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Interview with Pasco Ilionardo





World Region



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J. MORAN: The following is an interview with Pasco Ilionardo, a [unintelligible – 00:00:16] of Italian descent. The taping took place in the home of the interviewer, [Jacqueline Moran] on April 8th 1980. Pasco, where were you born?
PASCO: I was born in [unintelligible - 00:00:31] 1926 December 11th [unintelligible - 00:00:40] birthday present every Christmas.
J. MORAN: Every Christmas. And where were your parents born?
PASCO: My father was born in Avellino, Italy, a suburb of Naples, and [my mother] was born in [Abruzzo]. My mother was born in the United States but her parents are from Abruzzo.
J. MORAN: Your mother was living here in Duluth?
J. MORAN: And your father came from Italy in what year?
PASCO: In 1916, just about to be inducted in the United States army and I think it was a year or a year and a half, [unintelligible - 00:01:23].
J. MORAN: And did your father come directly to Duluth?
PASCO: Yes. It was a chain effect. My older uncle came first and worked and sent money to my other uncle, Akilo.
J. MORAN: Their names were Leonardo also?
PASCO: First one was Sam, and the second one was Akilo, Alex, and he came second and he worked in a dock [unintelligible - 00:01:56] these boats, and they did it by hand, you know. And so then he sent the money for my aunt, and my aunt of course worked and sent money for my dad. He was the last one to come.
J. MORAN: What year was this when your uncle was working on the docks?
PASCO: I don’t know, I suppose he went into service also, so it might have been right after that, I suppose.
J. MORAN: Right after the First World War?
PASCO: Until he discontinued – what do they call them? He had a special made for him, guys made boats by hand [unintelligible - 00:02:38] remember that ace got a queen and king, where they make [unintelligible - 00:02:45].
J. MORAN: So he was never, for instance, a member of the long shore [unintelligible - 00:02:50]?
PASCO: No. That was way before that.
J. MORAN: Now what was your father's occupation in Italy?
PASCO: He was a shoe repairer.
J. MORAN: He was a shoe repairer; he was a cobbler.
PASCO: Cobbler.
J. MORAN: But he actually made shoes.
PASCO: He made shoes. He did it quite differently though than they did here. Of course, the people come to you here, but there they went to them. He went from town to town, he told me about that often, and he just went into the people’s houses and stayed right there and made repairs for people and fixed all their shoes and moved on to another little town or… you know.
J. MORAN: So he was more or less travelling around with his apparatus on his back. How old was your father when he came to this country?
PASCO: My father was 17, 16 or 17
J. MORAN: 16 or 17 years old.
PASCO: That age whatever that was [unintelligible - 00:03:45].
J. MORAN: And he met your mother after the war here in [unintelligible - 00:03:47]?
PASCO: Yes. My mother, she was [unintelligible - 00:03:57] about three blocks away from where they lived so.
J. MORAN: Okay now, where did your parents settle here? Where was their first home?
PASCO: Their first home was here in the 7th street. It was an apartment that my grandfather had [unintelligible - 00:04:17] to him. Previous to them, my father lived alone with his brothers in a bachelor-type on [unintelligible - 00:04:25]. All three brothers lived there until they all went on their way to be married to somebody and had their respective homes. And they [locked] you, you know, after working 10 hours or 12 hours a day, they locked [unintelligible - 00:04:50] in the evening and in the morning, and my dad…
J. MORAN: So they never lived at all in the [unintelligible - 00:04:56] where the other seven [unintelligible - 00:04:57] lived?
PASCO: No. The [East Enders] is what they used to call us.
J. MORAN: And your family [00:05:00] continued to live there at that address?
PASCO: No. They moved and they bought a house where my mother lives now. There is a [unintelligible - 00:05:09] remodeling houses and started their family there.
J. MORAN: Was there at any time a call made [b] Italians in the neighborhood or any time at all?
PASCO: Yeah, they were scattered everywhere. There were the [Caperteleons], there were the Lucianos, the Leonardos, [unintelligible - 00:05:40] maybe within the radius of two blocks.
