My father as a boy

My father was born in Newark, NJ, in 1920 to two Italian immigrants. The midwife misspelled his name, so instead of being Alfio, he was named Alfredo Luigi Torchia.
He was born at home, a first generation American.

So much time has passed since his childhood that I realized it would be interesting to try and illustrate the things he told me. This is part of a correspondence that I am doing with another woman who happened to have been born in Newark, New Jersey; like me, like both of my parents!



3 responses to “My father as a boy”

  1. Mimi – you never cease to amaze me. This is so wonderful. And what a beautiful tribute to your Dad. My grandparents came to Ellis Island from Denmark. My Dad was also born at home with the assistance of a midwife. Immigrants were terrified of hospitals. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Dear Mimi, I so enjoyed these drawings and the story they and your text tell about your Father. To have a car full of nuns hit his brother and kill him would be, I would think, an incentive not to like nuns or want to go to a school where nuns taught. So it’s not surprising to me that he pulled off the nun’s veil when he was older. How surprised—and outraged–she must have been. I’ve heard some horror stories about how some nuns treat their students. It’s inexcusable. My brother had a nun in first grade who threatened him and his playmates with a baseball bat and a golf club. That really affected how he felt about school ever after.

    Your dad married young, but maybe then–which would probably have been back in the ’30s or early ’40s, his age–17–wasn’t considered young. I can’t remember.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope you’ll do more drawings of his life. Peace.

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