Friday, February 08, 2008
THE FAMILY QUILICI BY NANCY (QUILICI) JACOBS
IVANO SAYS: NANCY (QUILICI)JACOBS WAS BORN AND RAISED ON A RANCIO "SU PER LA COSTA".
SHE IS IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING THE STORY OF THE QUILICI-JACOB FAMILIES. WHAT FOLLOWS BELOW SHOULD GIVE YOU A HINT OF WHAT IS YET TO COME.
PHOTOS: ALL PHOTOS APPEARING ABOVE ARE COPYRIGHTED;ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: COURTESY OF NANCY (GUILICI) JACOBS. TOP PHOTO: ALESSANDRO QUILICI (FATHER) IN ITAY 1925. PHOTO SECOND FROM THE TOP: PIA MARIE DIANDO QUILICI (MOTHER) IN ITALY 1925. PHOTO THIRD FROM THE TOP: PIA MARIE DIANDO QUILICI IN SANTA CRUZ 1960. PHOTO FOURTH FROM THE TOP: GUILIANO QUILICI (BROTHER) US ARMY 1940S. PHOTO FIFTH FROM THE TOP: NANCY QUILICI, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION,SANTA CRUZ 1960S. PHOTO SECOND FROM THE BOTTOM: DONALD LEE JACOBS AND NANCY QUILICI, WEDDING DAY 1960S. AND BOTTOM PHOTO: PIOLET DONALD LEE JACOBS,59TH STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, FLYING HIS T-116 JET AIRPLANE,'BANSHEE', KOREA 1952. DONALD LEE JACOBS WAS A VETERAN OF OVER 100 COMBAT MISSIONS AND WAS WOUNDED OVER KOREA.
The Family Quilici
If one digs and digs one comes up with a Roman family that during Roman times moved from Rome to Pompeii and then north again and finally travelling to Lucca where they settled and stayed.
In Lucca,Italy, the family was awarded a Coat of Arms for their accomplishments.
At some point the family must have fallen on hard times. I suspect because the church wanted the families to have children and not practice birth control. I know this because my great grandmother had a fight with the church over this subject. She just wanted two or less children.
In the 1900's the family started to emigrate to America. At this time they were living in San Pietro a Vico, Italy. There were four brothers. Two of the brothers emigrated. Their father was already in America. The two brothers were Joe and Pete.
The youngest brother was Alessandro Quilici. In 1916 he sailed to America and settled near Fort Churchill with his brother Pete.
In the early 1920's Alessandro sold his share of the ranch to his brothers and went home to Italy. There he married Pia Maria Dianda of Lucca. The first born child died. But they had three more children who lived, Mario, Giuliano and Giuliana.
Pia Maria was left in Italy with the three chidren. Alessandro went back to America settling in Davenport, California. There he farmed the Modelo ranch with Modelo and then moved across Scott Creek to the Foothill Ranch and farmed there. Louis Poletti was his partner, possible part owner or full owner. My mother was a white widow which means that she was without her husband from 1926 to 1935. In 1935 Pia Maria boarded the ship Rex with her three children and landed in New York where her brother drove her acrosss the country in what I believe was a Hupmobile car. The family was taken to the Modelo Ranch. My mother did not like America at first but later loved it.
I was born in Davenport in the 1940's. My brothers and sister were more like parents than siblings. I was born Feb 17. My mother said that I was born at 1 a.m. and that they had to drive to Santa Cruz during one of the stormiest nights for me to be born. So I am a stormy weather baby!
I grew up around these things:
My father checking the dam's water level, my dad checking the water pump at Scott's Creek and my dad checking the stability of the bridge at Scotts Creek. My brother Giuliano and I driving to the Big Ranch to get hay. I loved this. I would put on my over alls and go. His name for me was Butch. My brother used to take me to the Lombardi Ranch which was not far from our own and she would serve the most delicious pudding with fresh cream and strawberries. After all these years I can still taste it! It was good! But now if you drive there there is nothing where there used to be a two story white house with a picket fence, a barn and cows.
My brother Giuliano was in WW11 and his military branch of service is ironic and has to do with La Liberte. When I write the book you will see what I am talking about!
My dad taking me to the Cash Store in Davenport and Charlie Bella's and to Louis Poletti's office. My mother cooking and cooking and cooking and washing and cleaning. Every now and then if she was happy she would sing the Italian stornelli or Italian folk songs.
On Saturday we would often go to town and I would go to a movie matinee. I remember watching numerous John Payne movies at the old Santa Cruz theatre.
I liked the barn and the horses and spent a lot of time with them but I also liked to hike to the top level of the ranch which I did on a regular basis. I loved to read and one of the first books that I read was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I was also a little daydreamer which sometimes got me into trouble but may have also led me to my husband.
