Trestle table

 My grandfather Salvatore immigrated from Italy to Erie, Pennsylvania when he was only 9 years old. Growing up in Erie, my grandfather helped bring in extra money by doing odd jobs like selling blackberries to neighbors in the summer. He met my grandmother when he was doing just that. Their courtship began before WWII, then my grandfather enlisted in the Navy and left to fight. Throughout the war they communicated through letters, and when he returned they were married.
 Upon his return, Salvatore became a carpenter and cabinet maker, and worked at General Electric. He and my grandmother bought a house just two blocks away from where they had grown up, and raised four children.
 My grandfather was a skilled artisan, and could build nearly anything he saw. Often he and my grandmother would go to furniture stores, and he would quickly sketch something they wanted, then he would go home and make it himself for a fraction of the cost. As a wedding gift for my mother and father, my grandfather built this beautiful trestle table. It moved with them all over the U.S. - from Erie to Nashville to Dallas to California.
 The table now resides in my sister's apartment in Los Angeles. It is a piece of my family's heritage that has traveled all over the country, and comes with the ancestral memories my grandfather brought from Italy. When I look at it, I think of our family, my grandfather’s story, and the years we have spent sharing meals, artwork, and conversations around the table.  

Place(s): Italy
Year: 1929

– Jenny Gillett

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant