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Mealtimes were always special in our home as we were instilled with a pride in our heritage and a passion for food. The most special times were meals on Murray street with my grandparents, great-grandparents and other family members as it established strong family ties. My father (Carl) usually took care of the meat and his specialty was making Italian sausage. It was a tedious job, but the most satisfying to us as we consumed much of it while it was fresh and before it went into the freezer. My mother (Rosalie) had a variety of ways to serve spaghetti. Everything went into the sauce, whether it was a handful of fresh greens from the garden or rabbits and squirrels. On Friday, she would hard boil eggs, peel them and lower them into the sauce for our meatless meal. Both parents were great with Italian folk stories and old Sicilian phrases. There were many wonderful evenings of story telling around the kitchen table. Sometimes the impact of the story was lost through translation, but I knew that each tale held great importance for my mother.

Joseph C. LaBella