, and he got on the trolley and he got off when he went there near the gate, and they told him Charlie's sick. And the paper that night, he said the explosion at the Du Pont Powder Mill, two men got hurt. They didn't say: I saved that paper, it got lost, I put it in that closet and when we cleaned the closet, we didn't look.

    Woman: You had found that paper. I have it, I found it.

    Leto: Yeah, we saved all the paper, we burn everything.

    Woman: I have a copy of it here.

    Leto: When we put the paper in the house, we changed the paper.

    Woman: It said, "One killed, sixteen hurt in powder blow-up."
  • Grandfather's death and DuPont's centennial; Grandmother's garden and chickens
    Keywords: Chickens; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; DuPont's centennial; Eggs; Gardens; Grapes; Immigration; Italian Americans; Italy
    Transcript: Leto: We skip everything. Yeah, you were talking about Squirrel Run.

    Johnson: I wanted to ask you, did it seem different when you moved to Squirrel Run, after living in Chicken Alley, did it seem very different?

    Leto: Oh, no, I moved from Chicken Alley back again, my Grandmother: see, my Grandfather, they left for New York on a day before Fourth of July because Fourth of July was a hundred years, the company, and they had a great big picnic on the hill where they built the house, one of the du Pont people.

    Woman: This is the account in the paper, that celebration, that's when her grandfather was killed, on July 4, 1902, and this is the account of the celebration that Hagley had.

    Leto: They know that, we put it on the paper there, over there in the cookbook.

    Johnson: Yes, you did tell us about the...

    Leto: But they didn't spell his name right.

    Woman: Here's his obituary in the paper, but they didn't spell it right, they have...Johnson: Oh, yes, they have a...Woman: A G in there.

    Johnson: There’ s no G in the name?

    Woman: Was there a G in that name at all?

    Leto: You talk loud, you know I can't hear no more, caught cold this winter.

    Woman: We're talking about the spelling...

    Leto: Oh, that book don't belong to us.

    Johnson: Okay, that's alright, I'll get it when we go. I wanted to ask you another question about: did your grandmother have a garden at Squirrel Run or just at Free Park?

    Leto: Oh, Free Park...

    Johnson: That was the only garden?

    Leto: She have, oh along like this house, she had everything, and she had over a hundred chickens and she used to give eggs to everybody, and she give chicken everybody. And she clean 'em too. She saved the feathers...

    Johnson: That was very nice.

    Leto: She gave them clean them, because lot of people don't give chicken, it's a lot of work. And she had a gate, and she used to give me a basket --that's not our book.

    Woman: This is mine.

    Leto: Ours is in the other room.

    Woman: No, this is my book.

    Leto: She said, "Now be careful, if you go get the eggs, you see the eggs are nice and fresh, you can tell, don't want the chicken, she peck on you, she won't let you get the eggs." And so I, sometime I get them just the same, but I had to get the fresh ones. And she would leave the chicken that hatch, you see, and then she got a little chick, and then she went to the little chick come, they have those boxes and they put the mother in there, and the chick, they go out. She would leave the feed for the mother and the little chick, and they go walk around and have a - if you leave the mother out, she would peck around the field, and the chick, they would get lost.

    Johnson: What did she feed the chicks, do you remember?

    Leto: She had cracked corn. Oh, she had to make – she buy yellow corn and then she mix it up, I don't know. She's working while my grandmother...

    Johnson: Where did she buy it?

    Leto: She was real farmer, yes.

    Johnson: Where did she buy the corn?

    Leto: They have grape vine in Italy, everything. They have a great big house. The year when we went, when was it, ten years ago, eleven year, oh that long, we went with Silvia and Ted.

    Woman: You're talking about back in Italy.

    Leto: You can see where my grandmother was living.

    Johnson: Did she grow grapes here?

    Leto: Oh, everything.

    Johnson: She grew grapes too?

    Woman: Did she have grapes at Flea Park?

    Leto: Huh?

    Woman: Did she raise grapes?

    Leto: Oh, Flea Park, no. Only thing she took from home, from Italy, a little plant, and then she raise them and they come big like a tree, oh a big bush like that and she put in a tub and I gave it to Mr. Pierre S. du Pont on June. See, she was leaving for Italy on Fourth of July, before Fourth of July. And my Uncle Dominic: Pierre S. du Pont, they put him the boss because he was only one, he was in all the time in Hagley Yard looking around, and so they put him for boss, then the Powder Mill. It was the war at that time. Well, anyhow: and so they still have it at Longwood. It was a big pot like this and the plant was tall. My Uncle told Pierre S. du Pont, he said, "My Mother's leaving for the Old Country and she got a beautiful flower, you come see it, if you want it, take it, if you don't want it, I leave it here, my wife will come back." See his wife went Italy to see the Mother with the children.

