Al Cesario

 

By Angela Ann Cesario. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”

 

The surviving children of Joe and Tomasina were named: Mary, Jenny, Lucretia, Irma, Caroline, Louise, Frank, Anthony, Samuel, Benjamin, William (Bill) and Albert (Al).

Al Cesario and Mary Vallone married in 1933. After trying his hand at being a butcher for his brother-in-law, Charlie Gagliardi (Jenny), proprietor of the G and D Grocery in Trinidad, and as a Jewel Tea salesman in La Junta, Al entered the baking trade with his brother, Bill and his brother-in-law, Joe Vallone. He, too, studied baking and worked in New Jersey. Mary joined him for a time during this period (1935-36) but returned to Trinidad to have the child she was expecting (me). Al had not completed his course and could not return to Trinidad until I was three months old. He worked as a baker in for a time in Kendall’s Bakery in Trinidad and also in Alamosa. He then purchased the Jolly Boy Bakery from brother Bill in 1939 and operated it until 1942 when he joined Bill at Cesario’s Bakery in Trinidad. With the advent of WWII and increased production and employment in the mines surrounding Trinidad, the bakery prospered. The experience the three men gained through their work/study apprenticeships with master bakers in New Jersey made them master craftsmen and soon the bakery became very well known not only in Trinidad, but also throughout Colorado. Al was invited to become a member of the Board of Governors of the Rocky Mountain Bakers Association, an organization that included bakery owners and allied tradesmen throughout several Rocky Mountain States.

After brother Bill’s departure, Al continued operating the business with only an additional baker and several helpers. Business was so good that Al soon recruited his wife, Mary, to help out in the “back shop” by icing cakes. Mary quickly became a master cake decorator and took over that aspect of the business. Mary was so good and her cakes so artistic that she won a number of trophies and prizes presented by the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and the local businessmen’s booster clubs.

In 1950, all the Albert Cesario’s- Al, Mary and Angela Ann- combined their talents to produce a commemorative cake for the 75th anniversary of the First National Bank. Al baked the cake; Mary planned the format and decorated it; and Angela Ann rendered line-drawing portraits of the bank officials for the top of the cake. They combined their talents again for the Methodist Church’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Methodist Circuit Rider. This cake featured a traveling preacher on horseback, drawn by daughter Angela Ann on rice paper and placed on the cake baked by Al and decorated by Mary.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the bakery business continued to boom, so Al convinced his brother-in-law, Joe Vallone to join him as a partner in the early 1950s. By 1955, the coal mines surrounding Trinidad were closed and the prosperity of the war years was over, prompting Al, to move his family to San Mateo, California, where Al and Mary worked at the Stanford Bakery with Bill for a time and then operated the Baywood Pantry until 1965 when Al’s ill health caused them to leave the bakery business. Al’s health did not improve. He died in 1969 just 18 days after his 59th birthday.

After leaving the bakery business, Mary began a new career as a tri-lingual (English, Italian and Spanish) business office administrator with Mills Memorial Hospital in San Mateo, California, where she worked until her retirement in 1979. Upon retirement, Mary went to live with Angela Ann and the two made their home together in California and Colorado Springs until Mary’s death in 2003 at age 88 and 9 months.

Al and Mary had only the one child, Angela Ann, who was named for her grandmother, Angela Marretta Vallone, and her aunt, Ann Vallone Cesario. Angela Ann graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Il.  She worked as an administrative manager in several high-tech companies including IBM and MCI. She is now retired in Colorado Springs. She is unmarried and has no children.

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Related Stories:

Cesario, Bill
Cesario, Domenico and Carolina
Vallone Family