Brooklyn New York


By John Vollaro   July 1990

    My family has a history in Brooklyn New York that dates back to the early 1900's, when my grandparents emigrated to this country. This section covers the years starting with my parents marriage in 1936 and ending in the mid 1960's when our family no longer lived in Brooklyn. Brief profiles of my parents John and Mary offer a snap shot of their lives during this period.

    After their wedding, my parents lived in a three story house that was located at 1094 Coney Island Avenue. The house was owned by my grandfather Andrea and was where my father grew up with his three brothers and two sisters. All of his siblings had moved out of the house by this time except for Elizabeth who was not married and still living at home. My grandmother Luisa had passed away 6 months prior to my parents wedding.

    It was common for newlyweds to spend the early years of their marriage in a parents home but as it turned out, this arrangement lasted much longer. So it was that my brother Joe and I were born and grew up in the house on Coney Island Avenue. We lived there with my grandfather and maiden aunt until we were adults and left to find our own way in life.

    The early years  of our lives were joyful because of the love and care we received from my parents and a vibrant extended family. By the time my brother and I were born, both of our grandmothers had passed on but our grandfathers were alive and on the scene. There were many family gatherings at our house that included my aunts uncles and cousins. These were happy occasions with plenty of good Italian food and a lot of good natured attention given to all the children.

    The public school we attended was within walking distance as was the Catholic church where we went to mass and attended religious and Sunday School classes. The collection of essays below offer some perspective on what it was like growing up in Brooklyn during the 1950's and early 1960's and are best read in the order shown.

    These were formative years that stand out in my memory because of the quality of our family life and the opportunities we were exposed to in the course of our otherwise unremarkable every day life.

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