    Woman: They would go back and forth.

    Leto: And she stayed there over a year.

    Woman: They were going to France.

    Leto: That's why Josephine was born over there in Italy.

    Woman: This is another story.

    Leto: And so that's the way it is. When he came, Mr. du Pont, he was tall, handsome, he look at me, he said "I want to talk to Dominic Persoleo." And I said, "Alright." I went in and I called him, my Uncle knew already he was coming, and he came out and then I stay in the house, I didn't bother what they were: and I didn't know what's comin' after that big pot, and then my Uncle came in and he told his Mother, my Grandmother, he said, "I'm giving that flower to Mr. du Pont, you told me you don't want to let it go bad.” So he came, he took it away. And then years ago when Rosalie went to Drexel, before she: we saw all along the road that smell...

    Woman: The lemon?

    Leto: Yeah, and I didn't think...

    Woman: ...your Grandmother used to raise in the garden, you were telling me...

    Leto: Oh, she raised everything...

    Woman: What else: what did she raise in the garden?

    Leto: She raised string beans, they go up, she raised potato enough for all year round, she had onion, and then along the road that we had to go, see we had the, we call them the back house we used to call 'em that time, way end of the road, and she put against the fence, see they had a fence, each house, they had their own fence. They were, Uncle Joe fenced it, and there she had the gutter there, the water where she dumped the water out, the wash outside.

    Woman: Wash water?

    Leto: Outside, it go down in the field, when she dumped the water. And she put a board there, and dirt, and she put those aster flower all along...

    Woman: Asters?

    Leto: ...that road, and just like she would know I need those flowers for my Grandfather. Every Saturday she would make a nice bunch of flowers and bring them to my Grandfather.

    Woman: At the cemetary.

    Leto: Cemetery, St. Joseph. We went with Mary, they made a new fence and we couldn't find it, the stone is not there no more. We went and look for it, see.

    Woman: There at St. Joseph’ s, at the old part, you know, that leads into Hagley.

    Johnson: Yes.

    Woman: The old part, you know, that leads into Hagley, away, on the other side of the church, other side of the road.

    Johnson: And that's where...

    Woman: That's where her grandfather was buried.

    Leto: We have to go back again this summer.

    Woman: Yeah, we'll go to...

    Leto: We'll have to look.

    Woman ...dig in the records of the church.

    Johnson: Did you find the tombstone there now, or...

    Woman: No, see when they put the fence, they...

    Johnson: Oh, they moved some.

    Woman: But the records will be in the church. Tell...

    Leto: Yeah, you come over here, I can't hear you, I have this...

    Woman: the way they would go back to Italy for vacations, but they would go: take the train to Paris, and then they'd go to the Cherbourg or LeHavre, and then across to New York. And it would only take them about eight days. How long did it take to go...

    Leto: Come over here, I can't hear you, I'm hard to hear, I'm getting harder every day.

    Woman: How long would it take to go from Cherbourg to America, on the boat?

    Leto: Oh what year...

    Woman: How long, how long, how many days?

    Leto: Oh, after we got through, when we went, Pop and I...

    Woman: No, let's go back to when your Grandmother went...

    Leto: No, wait a minute, we may- five days we got home, 1909, we got married at 1908 and in July the tenth, after seven months we were married, he said, “ Now we gonna have family, Why we don't go home, I want you to meet my Father and Mother?” So we took...

    Woman: That's another story.

    Leto: ...the boat, still there, St. Paul, and we went through from New York we went...

    Woman: South Hampton?

    Leto: South Hampton in England, and there they just unload the mail, see, and the people, they get off there: Liverpool.

    Woman: Oh, Liverpool.

    Leto: That's right, I forgot.
  • Helping in her grandmother's garden; Meals and storing; Sewing and Knitting; DuPont's centennial
    Keywords: DuPont's centennial; Food; Gardens; Knitting; Meals; Pasta; Sewing; Storing food
    Transcript: Johnson: I wanted to ask you, did your Grandmother let you help with the garden, or did she do it all herself?

    Leto: Oh herself, the man and I, they help her.

    Johnson: Did they help dig the ground before she put in the seeds?

    Leto: She raised everything what you imagine, celery, zucchini they call: what do you call that?

    Woman: Squash.

    Leto: Anything what you imagine. And cabbage, you know what she used to do to the cabbage, the head like this because she used chicken manure. They used to come a big head...

    Johnson: I was going to ask you about fertilizer.

