Friday’s Photo Feature – Custode, Philomena and Lena

I don’t know when or where this picture was taken but my guess is that it was taken in the early 1930s in the back yard of Custode’s house in Dunbar. I wonder if that is the school in the background? Philomena and Custode look very much alike in this picture. Lena seems unhappy. Her expression seems to say “I’d rather be anywhere but here.”

I’m not sure who sent me this picture but like so many pictures I’ve seen with Custode in them, it seems marked with gouges and tears. True – the marks are not as distinct as the “X” over Adriano in the wedding picture or the eye-shaped mark over Custode’s forehead in another picture of her, but there is a definite line across Custode’s face in this picture. Just a random rip in an old photo or something more?

It would be great to hear more from anyone who wants to share their recollections of these ladies. In my time of gathering the Giorgio family stories, I’ve often heard that Philomena was a wonderful cook and a very sweet lady. Carole Johnson remembers Aunt Phil taking her shopping for household items when Carole was a newlywed.

People do not describe Lena with such fondness. I have heard that she was a very good piano player and I think I remember Dominic saying that when Lena married his father in 1939, Custode would not let Lena take the piano with her to their farm house.

And then there is Custode – who seems to be smiling in this picture. I am reminded of Richard Galland’s comments at this summer’s family reunion – he knew that his grandmother loved him.  “Her children feared her but I never did.”  Richard was Philomena’s youngest son, born in 1943, and grew up closer to his grandmother than most of his cousins. His house was directly behind Custode’s, just up the hill that is now Highland Street, separated by a large garden that his father Anthony Galland tended.

Custode Iacobucci Giorgio and her Daughters Philomena and Lena

Custode Iacobucci Giorgio and her Daughters Philomena and Lena




11 thoughts on “Friday’s Photo Feature – Custode, Philomena and Lena

  1. I have learned so much about my family, have seen photos that I have never seen, and have even formed an attachment to relatives that I never knew.
    What an invaluable gift you have been, Kalen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I m really sursprise in the picture of the three ladies. Lean looks kind of pretty. You mention that Richard. said his mother was a great cook well to give Lena credit which she had few, she also was a good cook. All the Italians dishes she always had for Sundays. Can’t give you enough credit Kalen your discoveries have all of us spellbound. Trying to think of a good name for the “””GEORGES ” movie coming out in. 2020.( Could be interesting. ) Thanks a 1000 times Kalen,for enlighten us. Dominic. I’m still doing great living here with so many women. Still planning on reaching 100; only 13 more years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic
      Thanks for sharing about Lena’s cooking skills. I remember you also said she taught you and your brother Gene table manners. That fits with Lynnette’s recollection of her father also being a stickler for table manners. Rick remembers his father being that way too. It must have started with Custode.
      I really wonder what happened in Lena’s life to make her so bitter? But she does look pretty in this picture and almost as if her daydreams have taken her out of the unhappy life she led.
      Glad you’re doing well and keeping the many ladies in your life happy.


      • Thanks was in New York with Diana to see some of the Veterans parade and. see a stage show ..a Musicals Gloria Stefanie show wonderful. We can visit New York by train for $15.00. Senior Discount. Love New York. Thanks for your rely.


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