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A summary of the oral history transcript of Attilio and Stella Gatto
in which they describe growing up in Italy, marriage, and
the emigration experience.
- Attilio was born in Grimaldi, Cosenza on December 10,
1911, the youngest of four brothers and three sisters. His
father was a contractor for roadways while his mother
attended to the household. Their comfortable residence was
in town and that is where his mother passed away.
- Having finished elementary school, he enrolled in
evening classes to become a carpenter and at the same time
he worked in the local carpentry shop, where he learned the
job from some of the best carpenters of the area. The pay
was non-existent, but at Christmas time he would generally
- Attilio goes to Cosenza where he perfects his trade,
and signs up for military service. He takes this
opportunity to go and visit his brother's tailor shop in
Milan. The war starts in Ethiopia and they go back to
Grimaldi together. During this period he is accepted as a
Fireman and still continues to be a carpenter to help
during the bombarding and fires.
- Stella was born in Grimaldi, Cosenza on September 10,
1921. She is the youngest of one brother and three
- Her father immigrated to Canada and was working as a
blacksmith with his brother in law.
- Stella's mother died young at 39 and Stella's oldest
sister and uncles look after them in the house at Piazza
- Her father comes back from Canada and re-marries. But
he dies at the young age of 54. Stella's brother comes
back from Canada and takes the young brothers from the
- After she completes elementary school Stella spends
her time with the local nuns, where she take classes in
sewing and embroidery.
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