For Throwback Thursday, here is a photograph from my paternal grandparents’ wedding on August 10, 1936. She was 21 years old; he was 29.
Bart Petrini Sr. and Mary Piccioli were born in northeastern Pennsylvania after their parents emigrated from Italy. And both lived in that area their whole lives, except for my grandfather’s tour of duty in Europe during World War II.
And did you notice her elaborate lace gown and sumptuous flowers? These were not wealthy people. He was orphaned in the flu epidemic of 1918 and started working in coal mining at the age of 11. By this point he was out of the mines; his occupation on the marriage license is listed as clerk. She was a hairdresser (though I love the fact that the official who filled out the license wrote in her occupation as “beautishian”). But to Italian immigrant families, being well dressed for a major life event (and religious sacrament) like a wedding was crucial; they found a way to make it happen.
I remember her telling me that her parents didn’t want her to marry him. He had no parents, no education, and no prospects. But she was determined. And he went on to be elected county sheriff and then for many terms as mayor of the town. So I guess she showed them!
They were married for 35 years, until his death from leukemia in 1971. She passed away in 2001, and I still miss her every day.