    Leto: And she made a big hole in the corner side for the winter and she used to put all newspaper around and she put the cabbage there and then she cover it with the dirt, and then when they want the cabbage in the wintertime, they used to use the sauerkraut, and then she would get one of those big cabbages and she would cook in the oven: that's the way I learn, I show you how to cook, she used to put sausage in the oven, she used to have an old stove.

    Woman: But did anyone help her to dig the garden?

    Leto: Oh yeah, the man, the one they used to work at nighttime, they help, my Uncle, all of them, everybody. My Father too.

    Woman: You mean she was the inspiration for the garden?

    Leto: Yes, she was strong lady.

    Johnson: Did they use a horse with a plow or just the shovels?

    Leto: Shovel, the shovel, you know you put your foot down.

    Johnson: The spade, yes.

    Leto: Well you know the chicken house we have there when we move this house, you remember?

    Woman: I remember, yes.

    Leto: And it was same like that. Wonder we tore...

    Johnson: What about...

    Woman: Mrs. Bennett wants to ask you another question.

    Johnson: Did she buy seeds or did she save over from the year?

    Leto: Oh no, she would raise corn, they buy corn, oh everything.

    Johnson: And what about the tomato seeds, would she buy tomato seeds or...feed by the

    Leto: Oh no, she buy the feed by the bag, everything.

    Johnson: How about the seeds, say if you're going to grow the tomatoes, how did she start them, did she get a plant?

    Leto: Oh she keep the seeds herself.

    Johnson: She saved the seeds?

    Leto: She: even she saved the Yeast when she make bread.

    Johnson: Now how did she do that?

    Leto: She cut a piece each time...

    Johnson: Of the dough.

    Leto: The dough...

    Johnson: Before you bake it (laughs).

    Leto: Yes, and she put it aside, she make bread two or three times...

    Johnson: Did she have to keep that cold in the...

    Leto: Oh, she kept it all the time there on the side. Oh she made all yeasts. Instead Madeline Beacom and Bessie, we go to the Hunter Store up in the corner with Bessie.

    Johnson: Wagoner's Row, yes.

    Leto: We used to buy- she buy yeast, (indistinct) yeast in a kettle, she used to go with a kettle, big like that. And Mrs. Beacom used to make her own bread too. Oh, we were good friend with Bessie, yeah.

    Johnson: Did your Grandmother let you help cook, or did she chase you out of the kitchen?

    Leto: Oh, I watch her, but she didn't...

    Johnson: Doesn't let you...

    Leto: She didn't care. Only thing what I like her fried potato. She had a big fried potato pan and she make me peel the potatoes, that's what, and then slice them. And then she buyed a lot of hot dog, and then when the potato was nearly done, she would slice it across like this, the hot dogs. I feel like have some now, but I can't eat them. I been sick, I went to get an x-ray, was last Friday you took me?

    Woman: Yeah.

    Leto: You know what I thought I have an ulcer, instead I got something else.

    Woman: It's a hiatial hernia, but she's never been sick all her life.

    Leto: I used: now my stomach don't burn no more.

    Woman: Well you're careful of what you eat, you don't dare eat those fried potatoes and hot dogs, they'll make you sick. She never cooks those anyway.

    Leto: Oh, I wish I have some now, we can't cook no more. She has those dark fry pan, we have one on the cellar step.

    Woman: You mean iron, iron skillet.

    Leto: Then we gave it to the man up the mountain. Yeah, oh poor Grandma.

    Woman: What else did she raise in the garden, do you remember what else? Did she have peas and beans?

    Leto: Oh, they didn't put it right in the book. You know what they did?

    Woman: What did they do?

    Leto: They put beans, instead she used to put beans, potato, everything in the soup. She used to make a big pot of soup every lunch. When they work, they have half an hour, they come home and then she had boiled chicken or meat dinner time.

    Woman: At lunchtime.

    Leto: And then the supper she have, sometimes she makes spaghetti by hand, you know, but she have rolling pin and everything.

    Woman: She would make her own pasta?

    Leto: Yeah. And she used a big barrel of flour, a big flour, and sometimes the bags, and those bags, she used to make me underwear and slip.

    Johnson: Where would she keep the flour bag, would she keep that right in the kitchen?

    Leto: Oh yeah and then she have, on the side it was like a cellar there, see. Her kitchen would be upstairs instead they sleep there up the stairs, they have the turn step like that...

    Woman: Yes, winding staircase I guess.

    Leto: ...one there: oh my Grandmother, they get nervous now.

    Johnson: Where did she keep the sugar, did she have sugar?

    Leto: They never used sugar, no, she didn't use no sugar. They make coffee mixed with milk. Boy the milkman used to deliver the milk in those pan there. In the morning they make coffee mixed with milk, they never used sugar. We don't know...

