George and May (Colletti) Renda, Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily
Angeline and Ben
September 2, 1917, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Madison, Wisconsin
Frank, George, Mary, Frank, George and Damian
Catherine Renda Schiro
Catherine, or "Katie," Renda was eight years old when her family moved to Madison. She remembered her father telling of his early arrival in New Orleans, and serving in the Spanish American War in 1898. When the family left Louisiana, it was to join George's brothers, Joe and Sam, who had already settled in Madison with tales of their first winter when they slept in an unheated attic of a house near Union Corners, on Madison's east side. Much later when Catherine married Joe Schiro, the newlyweds moved to a three-flat at 811 Regent St. owned by Joe's brother, Pete, and his wife, Angeline (Catherine's sister ... two brothers married two sisters). The two families lived together for about ten years, during which time the children were born. Later, Catherine and Joe moved to 909 College Court, and in 1940, moved once again, this time to living quarters on the second floor of their business, Schiro's Tavern, located on the corner of Regent and S. Brooks streets.
"One day, when Ma and Pa were courting, with Nonna present to keep things 'proper,' they went for a walk. Ma fell down and Nonna 'commanded' Pa to help her up. Pa refused, stating that it was 'against the rules' to touch her. Nonna stayed mad at Pa forever. A short time after Ma's fall, Nonna took ill and thought she was about to, as Pa described a fatal illness, 'cash in her chips.' Since Angeline was already married to Pa's brother, and brother Ben was still a boy, she urged Ma and Pa to marry while she was still on earth. To please Nonna, they married. Nonna made a 'miraculous' recovery and lived another 21 years! From then on, every time Pa passed by Nonna's house, he did the Italian hand-under-the-chin thing. When Prohibition was repealed Pa decided to be a tavern owner. The city issued him a license to serve liquor, but the following year, when it was time to renew the license, they discovered Pa wasn't an American citizen. Because we lived in a very liberal household, he was proud to have his name replaced with Ma's as license holder until he could produce his own citizenship papers a few years later."