A Photo Collage of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

My Medici Protectorate series begins with the Notaro family, who live in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania—my hometown. I loved growing up there and miss it every day. While times have changed, this is the way I’ll always picture it. Here’s my brief homage to Vandergrift. This is the Casino. No gambling was ever done there, though. AtContinue reading “A Photo Collage of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania”

Do You Know Where You Come From?

If you’ve browsed my blog, website, or Facebook page, you know I’m from Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, and you know what it’s famous for. If not (or if you’ve forgotten), I’ll tell you. Vandergrift is the first worker-owned, industrially-planned town in America. When founder George G. McMurtry acquired an iron and steel mill on 640 acres ofContinue reading “Do You Know Where You Come From?”

Times Change — Embracing New Traditions

We celebrated Independence Day this past week. In addition to the swimming and the picnic food, we set off fireworks. That’s one of my son’s favorite things to do. I think it has something to do with the power of the explosives and the exhilaration the display causes everyone who’s watching. The ones we setContinue reading “Times Change — Embracing New Traditions”

How to Best Spend your Summer Vacation

Hi everyone! For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook (links can be found by clicking the words or in the side panel), you’ll have noticed that I was silent this past week. Sorry for the disappearance, but I was on vacation. Usually we go to the beach. We’ve been to plentyContinue reading “How to Best Spend your Summer Vacation”

Why I’m Thankful for the White Tornado

It’s a few days early for Thanksgiving, but I always post on Mondays, so I’m posting today about what I’m thankful for. God has been good to me. I’m truly blessed. I have a loving husband and a wonderful son and daughter. I have two adorable dogs that bring us joy every day. We haveContinue reading “Why I’m Thankful for the White Tornado”

A Legacy is More than Boxes of Photos

My grandfather was a photography nut. I won’t go so far as to say he was a photography buff or an amateur photographer, but he was into taking pictures. Of his family, mostly, and friends. I never saw a picture of interesting buildings or pretty foliage. My grandfather took pictures of people. Often twice, becauseContinue reading “A Legacy is More than Boxes of Photos”

What Do You Do With All Those Tomatoes?

Vandergrift, Pennsylvania when I grew up had a decidedly Italian presence. It was even more so when my parents were kids, and probably even more when my grandparents settled there, but still, when I was young, Vandergrift was pretty Italian. Even to this day they have the Festa di Italiana once a year, so theContinue reading “What Do You Do With All Those Tomatoes?”

Are You Thinking Godfather or Jersey Shore?

I know, I know. You hear Italian-Americans and you think Capone and Corleone or The Situation and Snooki. And you are either fascinated with one or both of those lifestyles or couldn’t care less about either. And then you don’t think about them at all. There’s so much more to Italian-Americans than that. My heritageContinue reading “Are You Thinking Godfather or Jersey Shore?”