    Woman: And what did they have for breakfast, just coffee and...

    Leto: Oh, they have a pile of eggs, so much eggs sometimes she make big freta, you know...

    Woman: Omelet.

    Leto: And then they all eat it, oh they have big supper, the men, and big breakfast, because they all workin the yard, they didn't work in the: what do you call it: in the powder.

    Woman: In the mill?

    Leto: They were work alone in the yard every place.

    Johnson: The workers, the construction workers. What about sewing. Did you learn how to sew when you were in school or did your Grandmother teach you?

    Leto: Oh, my yes, she teach me, yes.

    Johnson: She taught you, did you learn it in school at all?

    Leto: No, no, no.

    Woman: You know, she never speaks of her Mother, her Mother died when she was...

    Leto: My poor Grandmother. I always cry...

    Woman: She was three or four years old when her Mother died.

    Johnson: Did your Grandmother have a sewing machine?

    Leto: No.

    Johnson: Did it all by hand.

    Leto: All by hand, yeah.

    Johnson: What about knitting, did she knit?

    Leto: Oh yeah, oh that's the first thing they show how to knit. I used to knit stockings for my kids too.

    Woman: She still knits.

    Leto: I make sweater.

    Johnson: And your Grandmother taught you to knit?

    Leto: Everything.

    Johnson: Yes. How about embroidery, did you do that?

    Leto: No, she, oh, I have still the sheets, one sheets left upstairs. My Aunt made it when my Mother got married, she sent it: I still have it. You know that sheets that got the lace on the bottom and then she pull one string, two string and then she work on the sheets. And it's still there upstairs.

    Johnson: Did you do any dancing when you went to the parties or the picnics, did they have: you were too young probably?

    Leto: Oh, no: when we had a picnic dance I saw the first time up: there a hundred years: I didn't tell you yet. We all have a: they give us some tickets, we were in the family, you know, and when you go up there you give that ticket, give you a box, like cardboard box, it was egg, it was tomato, orange, and apple or a pear, and then each tree (somebody's there at the door)...

    Woman: Victor.

    Leto: That's Victor, don't forget he brought some mushroom to give her to take home, they're in the refrigerator. And so: and they have each three they have a large can like this and then they have a bucket, you get drink, and you don't drink, you would dump it in your, in a cardboard to drink. The one tree have a orange, lemon, all different kinds.

    Woman: Like orangeade or lemonade? They had a big container for drinks.

    Leto: Everything. They made a big platform like these two room, and they have a band to dance all the people -the workers at du Pont...

    Woman: The workers.

    Leto: And they have even shootin' trap, I remember that poor little girl she was sitting on the bench with the Father and Mother and that man missed. Instead the bullets went through the mouth and came out here.

    Woman: Who was it?

    Leto: And then the Father and Mother saw their daughter fall down. He got her right away to go to the hospital but she didn't die because the bullets went out this way, I'll never forget that, I was right there. And my Uncle Joe (snapping noise) what you doing that? And my Uncle Joe didn't let none of his children went up there.

    Woman: He didn't, why not?

    Leto: He, himself and his wife.

    Woman: Why?

    Leto: Because he was afraid they would get hurt or something, too many people.

    Woman: Oh my.

    Leto: Yeah, he didn't come. And my Uncle Dominic, he had to go to New York. They got a telegram in the morning, they got telegram, something happened in New York. And my Uncle Dominic, he was in a ballgame, he was supposed: on a: see they had a ballgame there- (door squeaks) Who's that?

    Woman: No, that's Sylvia and Victor out there.

    Leto: Tell them to come in.

    Woman: They're going somewhere. They’ re going to pick cherries.

    Leto: Oh, they call, they have cherry?

    Woman: I think so, they called. Okay, we'll go back...

    Leto: We walked up cherry hill to pick the cherry. They called...

  • Neighbor who died in a lamp oil accident; Shopping in Wilmington; Avoiding a local bridge; Watching men play bocce; Uncle who played baseball
    Keywords: Baseball; Blakeley's tavern; Bocce; Free Park (Del.: Village); Kerosene; Lamps; New Year's; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Wilmington, Del.
    Transcript: Johnson: Do you remember any other picnics that you went – did you go to any other picnics in any other years – that was just the one?

    Leto: No, no, only one.

    Woman: That pig picnic she remembers.

    Johnson: Did people celebrate New Year's, did you have a parade at New Year's of any kind?

    Leto: No, we go to church, we had to go to church every Sunday.

    Woman: They went to St. Joseph's Church.

    Leto: St. Joseph's, yeah. Oh, my poor Uncle, my Aunt, she was so nice.

