Stories my father told me (and some from my mother too)
by Michael Bianco

Frances Iuni Bianco, 88 & Andrew Bianco, 100; married 70 years
Some words about my dad. Andrew (Andrea) Bianco came to America in the very early 1900ís, a boy about 8, a younger brother about 5 and his mother, Rosa Canino Bianco. They came from a small town in Italy, Sersale, about 25 miles from Catanzaro, in the toe of the boot.
His father, Antonio Bianco, had come earlier and made it possible for them to come. These people had little more than the clothes they wore.
The town where they came from was typical of all small Italian towns. My grandfather tended a flock of sheep for a rich man, and in return he was allowed a share. He knew how to make cheese and had olive and fig groves. They also had chestnuts and well kept gardens. His foresight made it possible for his family to grow and prosper in a new world where what you eared was yours. My grandfather and grandmother on both sides gave their all to rearing their children. My mom and dad put everything they had into rearing their children and all they gave us in character we still possess and we hope to pass those values to our children. Each generation seems to gain a little more than the last and we owe it all to a shepherd and his wife who reached a little further and gave a little more. My father liked to tell stories Some of them are here:
Rosa Canino & Antonio Bianco circa 1900, Sersale
Giovanni Senza Paura This is one of my Dadís favorite stories. The name means John without fear. This story can be found in many cultures all over the world. But this one is Italian. My father had many stories and when we sat around a table with coffee and cake and the cards had been put aside, it didnít take much prompting to get a story started.
Here's a haunted house story from Sersale It's about a woman so poor she used an ox yoke for firewood. In case you think this is far fetched, in my grandmotherís day in Sersale, wood was scarce. It was forbidden to take wood from the grounds of the wealthier people, but in order to cook food many of the women had no other recourse but to do so. My father tells me that she would go out very early before daylight with her small hatchet and some rope. She would cut small branches to size and bind them with the rope a nd carry them home. If they were caught in the act, they werenít thrown in jail, but they would take away your rope and hatchet, which were of course, precious tools to have.
Some of my dadís sayings and when he used them.
These stories are treasures that you canít find anywhere, they are the gifts of loving parents to their children. If you stopped in 2-3 times a week the question was, always, where have you been. If you went for a week without stopping in, my mother always said, ďI think you forgot us, you havenít been around for so longĒ I always heard my dad say ď Hey Mike, where you been?Ē

Sometimes in the woods or in a quiet place, I can hear his voice with these words. Iím sure itís because I dozed off, but those words are very clear.

Bianco Family circa 1913
From left is John, Lucy, Rosa, Sam, Michael and Anna

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