Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"The First Spensieri"

Sorry for the absence! I have been trying to balance my school work with other things and I have just finished a few test and ready for some blog action. How bout' it followers?

With the help of a very close relative I've been able to learn more about "Uncle Nashy" Sadly I never got to meet him, but I am sure he was a brilliant soul. He was the first Spensieri to land in America, at least in our branch of the family.

Ignazio “Nashy” Spensieri was born in the quiet town of Vinchiaturo, Italy 1905. He was theFirst Spensieri from my grandfather’s immediate family to come to United States (1922-23) at the age of 17. He was unable to enter the U.S. legally due to the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921 which restricted immigration into the U.S., particularly from Europe. Prior to 1921 the annual inflow of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe was greater than 685,000 and after the Immigration Act it dropped to 158,000 per year. I was never really sure why the US had implemented such an immigration act, but I suppose it was because they had feared further immigration would shrink the US economy due to shortages of jobs.

Ignazio paid passage on a cargo ship traveling from Italy to New York and was dropped in New York harbor, however his friends on the cargo ship could not deliver him to the harbor without being caught. Determined to make it to shore, he moved on with a rowboat whereupon he rowed to the shore of Manhattan, arriving illegally. Unable to get work in the city during the depression, he moved upstate where he was able to get a job tapping maple trees for syrup. It's this kind of mentality to survive with whatever work comes his way that seems to re-occur quite often in our family.

During WWII he secured a job working in the construction industry in Manhattan for T&D Construction. After he became a foreman, he supplied jobs to two of his nephews when they came over to America from Italy. This helped the development of the Spensieri Building Material Co. in the future immensly.

He married Antoinette “Dooley” and they lived in Flushing, Queens in a 1920’s Tudor on a quiet, tree lined street. They never had children but his nephews and their wives and children visited frequently, filling their house on Sundays and during the holidays. Every year they would make wine and store the barrels in the basement to ferment, along with many types of cheeses and pastas. Typical snowbirds, after Nashy’s retirement, he and Dooley spent the winters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida every winter until Dooley became too ill to travel.

Uncle Nashy had died in 1995 in New York, living a full grand life of 85 years of freedom in America. His paving of the way into New York for the rest of the Spensieris left a lasting mark that would lay the groundwork for 6 new families to be established within the Northeast.

How's that for a post? Special thanks to a direct relative, not sure she'd like to be named but it's late, I'll stick with no for now, haha.


ADDict_gaming said...

Great story i always enjoy reading heritage stories i don't really know why. Anyway, Nice Job!!:D

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