    Woman: Do you have any more questions while she stops?

    Leto: And then she was sick, she was in bed, she sent the daughter down. They used to live upstairs, they have a stove, like a kitchen downstairs they have a big room.

    Woman: Was this in Flea Park?

    Leto: Flea Park, but we were already move Wilmington. Instead they were there yet.

    Woman: She was still there at Flea Park.

    Leto: And she send, Lucy was the name of the daughter, she was named the daughter, she was about ten or twelve years old. And she went put coal oil on the stove, she said, "Go downstairs and make me a cup of tea." The Mother was in bed, a cup hot water bring me up. And the poor kid, she went and put oil...

    Woman: Coal oil.

    Leto: There was still some ashes hot there in the...

    Woman: In the coal stove.

    Leto: And the bottom was open, it caught on fire here on the dress. She run down the road and Mr. Charlie Deer wife, she saw the she was burning. The poor kid, and she got that carpet, put it over, put the fire out.

    Woman: Too late, did she die?

    Leto: She was burned here, all the stomach and all the face, the blister, you know.

    Woman: She just lived for a short while?

    Leto: And we were already moved to Wilmington just about a week or so, we went the funeral you know. She's buried at St. Joseph's cemetary.

    Johnson: When you were working at Hudson's Mill, did you go down to Wilmington on the trolley car to shop, to spend some of the money that you earned?

    Leto: Every Friday, every Saturday we go spend our money on King Street.

    Woman: How long did you work there?

    Leto: My Father, he used to buy half a bag of peanuts, they used to, you know, those fruit stands, and a half a peck, we had enough for a whole week.

    Woman: Half a peck.

    Leto: I don't know how much he pay, and then we buy thing what we didn't get in the store there. At that time was Blakeley Store yet. When we move out, then Blakeley sold to Gaino, to Catalano their name. My Godmother, she married this man, Catalano. It may be Katie or Annie die here in Kennett. You remember Annie Bazanno?

    Woman: Annie Bazanno: Annie Catalano.

    Leto: Maybe I don't know, Tommy, maybe they living down Union Street, see my Godmother, she built a double house, said they sold. She sold, oh, they close, that's right, they close everything, everybody move away, you know. But they got fooled, Blakely. Mr. Blakely pass out and she was her and her son – I remember well, Mrs. Blakely, she was such a nice lady, she was stout, but she was nice. And the son there, and then she had this other son live next door to us. Mrs. Arnus and me, and they move up St. Joseph Church, and then we were there with, Catalano bought the place, and then they had to close: they lost money. A good thing she had some money saved, her husband died there Squirrel Run, was name - just said the name now - Annie Bazzano - Catalano was the name. She, the one he was the watchman for the big long bridge, was the wooden bridge, and the night time was bums there. My Father told me, if they know you, they let you pass, but those bums, they were drunk all the time and so my Father said we could never go out at night, we stayed in.

    Johnson: Did you ever go swimming in the Brandywine?

    Leto: No, we weren't allowed, the water was too deep. And then there, they don't want: because the powder mill many people got killed, the bones go in the Brandywine in the creek.

    Johnson: I can see that.

    Leto: Yeah, they won't do it, the water was deep there.

    Johnson: Now did you ever watch men play bocce, somebody said there was bocce alleys at the store in Squirrel Run, in front of the store: did you watch those men play?

    Leto: Oh play bocce? Oh yes, oh yeah, they have special benches. They would play bocce - Walker's Bank, yeah. Oh yeah, we sit there - Annie Bazanno – Annie Bazzano now, she was married, Catalano, and oh, even the women, they were there to watch. And then they would go in the house - what's his name - Baldo was there living next door, upstairs, because Ferraro have the front and the back door, and they live next door to Ferraro. Even they...

    Woman: Oh, that was at Walker's...

    Leto: Pauline, she even help her make my dress, she used to go there: help. And the Mother used to go there, wash the clothes, Mrs. Baldo.

    Woman: Oh yeah, Pauline Baldo.

    Leto: Pauline Baldo, then she married (indistinct).

    Johnson: Did the women every play bocce, or did they just watch?

    Leto: No, just the men, we just watched it.

    Johnson: Did your Father ever play?

    Leto: No, he don’ t have to play. He would come home and help us do everything in the house.

    Woman: They were a family of workers.

    Johnson: What did your Father do in the night now, did he have to...

    Leto: Oh, sometimes they had to work at night because there was a war, they work at night, yeah.

    Woman: But your Father liked to play cards for amusement, entertainment.

    Leto: Oh no.

    Woman: No?

