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A summary of the oral history transcript of Sam Scrivano
in which he describes growing up in Italy, and his
- Sam Scrivano was born in Spezzano Sila, a village of
about 40.000 habitants, in 1901.
- The family, 4 brothers and 3 sisters, lived outside
the village. The father was taking care of some land, and
Sam helped him.
- The family would keep a part of the harvest, but there
was not much money.
- It was a very lonely life, they would go to the
village once a month to buy what they needed. They did not
need to go to church, the priest would come and perform a
benediction at a statue near the house.
- All their time was spent working, only at Christmas
they would get together with relatives. Another festivity
would be the celebrations for S. Francesco da Paola in the
- Sam did not go to school, it was in the village, which
was too far. He learned on his own to write and read, when
he was young at home, and when he was a soldier in Messina
and Reggio Calabria. In Canada he went to evening classes.
- Two of his sisters had already emigrated to Edmonton
and one of them, Assunta Gaudio, sent for him.
- In 1923, 22 years old, Sam, with another sister and a
friend, left for New York on board the ship "Giuseppe
Verdi" during the month of January.
- The trip was difficult and long, it took 15 days: they
had to help the passengers of another ship that was in
- Once in New York with other Italians, they left for
Unfortunately nobody was expecting them at the station.
They took a taxi and went to Assunta's house. Assunta had
a grocery store.