Mario Grassi was born in a little town close to Rome
in the Abruzzi area-Antrodocco. He left Naples in 1910 at the age of 12 and, with
his father, took a boat to New York. Another immigrant
leaving the region at the same time was Filippo (Phillip)
Poscente. After 15 days on the
boat, they rode a train for 5 days that transported them to
Calgary, Alberta. Upon arriving he went to work on the
railroad and then attended school for two years. Due to lack
of funds he went back to work, this time at the Palliser
Hotel as a busboy. After two years at the Palliser, he went
to work as a shipper for the next ten years. Mario then
returned to the Palliser Hotel where he worked at a number
of different jobs until his retirement. He returned to Italy
with his family in 1960 for a visit.
The interview was conducted by Giancarlo Grelli for the Dante Alighieri Oral History Project in 1973.
This oral history project was initiated by Sabatino
Roncucci, a founder of the Dante Alighieri Society, for the
purpose of documenting immigration history so that it
could be shared not only with the Italian community but also
the community at large.