    Leto: When we lived Second Street, Uncle Phillipe, when he work, make machine shop, Pop, he never went next door to play, Pop at that time, we weren't married, we know each other, Uncle Phillipe and the man lived at the house, another man on the next door, see, they played cards. And then then when they finish, they go get a pitcher of beer, there was a bar, for ten cents or twenty cents, they would drink beer. They would pay, who lost, they pay. It was ten cents or twenty cents a kettle, they used to have. But we never let us, my Father won't let us go: we had to finish. Another story I want to tell you about. I laugh, and sometimes I cry, my poor Uncle Phillipe, we would go to bed, just like I do now, I go soon after supper.

    Woman: Seven o'clock.

    Leto: We finish and we had a lot of soup left over all the time and my Uncle, he like to eat it in the morning for breakfast, so it was eleven, half past eleven they pass the trolley in front of our house. I wake up, oh my, it's already half past six, and so we call my Uncle Phillipe. I said – and my Father call my Uncle, said the trolley just passed. He said to me he couldn't get up, I laugh and cry sometimes. The poor man, he got up.

    Woman: He got up at eleven-thirty and he thought it was six-thirty?

    Leto: He couldn't eat, he wasn't hungry. I'm laughing now, but at that time my Father give us the devil.

    Woman: You got your poor uncle up at eleven-thirty at night and you thought it was six-thirty.

    Leto: My Uncle said, I'm laughing now, I'm not crying, he said, "I'm not hungry." The soup was still hot, oh My Uncle Phillipe.

    Woman: He couldn't eat the soup.

    Leto: He wouldn't eat. Oh, he said, "I'm not hungry, I can't...

    Johnson: Did you think it was, did you really think it was six-thirty, or were you fooling him?

    Leto: I thought it was six-thirty in the morning, instead it was half-past eleven at night.

    Woman: Is that the Uncle Phillipe in the picture?

    Leto: Then he went to bed, and then in the morning, I don't know, my Father was mad. He never beat us, but he give us the devil. He said, "You watch yourself the next time, look at that poor man." Then he wouldn't eat that soup, he wasn't hungry.

    Woman: Well, did he go back to bed?

    Leto: Oh, yes. We looked the clock.

    Woman: He said it's only six-thirty.

    Johnson: Did your Father read a newspaper?

    Leto: Oh yes, all the time. We used to get - when we used to - I'll tell you, when we lived at Squirrel Run, and Mrs. Walker, she, the boy Tommy, he would deliver the newspaper, the Tommy. So she used to cut - they get the ones she wants out, poor lady, she shouldn't do that, see, she didn't sell. She would get the money, don't had to pay, the money. They give her so much percentage, maybe they give her half a cent each paper, and she always wants us to cut the paper and she would, oh this is another uncle...

    Woman: Oh, that's not Phillipe?

    Leto: That's the one you met when you went...

    Woman: Oh, okay, I remember the one in the small photograph.

    Leto: Yeah, when we went in 1909.

    Woman: This is in the small photograph, this is from Montiphadelia (sp?).

    Leto: Oh, you got that thing running? And we told the story.

    Woman: That's alright, it's a good story.

    Johnson: They like to hear those stories.

    Leto: It was a lot of fun. That our Uncle, didn't let the kids go, and then even his wife and him. And then I had to get the tickets and bring them to them.

    Johnson: Did your Father play baseball?

    Leto: No, sometime he play cards with him, but no.

    Johnson: Was there a Company team that Uncle Dominic played on?

    Leto: Oh, Uncle Dominic, he was wild, yeah.

    Johnson: Did they have a regular team?

    Leto: Oh, they got a telegram, this man from Wilmington, about my Grandfather was dead in New York, and they didn't say he was dead, accident. And Dominic -this other man, he was a fisherman, he was from Cascina, and his wife who used to live across the street from my Grandmother, see, now we went with Ted last time, five or six years ago, and I show him, that's my, there was a gate there, I didn't want to go in.

    Woman: Now what she wanted to know was, did any of your uncles play on the baseball team, did they play baseball, Uncle Dominic?

    Leto: Oh yeah, Dominic: Dominic, yes. He was everything, he was...

    Woman: He was in everything.

    Leto: Yeah, yeah he speak well the English right away. See the kids, they were going to St. Joseph's Church what I went there too.

    Woman: I see, they had a school there.

    Leto: Oh, he was smart, he wasn't afraid nobody.

    Woman: Did she tell you he was born here, at Walker's Bank, did you know that? She spent several years in Italy and because her Father left because he was always afraid of losing his life, he left the mills and went to his home in Italy. So that's how she got confused in her speech.
  • Learning English; Floor coverings and household objects; Reading and books; Childhood homes
    Keywords: Books; English language; Fishing; Floors; Free Park (Del.: Village); Homes; Household objects; Immigration; Reading; Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, Del.); Squirrel Run (Del.: Village)
    Transcript: Johnson: Who helped you learn English the most?