J. MORAN: Could this have been a factor at all in choosing the homes, any one of those families, the fact that there were other Italians in the immediate vicinity?
PASCO: I suppose. They’re kind of lonesome, I mean, unable to express themselves and I figured they were majority in numbers – I mean not majority but safety in numbers, and they lived together and they enjoyed a very good relationship together.
J. MORAN: Did you live in a single family home?
J. MORAN: Did your family at any time take on boarders?
PASCO: No, we never had any boarders.
J. MORAN: Now what was your father’s occupation immediately after the war?
PASCO: He worked [unintelligible - 00:06:35] a master, so to speak, a master shoe repair shop, which now is called the [unintelligible - 00:06:40] Shoe Repair. He worked there until 1920 I think. I mean, later I found a picture of him working in the shop and there is a calendar that says 1920. He opened his own shop after that but it’s actually one I don’t know – I’ve never gone, but that is at 5th [unintelligible - 00:06:56] a drug store right, and then he moved up to 6th Avenue 8th Street and then he moved on to 6th Avenue and 7th Street [unintelligible - 00:07:17].
J. MORAN: Did your father at any time actually make shoes?
PASCO: Yes, he made a lot of them. But he made a few pairs – I have a pair he made for himself, I just kept them, and a pair of boots. He was very able to do that but the cost of an individual making, an individual pair of shoes was [unintelligible - 00:07:38] it didn't make sense towards the later years. You can buy… like people had shoes made, I think, for deformed feet or unproper size, but now you go from one size to one width to many widths to many lengths; you have got to be able to find something in-between, I guess.
J. MORAN: He was actually a cobbler in Italy but here he was essentially a shoe repairman?
J. MORAN: And he never worked at all for any of the leather manufacturing or companies down south of [unintelligible - 00:08:18]? I heard that somebody mentioned that it seems to me that a Mr. [Contardo] once worked in the company.
PASCO: That was a shoe factory.
J. MORAN: There were a couple of them.
PASCO: Since he began the shoe, I'm sure he would have mentioned the shop but… my uncle worked here but my dad never worked there. They might have [made] a shoe there.
J. MORAN: This was one of those down at – it was either first or south [unintelligible - 00:08:46] or First Avenue.
PASCO: First Avenue is between [unintelligible - 00:08:52].
J. MORAN: Oh, yes, first the [golfer] used to be down there too, but there actually were leather tanneries and shoe manufacturing companies down south, on south first avenue east in South Lake Avenue, around the turn of the century but you don’t know that.
PASCO: No. He worked at Lake Avenue [unintelligible - 00:09:12], but then again that was a shoe store, shoe repair shop combination. He was an excellent shoe repairman, so I suppose, you know, he didn’t have a need to do that other thing; he wanted whatever he wanted to do.
J. MORAN: Okay. When did your father die?
PASCO: He died in 1954.
J. MORAN: And he maintained his shop until that period?
J. MORAN: And then were you working at the shop at that time?
J. MORAN: Where did you go to school?
PASCO: The central high.
J. MORAN: The central. Did you ever go to the Cathedral?
PASCO: Yes, Cathedral, Central. [Unintelligible - 00:09:57] [00:10:00] with the [unintelligible - 00:10:02] up to ninth grade; we dint have, I didn’t go to high school with the [unintelligible - 00:10:04] then we went to [unintelligible - 00:10:08] Central.
J. MORAN: Then did you join your father in the shop?
PASCO: I went to service two or three years. I quit in the tenth grade at 16 years. Yeah, I quit the tenth grade and then I served in the service and then I came back and he was, he wasn’t feeling good then and he asked if I wanted to – because he had the chance to sell the place and he wanted to… but I know he wanted me to work with him, so I didn’t –I liked the place but I thought I’d go back inside and [unintelligible - 00:10:40].
J. MORAN: And you’ve been there ever since?
PASCO: I've never been there ever since.
J. MORAN: Did you…?
PASCO: 30 years, 33 years. I think 33 years.
