Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Ciao Ivano,

On the 13th of February it will be the 112th birthday anniversary of my mother, Ada Maria (Berti) Campioni. Her passport gives her name as Maria Ada. She was never sure which way it should be, but always signed "Ada Maria".

She used to say that she was born just one day after Abraham Lincoln. She always bemoaned the fact that she was born on the 13th, claiming that it was unlucky. Perhaps she was right, as she had a very hard life. She worked full time from the age of 9 until she was unable to work any more.

You are well aware of the labors our parents endured. They gave all they had for us, their children.

Speaking of Abraham Lincoln, around 1947, while waiting for the city bus at the corner of Bay and Mission Streets, I met a lady sitting on the bench. She told me that as a small girl, she once sat on the lap of Abraham Lincoln. She was in her late 90s when I met her. We span a long time, amico mio.

Saluti, Gino


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Happy Birthday, Ada. Thanks Gino for your birthay reminder. BTW:
regarding the 13th; my mother Valentina was born in 1913. Throughout my life the number 13 keeps 'popping-up". My Lieutenant's badge on the San Jose Police Department was #13. My mailbox in the subdivision that I currently live is #13; the lot in Psadera (Monterey Co.) were I used to live was #13, etc.. I considered the number lucky (so far).

As for your story re: Abraham Lincoln and the little girl, let's hope that it doesn't stir up any "dirty old man" stories regarding our former President.
Sempre Avanti. Ivno #13

gino said...

Caro Ivano,

Thanks for putting the pictures of Vanda and Ada on today's page.

This morning I awoke remembering my mother and her tragic life. I was overcome with emotion, and shed a few tears. Then, seeing her picture, the tears started again.

I feel so grateful for wonderful parents. To paraphrase that which Nephi of old wrote, (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, verse 1)
I, Gino, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught many good principles and eternal truths.

To my parents I owe the principle of honesty, the value of work, and the obedience to God's commandments. I also owe them for the incredible sacrifices they made in my behalf. Soon, I shall have the opportunity to see them again, if I qualify for that blessing. At that time, I can only hope I can be near enough to them to kiss their feet, and offer to be a servant to them. I have to leave my situation in the hands of The Lord to decided what reward, if any, should be mine.

Thanks again for publishing those pictures. I never expected you would put those in close proximity to those of your own parents.

Saluti, Gino

Ivano said...

Gino: What wonderful heart felt sentiments: Across 'Il Ultimo Ponte' anything is possible.

LaNorma has a question and some observations for you:

"Gino you did not say if perhaps in the near future a trip to LaCosta is in your plans.

Would love to re-meet you and I know Ivano would too. Would be a wonderful

Reunion reconnecting – what a tremendous “stir” La Nostra Costa has done for us all!!!"


Anonymous said...

Cara Norma,
It would indeed be wonderful to return to the Santa Cruz area. I would be delighted to see all you good people again.

Alas, I have reached an age in which a trip like that seems impossible to me. It has been 9 years since I went on a trip. Lately, I even avoid driving the 17miles into Salem. Yesterday I drove to Dallas,Or.(12 mi.) and had not driven in so long, that I had almost forgotten how to run my car.

No, I have no plans to go on any trips again, so yes, Ivano's book and blog have done wonders for me, as they have done for many others.

Best wishes to you.


roberto said...

Gino and Ivan,

What a nice surprise to see my mom's picture along with yours Gino.

They are certainly missed by all of us, and as we ourselves age more and more.

Yes, by ivans book and the get togethers and the wonderful articles that differant folks have written we all do remember the "good old days" of LaNostra-Costa and growing up in wonderful Santa Cruz.

Best regards to everyone,


Canadian Furlan said...

This message is for Gino. Fantastic photo of your mother.. It is more than obvious that you are proud of her and everything she has contributed to make your life what it is today. What part of Italia did your Mother originate from? The photo from her passport depicts the 1930's perfectly. I enjoy the history of all the Italian immigrants to both the USA and Canada. I can relate to all your experiences because all the customs were similar no matter where the Italians immigrated..

Ciao e Mandi

Anonymous said...

Caro Furlan Canadese,
Scusa, che al momento non ricordo Suo nome.
Thanks for your kind comments. My mother originated at Ponte a Moriano,(Lucca) in Toscana. At age 9 she worked in a jute mill, making sacks.(20 years) Then she worked for the Marchese Bottini, a close friend of Padre Giovanni Bosco, the famous founder of orphanages, etc.
She accepted the marriage proposal of Guglielmo Campioni who promised a better life in California.
Can you imagine what a hard trip she had with 4 days aboard steamship Rex and 7 days by train to California? All that and I arrived 2 months later!
Her life was never any easier, but she gave her all for me.
Distinti saluti, Gino

Canadian Furlan said...

Gino !!! Grazie Tanto... Mi chiamo Doriano. Grazie per l'informazione. Tutti noi figli d'immigranti del Italia dobbiamo ringraziare i nostri genitori !! Gino thanks for the information. I am thankful for Ivano's commitment for writing "La Nostra Costa" and for this blogg. There are so many Italian immigrants in North America that all share the similar beginnings in a new land. As your parents did my parents immigrated to Canada in 1952. They took the opportunity as many Italians did to improve their lives... in my parents case their plan was for only five years... well the five years turned into over 55 years... and my father who is 84 and my mother 80 call Canada their home but as I say their heart is still in Italia... Gino keep the input into the Blogg and we will certainly meet up one day..

Ciao e Mandi

lanorma said...


Great comments and input and correspondence from so many nice
People and fellow Italians.

Sorry to hear Gino cannot come to California – would love to see him
Again but I do understand. We are traveling less and less and are much More comfortable “nella casa”. Well you never know what tomorrow Brings and sometimes miracles happen!!!

Also many thanks to Doriano from the east coast – thank you for sharing the facts About your parents – wish your Mom a speedy recovery from her hip surgery.

I also Had my right hip replaced almost 2 years ago and I forget I even had the surgery at Times!! It would be great for you to visit with your parents when your Mom recovers And compare east and west coast stories and our Italian heritage.

Grazie per ora & saluti a tutti – ciao LaNorma

PS – Ivano: How did you find out about LaNorma the famous aerialist with Ringling Bros.

Very interesting…………..maybe I can write about my Dad’s story of years ago
When the circus came to Santa Cruz – are you interested? Let me know. LNorma

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Norma: Sounds like an interesting story. Bring it on. The Name La Norma appeared in the Book I mentioned about the Ringling Bros. Apparently she was part of a sister act of "flyers" who performed during the 1950s.

I remember attending one circus in Santa Cruz C. 1948. Unknown if this was a Ringlings Circus or not. (I think that it might have been since Clyd Beatty did his Animal Act. He was with Ringlings.) It was a pretty big one for Santa Cruz. Thanks for your comments. ivn0