After Anton established a home in Greenbush for his family, Rose joined him in 1915 with their first born son, Joseph. In 1921, the Ursos moved to the upstairs apartment over Urso's Barbershop and Pool Hall at 734 West Washington Avenue. Rose was a tiny woman, weighing a mere 90 pounds. He long "salt and pepper" hair was twirled and pinned up to be covered with a scarf or piece of material wrapped around her forehead. Described as "incredibly energetic," she worked alongside Anton, first in the barbershop and pool hall, and later, when the space was transformed to a bar and restaurant, in the kitchen preparing Sicilian food. Urso's West Side Palm Gardens became well known to university students, traveling theatre performers who gathered after showtime, and the professional workforce of physicians and attorneys in search of homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and pizza.
"Grandma's home was filled with beautiful statues and lighted candles. She also loved flowers. We remember when she took a sponge with green paint and made flowers with it on yellow painted walls. She was a great cook and made magnificent meals, especially during the holidays. The holiday table extended from the dining room to the living room to accommodate everyone in the family, plus friends Joe would invite over on a moment's notice. As the family grew, and space upstairs dwindled, our holiday dinners were set up downstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant kitchen was small, but in it were two of the largest stoves we have ever seen. It is where the best things in the world were cooked, and where the Sicilian cookies coated with sesame seeds were baked to a light golden brown."
"Judy Urso Heiman, granddaughter
(daughter of Joe)
Rose Urso, granddaughter
(daughter of Frank)
Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures The University Club 432 E Campus Mall Madison, WI 53706 608-262-8180