J. MORAN: Did your father speak English? I assume he did after [unintelligible - 00:10:58].
PASCO: Yeah, he spoke it well. He spoke well for a foreigner. He insisted I spoke Italian but he wouldn’t – he didn’t [unintelligible - 00:11:04] as soon as I was able to speak English good enough, he thought he’d speak Italian to me but I guess I never got to speak English good enough [unintelligible - 00:11:19].
J. MORAN: Was your father a citizen?
PASCO: Oh, yeah.
J. MORAN: You were in college when he got his citizenship.
PASCO: I vaguely remember it, but I don’t remember [unintelligible - 00:11:29].
J. MORAN: Were the family members of the same [unintelligible - 00:11:38] congregation?
PASCO: Yes, we were, and I was [unintelligible - 00:11:42] with my confirmation out there, should have mass out there.
J. MORAN: You were actually quite a bit away from the church. You were… geographic territory really from the church.
PASCO: Yeah.
J. MORAN: In fact we were even away from the Cathedral parish?
PASCO: We actually should have went to St. Anthony but we went to the Cathedral instead, Cathedral of Sacred Heart.
J. MORAN: Did you, do you remember experiencing any discrimination at all at the Cathedral?
PASCO: I don’t think so.
J. MORAN: A number of Italians seem to flow with the Irish in particular and are really discriminated at the cathedral.
PASCO: I think that there’s a lot of child stuff, you know, calling you a [dingo] or whatever, but we have been [unintelligible - 00:12:35].
J. MORAN: Did you associate with the Italians in your particular peer group from your [unintelligible - 00:12:44] and with your age group to be associated with the [unintelligible - 00:12:48]?
PASCO: Yeah, as much as we could. You know, we were so far away from them, and like I said, I served mass with them and stuff like that, you know, and they don’t know the [unintelligible - 00:12:55]. But other than that, I had a couple of friends while I was going to school [unintelligible - 00:13:04].
J. MORAN: So you were never a member of the street gangs that operated in the area?
PASCO: Not really.
J. MORAN: Did you have street gangs in your own neighborhood?
PASCO: Not really. We were kind of a quiet neighborhood, I think.
J. MORAN: Did you ever hear of the Red Feather gang? It’s supposed to be a gang operating in [unintelligible - 00:13:28]?
PASCO: I never did, no, never heard of it.
J. MORAN: What was your family’s opinion of Father [Unintelligible – 00:13:36]?
PASCO: Well, I think it was all right, I guess. Yeah, I think they [unintelligible - 00:13:43] you know. [Unintelligible - 00:13:46] I knew him or [unintelligible - 00:13:49] him was maybe a better PR man.
J. MORAN: So your family has no hostile feelings of any kind towards [unintelligible - 00:14:03]?
PASCO: I don’t think so. We didn’t have that much contact with him, you know, [unintelligible - 00:14:07] and all the good stuff so anytime there was anything that was [unintelligible - 00:14:15] tomorrow [unintelligible - 00:14:15] it’s your items where [unintelligible - 00:14:20] that suffered and stuff [unintelligible - 00:14:22] community for… raising funds for the school out there and, you know, he was getting money at that time, that’s 25 years ago or so, getting money from Protestants for the Catholic school.
J. MORAN: That’s true.
PASCO: That’s pretty tough to do in them days, you know. Today it’s nothing but then there was a little hostility between the Catholics and the Protestants.
J. MORAN: That’s very true. I understand it hit the business and [unintelligible - 00:14:50].
PASCO: Sure, I believe it did. It appeared in a book from a friend, you know, and that’s [unintelligible - 00:14:58]. Who’s your friend? [00:15:00] I know mine is just [unintelligible - 00:15:03] himself.
J. MORAN: Did it appear you that the fathers are a little narrowed as you get older or…?
PASCO: I don’t think so.
