view of Salandra, Matera, Basilicata, Italy by Antonio DiPersia

Friday, October 13, 2017

Silver Dollar Inn - Revisited

Cousin Peggy Melloh sent this photo of a beer bottle/can opener from the Silver Dollar Inn.  Peggy is the granddaughter of Frank Ambruso (b.1900) and Mary Bombaro (b.1907), and the daughter of Rita Ambruso (b.1927).  The Silver Dollar Inn was a neighborhood bar owned and operated by brothers Joseph and Anthony Ambruso on Tasker Street in the heart of south Philadelphia (see previous post). 
Peggy's mother, Rita, told stories of lying on the floor of her grandmother’s apartment, which was just above the bar, with her ear on the linoleum so she could listen to the music and conversations below.  Rita kept the bottle/can opener, Peggy inherited it and passed it on to her son who recently moved back to the old neighborhood.

Little things like a can opener may seem trivial and cute, but they all contribute to our connection with past. They are all part of our family history.  They tie us together and define who we are.  When my grandfather Michael died, I was the oldest grandchild and therefor allowed to be part of the ritual of going through is personal “stuff”.  I chose to keep his tiny prayer book written in Italian and a riding spur, two things no one else seemed to want.  You would never guess to look at him, but this short elderly Italian guy from north Jersey was an excellent horseman back in Italy, and a corporal in the Italian cavalry. I still have both items.

What items have you kept from your grandparents that remind you of our Ambruso family history?  What stories are associated with them?  Please share their significance with us.  Please share your stories.  Send me an e-mail. 

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