Memories of Salerno Grandparents

 

Written by Ron Arant. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”

 

When I think of my Grandparents and their farm, warm memories follow me. The time spent there with them and with my uncles, aunts, and cousins will be among the best of my childhood.

I can remember the tremendous anticipation of the trip from Denver to Trinidad. Once we were finally there the joy and hugs from Nana, Uncle Tony and Papa were worth the wait.

My days were filled with exploring all the nooks and crannies of the barns and sheds, of playing games, and good natured fights with all the cousins who were there, there seem to be hundreds of us!

I can remember too, finding Papa resting in one of his little beds that were stashed away in the garage or under a tree. He seemed content just resting on summer days puffing on his pipe. The aroma of velvet tobacco and the tins left behind were signs that he was always near.

When I think of Uncle Tony, I remember the preparation for the trip to town. Memories of Old Spice Cologne and bushel baskets of vegetables fresh from picking loaded in the pickup. Then there was the joy of finding out that you were asked to go! He was known and respected by all and just being by his side was an honor.

My Grandmother, Nana was a figure of wisdom and gentleness. She never seemed far from the coal stove that was warm and covered with pots and pans of meals shared, summer or winter. The warmth of that stove filled the porch.

I loved standing to the side in the porch and listening to the families gathered there discussing the latest politics, or telling of the news of old neighbors…married, moved, or of their passing away. Many conversations were in Italian but that only enhanced the magic.

Evenings find me in that same porch watching the card game and listening to more discussions, begging to stay up just a few more minutes, and then going to bed and falling asleep to the strains of their voices.

The hardest time came when we had to leave and everyone would again, be in the porch. We would go around the room getting and giving good-bye hugs and kisses. Teary eyed we would wave from the car and always hear someone say “watch out for the train on the tracks”.

The times spent on the farm will always be special, and though they are no longer here on Earth, my Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles memories will bring a smile and a tear.

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