J. MORAN: You don’t think so. Did you ever hear any of these little stories about his problems with his automobile?
PASCO: Oh yeah, yeah. [Unintelligible - 00:15:21] selective which that is probably many times that he was a great guy; he passed away about a year ago. He’d call in every time he needed something and you go look at his car and buy parts and everything else, he’d give him a blessing in the doorway and say thank you very much for God in heaven ought to know. So he’d just walk away and pay the bill himself, his father did. Finally, instead of [unintelligible - 00:15:47] a steel pipe, he gets them steel [unintelligible - 00:15:49] or just have a [unintelligible - 00:15:50]. That’s a fancy name the [unintelligible - 00:15:54] they are not quite getting it so [unintelligible - 00:15:57] and brought it back and spent gasoline money and everything else and [unintelligible - 00:15:58] “thank you very much, you are a nice guy, I appreciate it.” Wait a minute. He says I want to be paid [in time], I need some money, I can’t make it [unintelligible - 00:16:10].
J. MORAN: So he was supposedly in a [unintelligible - 00:16:12], right?
PASCO: Oh, yeah, he roared in a motor, he roared backing out that driveway, you know, and there’s something else [unintelligible - 00:16:16]. We often [wondered] if he had a driver’s license.
J. MORAN: There were a number of accidents too. How about the rumors that he acquired quite a fortune throughout his years at...?
PASCO: He did, I guess, you know. It showed up in the books there, what, 76,000 dollars but let’s not forget he was only making 500 dollars a year.
J. MORAN: How do you think he acquired that money?
PASCO: Well, I guess what [unintelligible - 00:16:50] said. I don’t know if you had any contact with him. He said you never look at the numbers behind his name, the certificates that he carried he was quite a man. He was a doctor and whatever…
J. MORAN: Actually he had a couple of PhDs.
PASCO: And, you know, he was a good businessman, I’m thinking. If a guy –I don’t think he stole the thing, you know, so if he took his money he could multiply it on his own and…
J. MORAN: So you think probably he invested his money?
PASCO: I think so. You know, in them days, some guys never spent anything. You find a priest today will never live in that house, you will never find a [pavement], with the original plaster on the wall, just plain plaster and the furniture in there was nil, you know. You never had any [unintelligible - 00:17:38].
J. MORAN: One directory…
PASCO: Our landlord was on one side of the church.
J. MORAN: They [unintelligible - 00:17:43] the new church. Did you go – you must have gone to the old church?
PASCO: I never gone [unintelligible - 00:17:50].
J. MORAN: Do you remember if there was a difference between the festivals, the Saints’ Days bazaars that were held at the old church and the new church? Was there a difference?
PASCO: None that I can recall.
J. MORAN: Was your father ever a member of the Old Italian American Club?
PASCO: I think so. I think he was, including the [unintelligible - 00:18:21].
J. MORAN: Was that the Sons of Italy or the Italian Americans?
PASCO: I think the Sons of Italy.
J. MORAN: The Sons of Italy.
PASCO: Yeah.
J. MORAN: I often wondered where did the men in the band learn to play various instrument? Some people have said they learned in the First World War.
PASCO: I think he played the cornet there – not a cornet but a big tuba or something. I remember that thing around the house but…
J. MORAN: So he owned his own instrument then?
PASCO: I suppose.
J. MORAN: There was an Italian music instructor in town.
PASCO: Yeah.
J. MORAN: I forgot his name.
PASCO: Michael [unintelligible - 00:18:58].
J. MORAN: No. Well, I know that he was a musician but there was a man who was an instructor, a musician at the [unintelligible - 00:19:07]. I think his name is [Olivetti]. Were you ever a member of the Sons of Italy or [unintelligible - 00:19:18]?
PASCO: No, no, am not. It’s [unintelligible - 00:19:22] I don’t know.
J. MORAN: Do you remember what activities your father was engaged in as a member of the Sons of Italy, any social activities, any beneficial… the benefits [unintelligible - 00:19:35]?
PASCO: I don’t think I remember. I was pretty young at that time. I was [unintelligible - 00:19:43] of going to the end something like that [unintelligible - 00:19:47] or something.
J. MORAN: Well, let’s talk about the new Italian American Club, exactly when was this founded?
PASCO: Let’s see. I think [00:20:00] about 1975; I think it’s about five years old right now. I mean I’m not exactly sure.