    Leto: Huh?

    Johnson: Who helped you learn English when you first – what helped the most?

    Leto: I went to St. Joseph's Church, and the same nun, she used to teach me there and then when I have Rosalie and who was it: you, Rose and Mary and Joe...

    Woman: Rosalie, Joseph and Mary.

    Leto: And she was move in this church here.

    Woman: In Kennett Square?

    Leto: Yeah, in Kennett Square, and she used to come when Pop was there, the car, we bought that Hudson car and she used to come and stay near me and talk to me...

    Woman: And she tried to teach you to say "three" and not "tree".

    Leto: Come over.

    Woman: You told me this nun tried to teach you to say "three".

    Leto: Yeah, I couldn't say it, she used to: she used to show me, go like this.

    Woman: One, two, three.

    Leto: Yeah, oh she was sweet. My Father used to give me five dollar, give it to her. And then my Father, he had English book, you know, and Italian, and they used to show: told me to bring it to her.

    Johnson: Did your Grandmother bring any books with her when she came?

    Leto: Oh, I still have one, I still have my Mother book, yeah, they were all religion, those people.

    Johnson: Was this a Bible that she brought?

    Leto: Yeah, she used to live the next block to the church. We all, no, oh you didn't come with me the last time. We went to Cassino, the church, and they have the mass and we went to that mass and we put a quarter in the candle, and we had the mass that lit, instead it was electric. And Barbara went to communion, I should have gone with her, communion, yeah. And Ted, he walk in and then he went out, talk to the people. You know how Ted, asks a lot of questions.

    Woman: You better ask some questions, because she gets on a tangent...

    Johnson: Yes, do you remember what the walls were like in the house, did they have pictures on the walls when you lived in Squirrel Run or in Flea Park?

    Leto: No, I don’ t remember that.

    Johnson: Did they have wallpaper?

    Leto: Oh yeah, they have nice wallpaper. And instead, my Aunt have brick. We went that house, they still have brick.

    Johnson: The Gibbons House?

    Leto: That house...

    Woman: But your Aunt didn't have brick floor did she?

    Leto: My Grandmother had cement in the kitchen.

    Woman: She had cement.

    Johnson: That was in Free Park?

    Leto: But the upstairs, no, they have, like we have.

    Woman: Wooden floors.

    Leto: Wood floors, yeah. We have paper: every Saturday I had to clean the house, when I live with my Grandmother. I start, I had to clean from the top to the bottom.

    Johnson: Now this was at Free Park or in Squirrel Run?

    Leto: Flea Park.

    Johnson: Did your Father play a musical instrument?

    Leto: No, no, he used to, when he was: he liked to go fishing all the time.

    Johnson: Where did he go fishing?

    Leto: Oh he had that thing, they would go in the fish and then pull them up.

    Woman: Oh, a net, it was a net.

    Johnson: Did he do this in the Brandywine, in the Brandywine River there?

    Leto: Oh no, no, when he was in Italy, when he went back. Oh and then he catch a lot of fish and then they have those terra cotta thing, and then he put them in there, and marinate, put a little oil, a little Vinegar and then garlic like that, oh, they were good.

    Woman: But that was- was that here in America or over in Italy?

    Leto: In Italy, yeah.

    Woman: In Italy, I see. Did he ever go fishing here in America?

    Leto: Oh I don't, they weren't allowed here, because then they wouldn't eat them because they always had those powder mill blow up.

    Woman: Oh, I see, they were afraid that the stream was contaminated.

    Leto: Even there was danger rolling mill, you know they loved to watch the rolling mill and then they all walk out and they started, went sometime they started and it blows up and the people get killed outside sometimes. That happened many times, the rolling mill, yeah. And the grinding mill, instead they had to work there, they fill up the top, you know, just like a mill, you go put your flour, cornmeal, and there they have to go up the step, and they would show you in the book. I read all that book, I read all the other DuPont books, all of them.

    Woman: Would you like to have a cup of tea?

    Leto: Then I lent it to Kate, she didn't give it to me back. She died, I don't know if she finished or not.

    Woman: Do you want something to drink?

    Leto: You come over here...

    Woman: Would you like to have something to drink?

    Leto: Yeah, make some tea or something, you have any – I can't drink no soft drink, no gingerale, nothin'. Maybe you could make a cup of tea...

    Woman: For you too?

    Leto: Yeah, hot water, pure hot water, no tea.

