«Historical Collections, Bridgeport Public Library Oral History Project: “Bridgeport Working: Voices from the 20th Century” Angela Baldino (AB) ...»
Historical Collections, Bridgeport Public Library
Oral History Project: “Bridgeport Working: Voices from the 20th Century”
Angela Baldino (AB) interviewed by Julie Jutkiewicz (I), November 14, 1997.
I: Can you tell me a little about your parents and where they came from?
AB: Yes. Both my parents were from Italy, of course. My mother was from a town
called – you want to know that – Nicastro, Italy and my father was from Reggio
I: Okay. When did they emigrate to America?
AB: That, I don't know. I can't remember.
I: Were they children, or --?
AB: My mother was around fourteen, fifteen. I think my father was ten years older than her, so --. They met here and married here, though.
I: In Bridgeport?
AB: In Bridgeport.
I: And do you know why they chose Bridgeport as a place to settle?
AB: Well, her mother was here. My grandparents, of course.
I: Oh, okay.
AB: They were Mr. and Mrs. Fiumara and he was a shoe repairman who had a business on Sherman Street, the street I was born on.
I: Okay. And when and where were you born?
AB: I was born May 14, 1917 at home on Sherman Street. Midwife was the participant. I was delivered by a midwife. That's all I know because my mother told me.
I: Can you tell me about your family? How many brothers and sisters -AB: Well, my mother was very unfortunate. She had, I think, nine children. They all died except my sister and I. And she thinks, when we would talk about it, they died in infancy, and she thinks it was polio because she remembers when the polio epidemic and she says her children had the very same symptoms. I don't know.
I: Can you tell me a little bit about the shop that your parents owned, that was your grandparents' shop?
Angela Baldino 2 AB: My grandfather. My mother had a home on Sherman Street. Across the street my grandfather had a home with his shoe repair shop connected to it. Have you ever seen this setup?
AB: That's it.
I: Did you work in the shop?
AB: No. It wasn't that big.
I: What did your father do?
AB: He was in real estate.
I: He was in real estate?
AB: He died when I was four in an accident.
I: Oh, okay. I'm sorry.
AB: I don't remember him very well.
I: What was it like growing up in Bridgeport?
AB: I think it was wonderful. I love Bridgeport. We lived on Sherman Street, as I say.
My grandparents lived across the street. We lived on the opposite side. They both owned their own homes. They weren'