J. MORAN: It was just about then. Were you one of the founders?
PASCO: Well, yeah. You know, we were eleven who found it, started it.
J. MORAN: Eleven of you. Who were they exactly?
PASCO: 13, I’m sorry.
J. MORAN: Is that so?
PASCO: Yeah 13. Who were they? Oh, [Maciano] together with [Al Calalio], he originated a [unintelligible - 00:20:31]. Al Calalio and I started them and then [unintelligible - 00:20:33] Maciano was his right-hand man, and then [Bill Gundan], Joe Arda, Joe… Frank Riley…
J. MORAN: Was [Al Pidocio] one of the original founders?
PASCO: No. No, he’s not.
PASCO: They had some parties before that, you know. They had the picnics going.
J. MORAN: So actually, [Gino] and people like Dr. [Puscelli] really have nothing to do with the founding of the [organization].
PASCO: Not really. They just [came in] with moral support. Puscelli’s a great guy.
J. MORAN: Now most of you, I mean, about in the same age group, what was [Joe] [unintelligible - 00:21:57] association with that group? He didn’t live in the same part of town as many of you.
PASCO: Well, I can’t think of this other Joe’s name. He just [unintelligible - 00:22:11], [Erik Spinolli] was working in the courthouse and I suppose they contacted each other to [unintelligible - 00:22:15] for him to come along and join us.
J. MORAN: Well, I’ve heard complaints from various people that there’s a kind of a ruling clique in this club. What do you suppose are they talking about?
PASCO: Well, I don’t think there’s any ruling clique. I think that if you have a certain amount of people that would make an organization run, they are going to be in the front lights all the time because they are working at it. And these people that are complaining about not being in the organization are people that are sitting by and watching it go by, as simple as that. I think that if a person wants to be president of the United States, there is nothing [unintelligible - 00:22:58] in the United States and no one will stop you. But you must retain the respect of the members and you must make yourself [unintelligible - 00:23:03] so you can be nominated. But if you are going to sit on the side lines and let Charlie Brown do it, then Charlie Brown is going to get the run and you are going to be sitting by and watching [unintelligible - 00:23:16] . As a matter of fact, we always want to have anybody come in and –I would like to step out anytime and let somebody else, you know, to get in the lead. Because I am [unintelligible - 00:23:26] the whole thing, I am tired of it, you know. I like to go to a party and just sit down and enjoy. But some people are not willing, they just want to be followers, and I don’t know why they should complain about that. It’s for everybody, you know, as a matter of fact, I think it’s too liberal, you know, constantly giving things away, foods and parties, where most organizations are pocketing money in for other functions. Well, we have one good program going and they just really [unintelligible - 00:24:00] like that scholarship program. I think we might give $1,000 scholarship this year [unintelligible - 00:24:07].
J. MORAN: You have given scholarships in the past.
PASCO: Yes, we have.
J. MORAN: And this scholarship is given to a student with Italian ancestry and wanted to do [unintelligible - 00:24:14]. How large has the scholarship been?
PASCO: Well, last year it was $500 but the year before we split up –we made a mistake in. We divided up, I think, $300 each student [unintelligible - 00:24:31]. So we have a committee that will get the names and they [call the number] out and they just give them the papers and they determine whether they are qualified to get a scholarship.
J. MORAN: Is that determined by – the scholarship – by the student’s record?
PASCO: By the student’s record, yeah. It’s pretty hard to do [unintelligible - 00:24:54] because they’re all up in the top there. The last [00:25:00] time, we really had a hard time; we wished that we could give three of them because they were [unintelligible - 00:25:06] program and [unintelligible - 00:25:09].
J. MORAN: Has this been given any publicity? I don’t recall ever reading it in the newspaper that [unintelligible - 00:25:23].
PASCO: It’s not that important with the newspaper, I guess. We call them and ask them to come up and [unintelligible - 00:25:32]. There’s a lot of things that are not in the newspaper [unintelligible - 00:25:33] we don’t care.