    Johnson: Do you remember what the windows were like, did you have curtains at the windows, or shades, and what were they like?

    Leto: Oh no, they have nice window where we used to live. Those window half like we have here.

    Johnson: And did they have shades at the windows, dark shades?

    Leto: Oh yeah, in the kitchen she had small windows, not too big.

    Johnson: Did she put curtains up?

    Leto: Upstairs, yeah, upstairs, yeah, but not in the kitchen downstairs.

    Johnson: Do you remember what the curtains were like?

    Leto: Oh sometimes she used to have one- like the cellar, she even put curtains in the cellar. See we have the door, you go outside from the cellar. And then we have the kitchen this side, and she put those sacks at the windows, but she wash them, nice. Yeah, poor grandmom. And she couldn't - she had those glasses, I have to feel the needle many times. I can't do now, last night I couldn't do, I was so shaky. I told Rita, here you do it for me. Now I got a big needle with a big hole.

    Johnson: You used to thread your needle...yes.

    Leto: Yeah, I had a nice pair of pants, Sylvia cleaned my drawer the other day, and because it need garter here, she went and throw them away, a nice pretty dress too, give it to the trash.

    Woman: Thank goodness!

    Leto: Then instead I said go to the store and buy me some garters, you know?

    Johnson: Elastic.

    Leto: He's not ashamed to do everything, I ask Sylvia onetime, she bought it, but I didn't have enough, and I put them, and I got them on today.

    Woman: Do you have another question?

    Johnson: What about - what was the attic like: do you remember an attic, did you have an attic in the house?

    Leto: Oh yeah, we slept, we were so hot in the summer.

    Johnson: I'll bet. How about in the winter, is there a stove up there in the winter?

    Leto: Oh no, in wintertime was warm. When we live Squirrel Run, we have Mr. Nicolai, we took two room upstairs, the garret, and her, the big room, she took on floor, and was so hot, oh my, we died. See we have one room for my father, one room for me and Aunt Sadie. And then she said, "I'm gonna have a baby pretty soon, we gonna move, we gotta house on front side.” And then she move out and then my Father stay upstairs and me and Aunt Sadie got the second floor.

    Woman: How many rooms did your grandmother have in the house?

    Leto: Oh, let's see, I could count them off, she had one, two, three, four, five upstairs, and then the second floor she had a room for his son and his wife, she went Italy, and then my Grandmother, and then she had another room here, and then the porch there, and then she had her room there where my Grandfather she was living. Oh yes, she had plenty of room, oh the house, it was old, but it was nice. And she had a nice porch, a step where you go from outside, you could come in the house, but we had the kitchen door, so they went pick cherry.

    Johnson: Did she have chairs on the porch, your Grandmother?

    Leto: Oh yeah.

    Johnson: You could sit in the chairs?

    Leto: She had nice: see the furniture was my Uncle, and my...

    Johnson: The Company didn’ t give any furniture, you had to buy your own furniture?

    Leto: Oh yeah, we had to buy our own. And then this - what's his name - my uncle had all the furniture, he had a nice room. He had a nice glass like we have ours, nice furniture. See before his wife came over, he bought all the furniture, and she had to go home and see the mother.

    Johnson: Did they have a swing out on the porch or anything like that, any of those...

    Leto: Whata you mean?

    Johnson: A swing that children could swing in or people could sit and swing?

    Leto: No I don't know, I don't remember, no.

    Johnson: Did your grandmother make tea or lemonade?

    Leto: She made tea with: what's the name that we call (Italian name), I forgot.

    Johnson: Verbena tea, lemon verbena?

    Leto: Yeah, see the leaves that would fall, she wash them and she had a bag back of the stove all the time, that's all the tea she had. And she made: we had a lot of wild cherries at the gate there, she makes sweet, but no sugar, we don't use no sugar that time.

    Johnson: What did you wear to school when it rained?

    Leto: Huh?

    Johnson: What did you wear to school or to work when it rained, did you have a raincoat?

    Leto: No, we had an umbrella.

    Johnson: And did you have rubbers?

    Leto: No, I don't remember no more, I don't remember.

    Johnson: Do you remember any funny stories that people would tell?

    Leto: No, I don't remember no more.

    Johnson: Do you know any ghost stories or superstitions?

    Leto: No, story you have to work hard. Yeah, but I was telling about the flower, she put a board there and dirt, and plant all the Zinnia, all colors. Just like she would know somebody need it, I had to take it to my Grandfather every Saturday. And we couldn't find it, we look and look.

    Woman: We'll find it. We'll go down and look around there.

    Leto: I think it was near the gate, maybe we look too much farther down.

    Johnson: Did your grandfather have a wagon or a sleigh?