automatic washers and dryers.We're talking boiling white clothes in a big
oval copper kettle on a two burner stove in the basement, a wringer washer
and two rinse tubs. When the weather was nice clothes would hang
outside to dry. Rain or cold weather didn't stop the process, the
clothes would hang "everywhere in the house". My dad said they would
come home from school and "weave through the clothes that were hung on
clotheslines stretched through bedrooms, living room, dining room and in
Tuesdays she ironed..."everything..., including socks, undershirts, sheets, you name it, she ironed it". My Aunt Elaine told me that "it was nothing to see 20 to 30 white shirts and blouses perfectly ironed and folded on the dining room table waiting to be put away".
Grandma was also "Mrs Fix it" or "Mrs. Make Anything". She would hang wallpaper, paint, patch and repair. She upholstered furniture and made draperies. Her passion was sewing. She made dresses, skirts, Halloween and school play costumes, tableclothes, napkins, aprons and tea towels. She was also proficient at crocheting, needlepoint, baking, and gardening. She taught me how to knit, crochet, make patchwork quilts, and also how to make homemade bread, rolls, and pasta. My grandmother always made homemade food; homemade bread, pasta, sweet rolls, cookies, cakes and pies. She was an expert at stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage and stuffed chicken breasts. Anytime anyone came to visit they somehow ended up with something to eat within 15 minutes of arriving, whether they were hungry or not. From Thanksgiving to New Years the family house was a "regular food factory". The traditional turkey feast had all the trimmings, including homemade dinner rolls shaped like little turkeys. After Thanksgiving the Christmas preparation began. Baking and decorating thousands of cookies, no one better than the rest. She even had a nickname among some of the grandkids of "Cookie Grandma". Of course she always had plenty of help and she orchestrated everything while continuing her normal chores. The family's traditional Christmas Eve dinner included seven different fish dishes, extended family, and many friends. Everyone was always welcome at the Pugliese home and at times seemed like "Grand Central Station".
Grandma Lucy was stern and strict too. Every family member had chores and was expected to do them. One of Grandma's favorite sayings was "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well". Another was, "Do it right the first time". She raised her children by those rules and made them do and re-do until it passed her inspections. They had to "toe the line, or pay the consequences." Fighting was out of the question, which was punished by getting tied to a kitchen chair with tea towels, facing each other, but not able to talk. When speaking sternly to her children (and grandchildren) or when disciplining them, she would point to her forehead with her index finger and say "You look at me right here!!". She also took to throwing her shoe at a misbehaving son; just to be sure she had their attention. One time my Uncle Eugene ducked when the shoe was headed for his head. The shoe went right through the front window shattering glass and making a big mess. Boy did he get in trouble for that!!
My grandmother also liked to have a good time and she made sure everyone
else did too. The family always attended the annual Caiaccia family
reunion that she and her sisters planned. She was often the instigator
of many tricks played on others in fun. She loved to play boccie,
bowling and bad-mitton and was a wiz at Chinese and American checkers.
She had a sharp mind, which thankfully she kept until the end. She saw many changes in her lifetime, from horse-drawn carriages to the invention of automobiles, airplanes and space travel; from silent movies to talking movies; from black and white to color and then came TV; from cooking and baking on an open hearth to wood-burning stoves to gas and electric ovens, ranges and then microwaves; and from outhouses to indoor plumbing, bathtubs and showers. She outlived 4 of her children. Arnold passed away in 1972 of a heart attack, Eugene died of cancer in 1995, RoseAnne and Richard both passed away in 1999 of cancer. She lived to be 102 years and 5 months old, passing away in May 2003. She touched many lives and will be remembered and missed by those of us remaining.
|Grandma Lucy 100 years old in 2000.|
|Grandma Lucy and remaining kids|
|Grandma Lucy and her grandkids- 1990|
|Grandma Lucy and great grandkids-1990|
I grew up in Montclair California. My dad's sister Elaine (Rita Elaine)
and her family, and my dad's brother Richard and his family also moved
from Pennsylvania to California in the early 1960's. The rest of
my dad's family and all of my mom's family still lived back east.
We would get together with my Aunt and Uncle and their families for holidays,
but they didn't live close enough to see on a more regular basis.
My dad and mom were strict with us, but we had a lot of good times too.
My dad worked hard and insisted that my brother and I do chores "right"
or we had to do them over again. My mom was a stay at home mom, until
I was in 3rd grade. She got a job as a bank teller for several years
and then went to work for Southern California Edison. My mom was
born in 1940 to Anthony and Cecelia Kibirsky. My grandpa Tony
was Luthwanian and my Grandma was Polish. Both of them were born
in Pennsylvania, but their parents migrated from their native countries.
My mom is the oldest of 3 children. She has one sister, Rita Marie,
and a brother Tom. My Aunt Rita and her family live in Pittsburgh
PA, and my Uncle and his family live in Virginia, very close to Washington
My mom and dad divorced when I was in Jr. High school. My mom had custody of my brother and I, but we saw my dad every other weekend and sometimes during the week. My parents kept an amicable relationship which made life much easier
on my brother and I.
I've always been very independent and started working at a very young age. Besides babysitting, I got my first real job when I was 15, working as a busgirl at Vince's Spaghetti in Ontario CA. I worked there for several years, then added Alpha Beta to my employment. I worked both jobs, plus weekends and a couple of days a week selling clothes at the Colton and Chino auctions. After graduating high school I was sucessful at obtaining a job at Southern California Edison where I still am employeed as a Major Account Executive. It's hard to believe I've been there over twenty years already. I met my husband Bob at work. He's also employeed at Edison. We dated for a short time and got married on March 6, 1993. We had our first son, Jason, on September 13, 1994 and our second son Jim, on August 22, 1996. Both boys are healthy and very active. Our family loves to go camping and dirt bike riding in the Fall and Winter, and going to the river in the Spring and Summer. My husband went back to school in 1992 and received his Bachelor's degree in 2000. I went back to school in 1992, but took another break when I had Jason. I started back again in 2002 and hope to earn my Associate's degree in 2004. My husband and I both try to instill the importance of education in both of our boys. We also are determined to instill manners, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness in them.
|My mom with her parents on her wedding day; April 8 1961|
mom and Dad's wedding.
Grandpa Tony and Grandma Cecilia Kibirsky on left. Grandma Lucy and Grandpa Blackie on right.
|Lower middle picture: My wedding picture with my mom and stepdad, brother and Grandma Lucy.|
9 years old. 3rd grade 2003
7 years old. 2nd grade