J. MORAN: And when I talked to [Al Calalilo] he felt that the chief activity in which this club should be engaged is the kind of public relations efforts to better the image of the Italian American. Did you feel anything that hasn’t been done in that direction really?
PASCO: I really like to think so. That’s the same direction I think it should move in. You got to put your image, you know. During the ‘50s and ‘60s there when they had [unintelligible - 00:26:11] and the machine guns running up and down the streets, they’re fun to watch but it was very – I think this is the next area that I really like to look into is start to eliminate these [unintelligible - 00:26:29] programs that they have. There are always the bad guys and, you know sometimes [unintelligible - 00:26:36] the good guys. [Unintelligible - 00:26:39] that’s why he’s got his own security men and these security programs.
J. MORAN: Have you noticed that the Irish are starting to do this to a certain extent, although in some cases it’s sort of ludicrous, the names are [unintelligible - 00:26:48] Irish or something but the culture is obviously Italian.
PASCO: Right. So you can see that’s [good] [unintelligible - 00:26:56] have many.
J. MORAN: Well, the characters are unmistakably Italians in their features and color and so forth, but the culture is [unintelligible - 00:27:11] not Italian.
PASCO: Oh, yeah, there are a lot of – I think at the beginning, it was all Italian but then there are a lot of other people that are a lot [unintelligible - 00:27:20]. They tell a lot of more people. I think [unintelligible - 00:27:27] other Italian mafia and then they kill each other. They didn’t run and seek anybody that did get killed or, I mean, are involved, or just by a mishap they have to be in their own place. They just couldn’t keep their own place [clean], you know, actually but… I don’t approve any of that but what are you going to do? You can’t [unintelligible - 00:27:50].
J. MORAN: Do you think that [Gino Polucci] is accomplishing anything also in behalf of the Italian [unintelligible - 00:27:58] national foundation? Have you heard of any specific thing that he’s done [unintelligible - 00:28:04]?
PASCO: No. I think he’s getting things together pretty good, but we don’t have this… you know, we don’t have this problem. I attended a meeting with [Joe] [Unintelligible - 00:28:15] in Chicago, and they truly are very disorganized and I think down there, some of them are complaining that they won’t get any good jobs, and you could just see why. We had contact with different fellows, different families who are still talking Italian to their children, the children spoke broken English, they wanted schools to teach their children English, they wanted schools… and even the chief of police running – I mean, this guy was a sergeant or corporal or whatever in the army [unintelligible - 00:28:47] and he wanted to be the captain and, you know, how are you going to [unintelligible - 00:28:59]? Well, I’m going to sell tell you, boy, we are going to get it together today. There was no reason for that.
J. MORAN: Excuse me [unintelligible - 00:29:07]/AT/ee
J. MORAN: So the Italians in Chicago were not of the culture either as the Italians in Duluth then?
PASCO: I don’t think they wanted to be, you know. We went to a restaurant, a high class restaurant. So we were sitting down there in the restaurant and enjoying and time was getting shorter and shorter, and we didn’t realize they were ready to close up the place, so I called for a cab, and of course, we’re at the other end of town and they didn’t want to send the cab out there because it’s a dead end affair, you know, at least about $6, I guess. So we had to wait for somebody call for a cab in that area then come out there with a cab and then we get the cab and go back. So it turned out he was [unintelligible - 00:00:50] nervous, we wanted to get back and got to sleep. So there was an Italian party in the back of this restaurant and I thought, “Well, I’ll talk to somebody in Italian and I’m sure he’ll take us back to the airport, seeing there were no [unintelligible - 00:01:06] or whatever. I approached three or four of them and I told them I was [Italian]. And of course being in Chicago for the [unintelligible - 00:01:18], I tried to tell him if I could speak Italian maybe this will [unintelligible - 00:01:24] him up but they were talking – the little kids were just talking Italian, just rambling on [unintelligible - 00:01:28].
J. MORAN: And this is very recently?
PASCO: That was two years ago.