My first experience with school was when I attended Pacific School in Davenport, California. The teachers were Mrs. Thompson and Mrs Embree. At first, I did not like school but later I came to love going and learning and they could not keep me away.
It was a small school with two rooms. It tended to be windy and cold and foggy at the school. The students were from diverse backgrounds. I can remember Paul Della Santina and Antonette Stagi. I know that they were Italian. All the teaching was done in the old fashioned way. The alphabet was up above the chalk board and if a student misspelled a word they had to correct it by writing it ten times. I loved to read and kept reading and reading and reading.
Eleanor Gregory was one of my little friends as was Rosanne Franklin and her brother John Franklin.
I liked to play with the tether ball or sometimes the "teeter totter". I can still see Mrs. Thompson eating her lunch which consisted of a sandwich and an apple and whatever she had in her thermos.
My mother never had to worry about me because at a very young age I hated alcohol and cigarettes etc., but I liked to eat. I have always had a weight problem. So, all my life I have had to watch what I eat. Absolutely hate alcohol. For me the worst was "grappa" because I think it must be 98% alcohol. The adults would talk about it as if it was something special. I sneaked a peek and a small taste on my little finger when I was little. It made me feel queasy. It made no sense to me to drink something that would make you sick. EVEN AS A SMALL CHILD Nancy did not do what Nancy did not want to do! Period, Period Period! I kept to myself and tended to be very quiet.
In high school I did like to play tennis and I liked to walk for miles and miles and miles. I loved a gentle wind. On a walk like that I was in heaven!
On the ranch we had large ceramic containers filled with brine for curing olives which was another sort of distasteful thing to me. I did like the olive oil. We always bought in large quantities. I am not sure of the man who came to the ranch to sell the olive oil. His name may have been Martinelli. Panattone, the peddler also came to the ranch. That was a big event because we always needed something. I still have a black shawl that my mother bought to go to a funeral. She wanted solid black but he did not have a solid black one. He was sold out so she had to get one with gold threads sparsely mixed in. Our ranch was one of the last on his route from Santa Cruz. We were a good ten miles north of Santa Cruz!
I loved the ranch because it was so unspoiled and so unbelievably simple and beautiful. I loved exploring the abandoned barn on the third tier of the ranch. Maybe that is why to this day antiques fascinate me because they have a story to tell.
In 1955 it all came to an end. We moved to Santa Cruz. I helped design the house. I don't know why but my mother decided I should have a say in it but I did. This was ironic because when my brother died in 2002 he left me the house and I redesigned it again. I do not know what got into me but I decided to make it a sexier house using color and curves which it already had. For 1955 it must have been an impressive house because it actually impresses me today as well. George Wilson was the builder. Originally, it had wood roof shingles but someone took them off along the way and it now has asphalt tile shingles.
I attended Santa Cruz high School, my Davenport friend there was John Franklin
I attended Cabrillo College, my friends there were and still are: Larry Wallace, Judy Nielsen and Sandy Mundt
I attended San Jose State
I attended Monterey Peninsula College, my friend is Marilyn Vassallo
I used the knowledge from Monterey Peninsula College the most
I studied art, design, law, and real estate. I have a real estate license which I maintain by doing continuing education classes.
I married Lt. Donald L. Jacobs, Navy pilot who received his wings at Pensacola, Florida and his master's degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He was from Cheyenne, Wyoming. When we met our relationship was 98% Bridges at Toko Ri and 2% Duel in the Sun.
My husband's friends were
Col. Robert F. Overmeyer, pilot astronaut of the space ship Columbia
Rear Admiral Shumaker, not sure of name spelling but the one who wrote a book about the Hanoi Hilton, Rear Admiral West, numerous other Rear Admirals, Commanders etc.
Eldon Dedini, Cartoonist for Playboy magazine
Gus Arrioloa, Cartoonist
Hank Ketcham, Cartoonist
James Watts, police Chief/Captain, Pacific Grove retired.
My husband and I both met Alex Haley briefly in Los Angeles. He wrote Roots.
I briefly met Kesey who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in Santa Cruz in the 1960's.
My friend was Virginia Conroy, Eldon Dedini's wife for whom I posed and she did a painting of me. A "talking to friend" was Jeremy Slate.
Five years after my husband died I met Retired Navy Commander Rene Gonzales with whom I had a friend relationship, it could not be more, because, he too, was diagnosed with cancer. We met Cinco De Mayo 1995 and he was dead September 1996.
I would like to comment that the whole decade of the 1990's was spent with people who eventually died of cancer. I decided that the Good Lord was trying to tell me something and so I have been single ever since!
Life has taken me back to my beginning which I loved the most next to my husband! I don't know why. Maybe because one finds a simple truth in being close to the earth and caring for one's family.
Now, I would like to write a book, enjoy life, listen to Italian music and spend more time in Santa Cruz where I have new and very interesting friends from "La Costa".