Just can’t let the day go by without remembering a great lady who was born on this day in a small town in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy – 137 years ago! She may have been the youngest child born to Agostino and Filomena (Petrarca) Iacobucci. She was 19 years younger than her oldest brother – Vincenzo, who was the first of the Iacobucci siblings to come to America. He was also the relative who signed as her “guardian” when she married Adriano Giorgio in February 1899 (when she was about 3 months shy of her 19th birthday.)
Anyone reading this blog for any length of time knows that Custode is my hero. From the courage she must have had to come to America with her sister Rosario in 1897 when she was only 16 years old to the chutzpah it took to hire a lawyer to fight back against losing her home in Dunbar when Adriano abandoned her and eight children in 1912 – this woman is remarkable.
Not to mention the fact that she raised her children on her own and most of them went to college. Four of her sons attended pharmacy school at the University of Pittsburgh, a tradition that has continued in subsequent generations. She expected a lot of her children and they lived up to her expectations.
She was not a sweet, loving person in the way you might want a mother or grandmother to be. It may not have been in her personality even if life had dealt her a kinder hand, but in light of the struggles she encountered, it’s hard for me to imagine she could have turned out any differently than the way she did.
So Rick and I will say a toast at dinner tonight to celebrate the birthday of this remarkable woman who he is very proud to be descended from.