J. MORAN: So this would have been probably third or fourth generation children?
PASCO: Right. So, you know, they have little kids I don’t think they have [unintelligible - 00:01:40] in their own family not to help. Hope their sons [unintelligible - 00:01:43] the Italian language, but I spoke to [unintelligible - 00:01:47] they spoke Italian, so they send their kids to school that’s talking Italian all day to an English-speaking class [unintelligible - 00:01:54]. So they want us to pay for a school to send their kids to a place so that they can get their English so they can [unintelligible - 00:02:03] except for them.
J. MORAN: So you think that the Italians in Duluth have just melted into the general population and therefore the lack of [unintelligible - 00:02:11].
PASCO: We don’t talk, plus we don’t do that either. I mean, it’s hard to find somebody that speaks Italian [unintelligible - 00:02:17] now we talk English of course, and like I told you, my dad would never speak Italian to me. We figured they did no harm. My grandfather generally would; he didn’t know how to talk English, you know. So we were looking up to learn, to be educated.
J. MORAN: Did you grandparents incidentally come to this country also or…?
J. MORAN: Did your father send for them or your…?
PASCO: My father – it’s not my father, my mother.
J. MORAN: Your mother’s? Oh they were here ago?
J. MORAN: She was a second generation.
PASCO: They came from [unintelligible - 00:02:52].
J. MORAN: How about way back, let’s say, the end of the Second World War, were Italians in Duluth discriminated against, you know, the occupations or any organizations [unintelligible - 00:03:06]?
PASCO: I don’t think so.
J. MORAN: How about the future of the Italian American Club, would you say that membership has picked up or has decreased?
PASCO: They stayed about the same. I don’t know or we just… we have a beautiful organization going, we’re solid financially, we have a bunch of good workers, and every time we do something it turns out good, so we have some money. Every time we have a [steak] Friday night, it’s looking beautiful and we try to – we have about 180 people coming. Also we have a raffle once a year to raise money for our Las Vegas trip and [unintelligible - 00:03:56] 600 people since [unintelligible - 00:04:00] people. So I think it will keep on going as long as we have excellent leader but has been in there two years and he is probably retired. I don’t know who will be the next one.
J. MORAN: How about the sons and daughters of the second generation…?
PASCO: We have some. I think this program should be worked on a lot more, to get more people in there interested in their mark, the young people interested --
J. MORAN: Do you think that the young people, the third generation or fourth generation, care?
PASCO: Yeah, it’s a – I [unintelligible - 00:04:45] I like being an Italian. It’s fun being an Italian. I have had more fun with my heritage than I think anybody else has in their heritage. We speak a little bit of Italian and we get involved in a food – I think when you are involved in food and drink, you get to the heart of people. They love it, you know. And I think it’s very important. I hope they will continue being good representatives of Italians, you know.
J. MORAN: You are a man who obviously loves life. What do you attribute that to: to your parents, to the [unintelligible - 00:05:22]?
PASCO: I know my dad was a very quiet person. My mother, she gets that – the number of Italians, I guess, there in the Naples area, the people are fun lovers, I guess [unintelligible - 00:05:42].
J. MORAN: That could be a stereotype. My grandfather was [unintelligible - 00:05:47] he was pretty much of a fairly old grouch.
PASCO: Well, I don’t know. I like people, you know. I think you just smile, I think it’s just…to joke around is so easy to, to be happy than it is to, you know, be a grouch. It’s so much more fun to be with people that are happy, don’t you think?
J. MORAN: Uh-huh. Were your parents interested in opera?
PASCO: Not really. I never heard any opera back then. Well, I sure like it.
J. MORAN: How about dancing? Do you remember doing anything, any folk things [unintelligible - 00:06:32]?
PASCO: Well, you know, it is – I guess they [unintelligible - 00:06:38] you know, but my aunt was really sharp at that. She could do that [unintelligible - 00:06:42], she would do that every once in a while, at a family get-together.
J. MORAN: Was that your aunt or somebody who was married to one of your uncles?
PASCO: My dad’s sister.
J. MORAN: You evidently are an expert on Italian cuisine, just Italian cooking [unintelligible - 00:07:01]. Where did you learn to cook?
