Sunday, May 1, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- Nonno Enzo's Diary -- November 18 - 20, 1915

The continuation of my grandfather's diary.  He had just turned 15 on November 15, 1915 when he wrote these pages a few days later.  He was born in Palagonia, Sicily, and was living in a Salesian boarding school in San Gregorio.  His mother had died when he was very young, and it was custom, in such cases, for fathers to send their children to boarding school.  To find the trail of previous posts, go to my last post.

Translation below

                                                                                    November 18.  Thursday.

Today we headed to Pedara. In Trecastagni, we met with those of Pedara [Salesian school students], and there was a stampede. I was surrounded with old classmates from boarding school and other villagers [he probably means they were from his same town], such as: Nicolino, Salvatore; Calcaterra; Pappalardo; Claudio Condemi; Pastura, Giovanni; Squillace, Gaetano, etc...  Later, we walked as far as their boarding school.  We visited the Director, Don Massimino Morganti, the Prefect [resident advisor], the Catechist, and other superiors. Afterward, we descended into the courtyard and found that the boarding school teams had been formed once more.

We drank a little wine offered to us by the Prefect and then returned to our boarding school.  As always, we arrived in San Gregorio singing.

                                                                                    November 20 [he probably meant to write 19]

This evening, during the blessing, a flower caught fire, and if the Catechist, Don Mattias, was not quick to act, the fire would have spread throughout the altar. I kept my eyes closed to the flames and reopened them in a burst of fright.

                                                                                    November 20. Saturday.

This morning, at a quarter past ten, my father came.

My hometown friend, Brancato, came to ask permission from my professor, who willingly consented. I was really happy, and as I left the school, I ran into him right away, so I hurled myself into his arms with much affection.  Afterward, I kissed my sister, and then we walked to the parlor.  We sat down on a soft sofa, immediately starting an animated conversation.  They brought me a large basket [type used for bread] filled with ten eggs and some biscuits. There were also eight notebooks of twenty cents each.

Our talk lasted a good hour and a half, and when the bell rang, we entered the office of the Director, who cordially received us.  Having asked permission, I went to the bedroom, to my place [probably means "bunk" since this is a dormitory with several beds], and I put away my goods before returning to my father.  We stayed with the Director for about a quarter of an hour, and then he wanted to accompany us to the parlor.

Nearby, there was a priest who played the piano.  The Director made us go in and insisted my sister play something. The Director affectionately said goodbye to my father and left us.  Then, I hugged my father and my sister and gave them a last farewell as they left.  I retired feeling afflicted but without shedding a single tear.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet, touching entry!

    How about his sister? Was she at a boarding school too?