MEMORIES OF LIFE ON THE FARM

Code of Arms

LENTINI FAMILY CREST

On Easter Sunday morning in 1936, dad and I went to the barn as we usually did each morning, when we arrived, a friend of his was waiting in his car to pick up a lamb that dad had promised him.   Lamb was a special meal during the holidays, It was a tradition many immigrants brought with them when arriving in America.     When dad handed the lamb over to his friend, I began to cry, dad somewhat surprised; looked at me and without hesitation, picked me up and hugged me.

 It took him a moment to realize, that the lamb had become my pet, and that I had watched it grow from birth. Dad’s friend, seeing me in tears reached over and pinched me on the cheek, he then gave me a half dollar, got into his car and drove off with my pet lamb. I continued to cry as Dad and I walked back to the house. I knew dad felt bad about giving the lamb to his friend but being a noble person, he kept his promise. He was a proud man and knew I would eventually forget the sad event.

 Dad was right, I did forget, but it helped me mature and realize life was not always going to be fun; there would be times when sadness and challenges would occur and I would have to learn to handle them the best I could.  

Time had pasted and we moved to our own farm, which consisted of five-acres located in the small village of New Middletown,   We had a cow, a goat, rabbits, and some chickens. We also had a large garden with vegetables that mom canned in the fall.  Dad loved working on his own farm. He planted grapevines for making wine and always had a plenty of bottles ready to serve. In the autumn I would climb the peach tree that grew in the back yard and shake the branches so the ripe peaches would fall.  

One day, while watching dad prune back his grape vines, he suddenly began swearing and running towards the house yelling for my mother “Anna, Anna”, he said, it startled me for a moment until I noticed blood dripping from his hand; dad’s knife had slipped cutting him on the forearm. Mom hearing him yelling, came running out of the house and immediately drove him to the local doctor to have the wound treated,

Luckily dad had recently taught mother how to drive his car.  After the doctor bandaged his arm, he returned home and went back to the vineyards  and continued  pruning the grape vines. Dad was a very strong minded and relentless man.     

 Dad’s penknife was very sharp; He honed it to perfection and was never without it. Most of the old timers carried one;. It was their best friend. You would see them in their quiet moments whittling on a piece of wood and sharpen it on a rock or his belt when it became dull. Dad used his knife to cut his fruit into slices rather than take normal bites as most people did…. I was amused when I saw him slice a piece of apple, hold it against the blade of his knife, and place it in his mouth. He laughed when I asked, “Aren’t you scared of cutting your lip?” 

I followed dad everywhere he went as he performed the many tasks it took to run our farm.  He had a sense of humor although you would never know it; he was a stern man with facial features that looked like solid granite showing no emotions. His face seemed to crack when he smiled. He was an old fashion Italian, a little strict with a rough exterior, but very warm and compassionate. He was like many of the immigrants that grew up during hard times in their country. They are very proud and strong-minded people who often thought that showing their emotions gave the perception of weakness.

In May 1938 Anthony Lentini   was   repairing a fence post on our farm to keep our cow from running away. It began to rain and he continued  working with his clothes soaked and wet. He became ill and caught  pneumonia.Anthony  passed away two weeks later on May 31,1938 at the age of 42 seven,children,May,leaving  wife and seven children.

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