On April 21st Ramona Antonioni Krausnick turned 70. Tanti auguri! Her husband Mike Krausnick treated her to Terra Mia in Livermore, whose owners also operate the Mezzaluna Restaurant in Half Moon Bay. Mike, our club’s unofficial photographer along with Roger Ecker, hid birthday notes throughout the house for her to find. She also contacted via Skype her relatives in Trentino and became very emotional. One of them offered her a tissue via the monitor screen. The couple then headed to Hemet in Southern California to see “Ramona”, America’s longest running dramatic play.
Ramona’s father was from the Val di Rabbi, but her mother’s family was from a small
village in Abruzzo, Montenerodomo. Nancy Pelosi’s grandfather, Tommaso Fedele
D’Alessandro, was born in the same village in 1868. Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the US
House of Representatives. In September of last year, Mike and Ramona visited Washington, DC.
They asked their congressman, Eric Swalwell, whom they knew from his years on the Dublin City Council, if he could arrange a meeting with Congresswoman Pelosi. They were treated to a private tour of the Capitol, and then had a chance to chat with Minority Leader Pelosi about their common heritage. Upon departing, Pelosi gave them a warm embrace. As Ramona said, she was very “gracious”.
On May 17th our club celebrated its 35th anniversary with a cruise on the San Francisco Bay leaving from Alameda. Nearly 100 attendees delighted in the experience. It was amazing to see so many Trentini all together.
On September 13th Ralph and Rosie Yob have once again graciously offered to host our end-of- summer picnic at their residence in Menlo Park. Grazie Ralph and Rosie!
Our Christmas gathering will be on Sunday, December 6th at the Italian Athletic Club in Stockton. For years Frank Rauzi, Bob Zanoni, Mac Agostini and others have hosted our Christmas event. This year they are getting assistance from the younger generation. They always get a large turnout. Upcoming newsletters and posts will have more details on these events.
Circolo Trentino di San Francisco is celebrating its 35th anniversary!!
For this special occasion we’re going on a 3-hour SF Bay Cruise with Commodore Lines, leaving from 2394 Mariner Drive, Alameda promptly at noon, Sunday May 17th.
Boarding on the Chardonnay yacht will begin at 11:45, and so try to be there a bit earlier. There is ample free parking at the port. For more information click on: http://www.commodoreevents.com/.
Lunch will consist of Commodore Line’s signature dish, champagne chicken, plus salad and a side dish. A hosted bar is included in the price and will include beer, wine, champagne, soda, juice, coffee and tea. An Italian cake will be served for dessert.
The cost is $45 per person and $20 for children 4-14. The club is partially funding this event to keep the price within reason.
This event is open to non-club members as well. So, if you have a friend that would like to join us, by all means invite them. To avoid the club incurring additional fees, do not hesitate to sign up, and in any case no later than May 1st.
If you are interested please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke recently spent 3 weeks in San Francisco and the North
Coast of California. They were here last year at about the same time. Lara once worked as
an attorney for the Trentini nel Mondo Association imparting free advice on citizenship matters. That remains her specialty. Visit LaraOlivetti.net for more information. She now lives in Sweden with Rickard who handles foreign asylum requests. Club member Maria Mortati and her husband Mark Glusker provided lodging to this delightful couple while in San Francisco, and club members Jim Boin and Michael Job provided their customary warm hospitality.
Marco Gabrielli and Michele Sartori
For the Easter holidays Marco Gabrielli, bank director at the Cassa Rurale di Ledro, and Michele Sartori, mayor of Levico Terme in the Valsugana, paid a visit to the area with their respective families. Mayor Michele Sartori is married to Marco’s sister Claudia, and so the two families are intertwined. They spent time with son and nephew Matteo Sartori, who is completing a semester of study at the University of California Santa Cruz. Club members Luca Dorigatti and Rinaldo Cis met with the group and took them on a tour of Google and Stanford. In an email they expressed their sincere gratitude to Luca and Rinaldo for having shown a slice of life here in California.
Silvia Bernardi – “There Once Was a Button”
Silvia Bernardi is spending two months this spring with her Italian-American friend Anna in
Pinole. Silvia is from Storo, in the Valle di Chiese in southwest Trentino. In 1992 she moved to Trento to pursue her studies and has remained there since. Her grandfather Silvio immigrated to the US at the beginning of the 1900s. He married and then moved permanently back to Storo in 1930.
The parents of Anna in Pinole and the grandparents of Silvia were the best of friends, and for years they wrote to each other. Anna discovered these letters after her parents passed, and she sought out Silvia and her family in Trentino. They have remained the best of friends ever since.
In recent years Silvia has begun to make necklaces, bracelets and key rings from buttons. She is especially fond of antique buttons that tell a story. Many families have a box full of old buttons, some of which evoke memories: This one was on a jacket I wore in school; this one is from my mother’s wedding dress, and so on. Silvia has entitled her quest “C’era una volta un bottone. “There once was a button.” Silvia would love buttons from members of our Trentino club.
If you have a collection you don’t mind parting with, contact Silvia at email@example.com.
