A Joyful Family Reunion

The war and child adoption separated father and daughter for many years.


| Good Old Days



About 1912, my father, Joe Miceli, left Sicily, Italy, and came with his mother and a younger brother, Sam, to New York City. The young men had been working in a sulfur mine-a filthy, dangerous place to work.

"When I was about 6 years of age," he later told me, "your mother, Mary, who was my cousin, took a tomato can, added a few beans and gave it to me. This custom was regarded as a sign that she would be my sweetheart and we would someday be married. She and I sent letters back and forth across the ocean."

When Mary was 12, she and her mother, Rosa Rombola, along with two older sisters, Sadie and Millie, and a brother came to New York City and made their home with father's family, the Micelis.

Mary was large for her age and found a job in a laundry. Shortly after that Joe and Mary were married.

"A few months later, my wife, Mary, gave birth to you and your twin, Joseph," Father explained. "Because she was not given the proper care and enough food, she and your brother died.

"I tried to make a home for you, but I was drafted into the United States Army and sent to France. I left without seeing you because you were with your mother's family-the Rombolas. They too were very poor and had several small children. One more mouth to feed was not exactly what they needed.





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