Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Start of an Enterprise

When my Grandfather lay his eyes upon New York's harbor, I'm not really sure what he thought. His dream was to come to America in hopes of building a new life upon the soil of the city.

We already had relatives within North America, but his 2 oldest brother was in Montreal in Canada. All he had known within New York were his pictures and he had some older relatives living there that were able to take him in, his uncle and aunt.

He took up a job at a local coat-hangar factory and labored there for the next 4-5 years. It must have been a tough job, those coat hangars are twisted all in a particular way. Until his other 3 remaining, he lead the poor life. However, along with their uncle they had made quite a little bit of money.

At the bright idea of his uncle, my grandfather and at that time the 2 New York brothers had begun a family business after buying some property situated within Woodside, Queens, right on Long Island. (His youngest brother would join him later.) In a convenient location, they were into the construction and supply business. When I heard a bit more about our family history I was shocked when I came to the realization that there, from the small town farms in Italy, my grandfather and his 3 brothers had invested and worked in the construction business. How Ironic!

The building was divided into 3 floors. The ground level was a full 2 city lots, designated for delivery and sale of the materials. A masonry supply yard like that, it sold anything from Sand, Bricks, Cement, Blocks, Gravel, you name it he probably had it as long as it wasn't wood! The 1st floor was an office to sell supplies and demonstrate brick types and to place orders. When I worked there as a summer job, I normally wait for orders to come in and deliver them to the guys at the yard whom would deliver the goods. I would also haul and fill over 200 sandbags a day from as much sand as I could grab. When I read the records from ages ago at the amount my ancestors filled I was astounded, as I thought 200 was quite a lot, reading the numbers of 1000s or even 2000 in a day humbled me. The Top floor consisted of more offices, with a dining room, kitchen, and a bathroom meant to live in as an apartment. I was quite puzzled when I walked into the Kitchen for the first time: Each of the cabinet doors were in a different style and had a different handle. My parents chuckled and told me that was to demonstrate to clients the different types of cabinets they could purchase over some lunch. How genius!

The building was situated in quite a convenient location. It wasn't too far from the local burger/fry joint called the Orange Hut, and not too far from a multitude of pizzerias and delis. My grandfather calls one of the pizza places the best in Queens by far. I can heartily trust him. Even though the 4 brothers had made sandwiches the night before and stored them in the fridges for lunch the next morning, sometimes they would treat to some delicacy, cheesy pies.

Between the brothers they tackled many jobs, mostly working with laying bricks for smaller Duplex houses within the suburbs. Most of these buildings stand today!
Reactions:

15 comments:

Publius said...

Wow, what a story!

Scott said...

Nice story man, thanks for posting it!

Nick Zhang said...

Nice story bro!

Megamanrocks said...

I love these stories about immigrants who made it. Its the American Dream baby!

Carlos Smith said...

This is pretty cool, nice story!

Ashlyyy said...

Sounds like an awesome work building:) Wish that I could get some building like that someday:P

FatBulaj said...

yeah... great story and nice post :D

Mr Lev said...

Inspiring story

Dragmire said...

Great story. Nice read.

Tom said...

Interesting story!

DesoWave said...

What a past!

Matthew Prindiville said...

What can I say, how about.... great story! haha

M Fawful said...

Very interesting. I love learning about my family history too.

ZIane said...

So... you're Italian, making a new enterprise, this smells like The Godfather

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

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