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    Giovanni Paron: Oral History Transcript 

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Raffaele Albi

Mr. and Mrs.
Enrico Butti

Mr. & Mrs.
Domenico Chiarello
(Nella Anselmo)

Gus & Assunta Dotto
(Emilia Raffin)

 Attilio & Stella Gatto

Gus Lavorato

Giovanni Paron

Mr. & Mrs. Sartor

Sam Scrivano

Silvio Tona

Paolo Veltri

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

 
1 | 2 | 3 | Page 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Ms. M: Carmela Marino
Mr. P: Giovanni Paron
Ms. B: Anna Bruni

Ms. M:

So what kind of machine did you invent?

Mr. P:

I build a .... A ... they turn like that and when it demonstrated here, I demonstrate it, they in university, they come out to look. Says what make that machine go round, around like that? I say, can you see it? Very simple, I say. Well, then, I show them. Ah, that the way it is. So the Jews, they buy me out.

Ms. M:

They bought you out.

Mr. P:

Yeh, they bought me out. And, I got little money and I stay in ..., I stay 12 years there. I tell my son to come after he finish the school, he come and stay there and there was a machine shop...top. Used to be right close to the York Hotel. They close up the machine shop. So, I say Jimmy, we better start ourselves. So, I have $17,000 in the bank and we start and we bought two.... Anyway, we got three men from the shop there to come and we start. In three years, we bought the place.

Ms. M:

Where was this place here in Edmonton? Where? By the York Hotel?

Mr. P:

110 Street, 105 Avenue. Industrial Machine Shop.

Ms. M:

Industrial Machine Shop. This machine that you invented, what was it used for?

Mr. P:

Fix everything.

Ms. M:

The machine fixes everything.

Mr. P:

Yeh, yeh. We fix ..., we fix big .... Anything at all.

Ms. B:

The machine fixed other machines.

Mr. P:

Sure, we make things.

Ms. M:

What was your machine called? What was it called?

Mr. P:

$10,000.00

Ms. M:

No. What was the name of your machine? The name of the machine?

Mr. P:

Lay.

Ms. M:

A lay, I never heard of that.

Mr. P:

That what they call here, a lay. [probably 'lathe'] And we had a ... and drills and stuff like that, you see. So, we stay there, 36 years in business now. We sold that place 2 years ago, we build a new place on 156 Street and 106 Avenue, no 116 avenue and we got big shop there, oh big shop.

Ms. M:

What's the name, the name of the machine shop?

Mr. P:

Industrial Machine Shop. That's the name going all the time. We have 29 men working today and the shop never turn ['too'?] busy but we busy all the time.

Ms. M:

Is your son running it?

Mr. P:

Yeh, my son running it and there is another boy, an Italian boy, he is 32 years old, he is our Superintendent and I give it to him. He take it over. He run it now when my son is out. He is very good fellow, oh very smart, very smart.

Ms. M:

It that right. O.K. So, when you moved to Edmonton, where did you live?

Mr. P:

Where I live? Just one block south of here.

Ms. M:

One block south of here. And, what year did you come to Edmonton?

Mr. P:

1939. Friends of mine, Italian, they build a house, it was too big the house, and a back suite, we can use it, me and my son, we can use it. That's the way it was.

Ms. M:

So, you lived with your wife and your son one block south of here on 113th Avenue and what street, 88th Street?

Mr. P:

88th Street.

Ms. M:

88th Street. And that was you and your wife and your son. And what school did your son go to?

Mr. P:

From here, he went to McCauley.

Ms. M:

McCauley School. I see. And then what high school did he go to?

Mr. P:

That a high school.

Ms. M:

Oh, McCauley was a high school. And then did he go to university?

Mr. P:

No, he didn't to to university.

Ms. M:

Your son didn't go to university.

Mr. P:

No, we were too poor, I think.

Ms. B:

At that time.

Mr. P:

I want him to come to work, you see.

Ms. B:

I see. Where you lived, were there other Italian people that lived with you in the neighborhood?

Ms. M:

Who were some of the other Italian families beside you?

Mr. P:

Lea Giraldo. Mrs. Giraldo. Al, her husband and she have two girls. They are sleeping here yet.

Ms. M:

Who were some of your other friends that lived close?

Mr. P:

Scrivano is next.

Ms. M:

Scrivano, Mr. Sam Scrivano.

Mr. P:

And then Scrivano and another family just close to Scrivano, I forget the name now, he die. Him and his son die, all the family. Oh, I know Scrivano, oh, I was here six months. When I met him, he was greasing the railroad cars, the train. That what he was doing.

Ms. M:

So, when you came to Edmonton, you worked in your machine shop, you worked as a blacksmith, you worked in the machine shop.

Mr. P:

Yeh.

Ms. M:

And, what about your wife, what did she do?

Mr. P:

Oh, nothing, nothing.

Ms. M:

She looked after the house.

Mr. P:

Keeping house all the time.

Ms. M:

Oh, I see. And, what about your boy, did he have a lot of friends his age?

Mr. P:

Oh yeh, yeh. He get lots of friends.

Ms. M:

Lots of Italian friends.

Mr. P:

Polish, but he speak Italian. He pretty well off. He got a little money, you know. Brought up in English.

Ms. M:

Did your wife, did you speak English at home?

Mr. P:

Oh, when the wife come here, three weeks after she came, no more Italian. She got to learn English and in three months, she learn, she learn pretty good.

Ms. M:

So, you felt it was important that your wife learn English right away, you didn't want to speak Italian.

Mr. P:

Yeh, but I want her to speak English too because we were stuck with English, you see. And, if I go away to visit, I like to know that she can talk.

Ms. M:

Communicate with others. So, your boy did not learn how to speak Italian.

Mr. P:

Oh, he understand but he can't speak it.

Ms. M:

So, he couldn't speak it.

Mr. P:

No.

Ms. B:

So, you have a lot of English friends, then.

Mr. P:

Oh, lots of English friends.

Ms. B:

And, you got along well, you were friends with them.

Mr. P:

Yeh.

Ms. B:

No trouble with them.

Mr. P:

No, no, no. My Tony, he's pretty well, ha. We got shares on the coal mine, way up north and he's the ..., that mine. He got 141 thousand shares. He bought the shares at 15 cents a share and I bought 10 thousand at 35 cents a share. Now, they are $7.00 a share.

Ms. M:

Oh, that's good. Very good.


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