Longtime club member Ben Antoniolli is currently in the process of moving to Ohio, where two of his siblings live. Ben was born in Giustino in the Val Rendena. Like so many others from the Val Rendena, he entered into the knife sharpening business. For years he had a shop in San Carlos, and he maintained the knives of restaurants, hotels, etc. near and far.
Ben’s absence will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best!
Trentino Helps Apollo to the Moon On the subject of space exploration, Romeo Zuech, a Trentino immigrant from Brez in the Val di Non, played a pivotal role in getting Apollo to the moon in 1969. Two years ago an article in the Trentino newspaper L’Adige chronicled the fascinating history of Romeo.
Romeo specialized in metallurgy at the Technical Institute of Bolzano. In 1950 he immigrated on his own to Chicago where a maternal uncle was living. Romeo’s father Adolfo was born in Frontenac, Kansas, and his mother in Mexico, though she was registered a US citizen in El Paso.
At the time many travelled from Brez to the US and Mexico to work in the mining industry.
Romeo’s parents settled back in Trentino, but he gained US citizenship through them.
In 1953 Romeo married Margaret and had twin daughters, Maria and Sofia. The same year he landed a job at North American Aviation’s Rocketdyne Division in Canoga Park, CA. From there he worked on the Apollo project to create a super light and resistant alloy able to withstand extreme temperatures caused by high-speed friction. He received three
patents for his work. In 1979, on account of his contributions to the aerospace
industry and Apollo project, he won both the coveted Leonardo Da Vinci Award
and Rockwell’s Engineer of the Year Award. In 1983 Romeo retired from the aerospace industry to pursue another dream of his, winemaking.
He established Piedra Creek Winery in San Luis Obispo, planting various varietals including two that are typical of Trentino, Teroldego and Lagrein. The Trentino eagle is featured on the winery’s logo, and Romeo named one of his most popular blends after the patron saint of his beloved Brez, San Floriano. He also enjoys good food and has written a recipe booklet in English and dialect featuring the soups of the Val di Non.
Romeo continues to pursue life with gusto and vigor, and on his 90th birthday next February, he hopes to release his first vintage of pure Lagrein. He is currently grooming his grandson to take over the production and management of the winery.
Since 1908 the Italo-Americano newspaperhas served our community, and now an online subscription is available. It does a masterful job covering the West Coast and beyond.
On August 3rd a new publication launched,La Scintilla, “The Spark”, dedicated more specifically to Bay Area Italians. It is named after La Scintilla Italiana, a newspaper founded in 1877 in San Francisco by the philanthropist John Fugazi.Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LaScintillaSF. We the Italiansdisseminates weekly news in English related to the Italian community of
California. Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WeTheItalians.
Consul General Mauro Battocchi publishes an informative blog that covers a myriad of
subjects. For a free subscription, visit this page: http://sanfranciscoitaly.com/joinus. Moreover, Mauro now writes an insightful column for the Italian weekly, Panorama, entitled San Francisco chiama Italia. The Italian Consulate created a dynamic Facebook page with latest news relevant to our community.
Circolo Trentino di San Francisco was founded on February 9, 1980 during a visit to the Bay Area by Dr. Bruno Fronza on behalf of the Association of Trentini nel Mondo.
The first president was Vittorio Eccher, our current treasurer Laura Floriani Vitlacil was vice-president, our current president Giuseppina Piasente Alvarez was secretary, Ursula Leonardi was treasurer and Father Efrem Trettel was moderator. Vittorio tragically died in 1988 during the gala dinner at the Trentini Convention in Denver. Urusula passed away last year at the age of 98. The position of trustee did not exist at the time. From the initial group of 30, the roster has grown to around 200!
The first gathering was at Father Efrem Trettel’s hall and residence on Folsom Street in San Francisco, where he ran a radio and TV program for the Italian community, Apostolato Radio Cristiana. The club has always met 3 times a year. For years the Christmas and spring events were held at Father Efrem’s.
Historically, there are a few events that stand out. One was an excursion in 1993 to San Simeon, where we met with members of the Southern California and Tijuana Trentino Clubs. On the same trip we visited San Miguel Mission where Father Efrem’s brother, Father Flavio Trettel, was serving. Over the years our club has also proudly hosted many Trentini that have travelled to the area, including several high school classes and three choruses: Coro Sosat of Trento, Coro San Osvaldo of Roncegno and Coro Brenta of Tione. The event that was our crowning glory took place in 2004 when we hosted the ITTONA convention, a gathering of Trentini from Canada and the US.
Noteworthy is Cristina Piasente’s thesis for the University of Trento on the composition of our membership. Cristina then received a grant from the Province of Trento to transform her thesis into a book, Inseguendo il Sogno: L’Emigrazione Trentina nel Nord California (Pursuing a Dream: Trentino Emigration to Northern California), which was published in 2001.
We now have a website and a FB page with more than 200 members as today!!
On February 7th over 700 gathered to celebrate the Toronto Trentino Club’s 50th anniversary. The event was featured on Omni News with snippets from current and past club presidents, Davide Corazza and Sergio Marchetti, and the president and director of the Trentini nel Mondo Association, Alberto Tafner and Anna Lanfranchi.
For the event’s printed program, Alice Amigassi created a tribute from our club. Congratulations to our friends and family members in Toronto!