Aunt Luisa

Recently my mother went to a small venetian village in Northern Italy, to attend her cousin’s funeral. This is where my grandparents lived as a young couple, together with their first-born child – my aunt Luisa – before emigrating to France in 1951. My mother (born later in France) took pictures of the village and showed them to her sister, who shared the following:

Sixty years later I still have a strange memory of the church and priest, especially after the day he asked me to come to the alter and show everybody that I was wearing too short of a skirt and ankle socks (mom thought it looked cute). What a mortal sin! In the months of June! I was 7 years old. On top of it, I had attended church by myself that day, as mom had already gone earlier that morning. You can imagine in what state I came running home.

At that time, dad had just come back from France to pick us up and went to the priest, telling him that we were going to leave Italy in two months and that in Alsace this was no longer going to be a problem. I actually did a fact-check and found out that at that time women there did not have to wear a head covering in church and could dress the way they wanted (of course, given the current fashion conventions).

These photographs show my aunt and mamie, sometime in the early 1950s in Italy.

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