Evelina Cantarutti, on the left with my mother, Valentina Comelli, c.1948. When Valentina arrived from Italy in 1933 she had very few friends from the Friuli Region of Italy (Valentina was born in Friuli), located just north-east of Venice. Circa 1935, she met Evelina and her husband Guido, who were from that Region. They became life-long friends. [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), page 140)
This photo was taken in Santa Cruz during WW II parade. Many similar track vehicles as well as tanks, and armored personnel carriers, would often be seen going North on the Coast Road, during this time period for destinations unknown. [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), pages 28-29].
This looks like a captured Japanese Flag being displayed on the wall of the "Lucca Lunch", located on Front Street in Santa Cruz. Joe Antonetti, (looking at the Flag) was the owner. Italians living up on the North Coast of Santa Cruz had various experiences, both good and bad, during WW II. [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), pages 15-34]
Lina Bressani Gemignani was my mother's youngest sister. Still in Italy at the time WW II broke out, she suffered the indignity of being a prisoner of the Nazi SS and then later being branded a Nazi "collaborator" by Italian Partisans. [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), pages 187-200]
The horrors of WW II for the Italians were over in 1945 (or so they thought) . After being summarily executed by Italian Partisan, the bodies of Benito Mussolini (second from the left and his Fascist cohorts where hung by their feet in a Gas Station in Milan. My father was not a Fascist, however, when he saw these photos (there were a series of them showing the desecration of the bodies) my father became angry and in a very sarcastic and mocking tone of voice said, "Che bella figura fan questi Italiani!" (These Italians sure know how to put on a good show ). [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast) page 133]
And here's how it all ended for Nazi Germany. Fred Dimeo [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), pages 179, 184, 185.], standing by a downed enemy plane in Germany 1945.
After the War ended, life returned to normal "su per la costa" Well, almost normal. "Figli di Ferro" Joe Gemignani (center) and his buddy Fred Dimeo (not in photo) took themselves a Bride. Lina Bressani (on the left) had to come over as a "War Bride", Alice Dimeo was already here so Fred had an easier time "getting hitched". [La Nostra Costa (Our Coast) pages 195-196]