PASCO: Well, I think from my mother mostly. I’m not an expert by any chance. I just love to cook and I just, you know, I’m not afraid to keep trying it. I watched my mother cooking on and I just wanted to learn myself and asked her for a lot of directions.
J. MORAN: Your mother, of course, was a second generation Italian. Did she… she must have done a lot of American cooking too?
PASCO: Oh, yes. We cooked, you know, they cooked in the land there. When we were kids, we had a lot of cabbage and stuff like that were in the garden you know. We didn’t go out and start buying $20 of pork chops like we do today; I mean, I remember that from years ago and it was good food but I hated it then. You know, the main dishes, soup would be dinner; now it’s entrée, you know.
J. MORAN: Entrée.
PASCO: But we had a main dinner [unintelligible - 00:08:00] soup would be potatoes and carrots. The vegetables we needed are right in there and it will all be cooked up with lovely tender care, and food is good.
J. MORAN: Dandelion greens.
PASCO: Yeah, dandelion greens. Yeah, we had that with potatoes, you know, mixed in and [unintelligible - 00:08:14] here and there, you know, just to give it a little flavor and we had a lot of broccoli and that kind of stuff from the garden and mixed in potatoes with it. My dad used to call it [unintelligible - 00:08:30] you know, but they would be very telling, you know.
J. MORAN: Your father maintained a vegetable garden?
PASCO: Oh, yes, yeah. We had a big house; that’s where I lived [unintelligible - 00:08:40]. We had an acre and a half of a garden.
J. MORAN: Did your father [unintelligible - 00:08:46] farmers at all?
PASCO: Oh, yeah, he used to [unintelligible - 00:08:49] here in the garden part of it, you know, mostly vegetables. We [unintelligible - 00:08:58] bad at [unintelligible - 00:09:00] you know but he still worked at it. I remember he dropped a [unintelligible - 00:09:05] went out in the rain and it got to be a pretty nice – like a summer home really.
J. MORAN: On the property?
PASCO: On the property.
J. MORAN: Where his home was?
PASCO: No. This was up at a different area but next to where I know, where I live. It’s three miles away from where he was which was just country [unintelligible - 00:09:22]. And we go there on Memorial Day and plant potatoes, and Fourth of July [unintelligible - 00:09:30] and then later we would dig them up. That was our…
J. MORAN: Did all the Italians that you associate with have gardens?
PASCO: Yeah, I think all of them.
J. MORAN: Seems to be true.
PASCO: There were three people in this area that I’m talking about: the Lucianos and the [Caprideleons] and the Leonardos. They all had a corner in this one very [unintelligible - 00:09:56].
J. MORAN: So these are times you [00:10:00] lived together in the [unintelligible - 00:10:02] area, actually went up on the heights to have a garden together, so they were very close.
PASCO: I think one went to tell the other. And, you know, they tend to look out for each other, I think.
J. MORAN: Is your wife and his family?
PASCO: No, I don’t like to [unintelligible - 00:10:17].
J. MORAN: So how do you say in Italian this is [unintelligible - 00:10:22]?
PASCO: [Foreign language - 00:10:25].
J. MORAN: [Foreign language - 00:10:28]?
PASCO: [Foreign language - 00:10:28] is very good. [Foreign language - 00:10:36] thank you very much.
J. MORAN: Thank you.
PASCO: I don’t know much but I don’t forget what I learned. I wish I could lose [unintelligible - 00:10:42] we went out on boats a lot of times and we meet people that speak Italian, you know, you really [unintelligible - 00:10:50].
J. MORAN: You do go down to the boats and try this –
PASCO: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we do. Most of the time, we [unintelligible - 00:10:55] followed them, because that’s where the shipping went, you know, in [Naples]. That’s the headquarters of all the shipping, and so we are mostly [unintelligible - 00:11:05] and very few others. We got first involved with it but two years ago the French Boat [unintelligible - 00:11:15] was an Italian ship, so we went to the Italian cargo and we went to… welcome [unintelligible - 00:11:24], so I thought…
J. MORAN: Well, Pasco, thank you very much.
PASCO: Thank you.