From Ardmore, Pennsylvania to Fallascoso 100 years ago
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Fallascoso 1 agosto 2011

Cari Fallascosani, amici e simpatizzanti di Fallascoso, è con grande orgoglio e gioia che invio questa lettera e-mail per ricordarvi che quest’anno lo Stendardo di San Rinaldo, nostro protettore, compie cento anni!

Per questo motivo vogliamo e dobbiamo festeggiarlo con onore.

Nel lontano 1904 gli emigranti fallascosani in America, negli Stati Uniti d’America per l’esattezza, fondarono vicino Philadelphia la “Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo” con lo scopo di promuovere la fratellanza e la solidarietà tra i soci e di aiutare quanti si fossero trovati in difficoltà economiche o di salute.

In seguito, nel 1911 fu commissionata la manifattura dello Stendardo di San Rinaldo che quest’anno compie appunto cento anni.

Sul fronte dello Stendardo è riportata la figura per intero del santo protettore e in piccolo il nome dell’artista che lo confezionò, mentre sul retro oltre la data e il luogo, sono riportati i nomi di coloro che forse furono i fondatori della “Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo”.

Non sappiamo quando lo Stendardo sia stato rimandato a Fallascoso, dove viene custodito nella chiesa del paese da tempo immemorabile, ma certamente da parte degli emigranti, voleva essere un segno tangibile della devozione, dell’affetto e dell’attaccamento alle proprie origini.

Innanzi tutto mi rivolgo a voi ragazzi e ragazze, a voi giovani primi destinatari della presente email, possessori ed utilizzatori famelici di queste nuove tecnologie informatiche per invogliarvi a cercare, indagare e capire chi fossero questi “mitici” emigranti.

Chiedete ai vostri genitori, ai vostri nonni, agli zii e ai parenti, notizie e informazioni di quei tempi e di quelle persone perché senz’altro tra quei “mitici” c’è un vostro parente, magari alla lontana ma comunque che vi appartiene.

Ed è proprio questo senso di appartenenza a uomini “forti, generosi e coraggiosi di altri tempi” che oggi ci sentiamo accomunati tutti e che vi accomunerà in futuro.

Non per altro dei figli di questa “nostra terra” è nota la forza e gentilezza: “Abruzzo forte e gentile”.

Siate fieri di questa origine e cercatela nei ricordi e nelle parole dei vostri cari, nei loro racconti quasi fiabeschi, nelle vecchie fotografie, nei filmini, nelle cartoline antiche, nei quaderni di scuola, nei libri di scuola, nei disegni, cercatela nelle canzoni magari solo cantate e registratele prima che sia troppo tardi perché sono un patrimonio inestimabile che potrebbe perdersi irrimediabilmente, cercatela ovunque voi siate.

Da quando mi sono fatto promotore di questo evento, avendo dovuto scambiare diverse e-mail, ho scoperto che noi Fallascosani (naturalmente compresi figli e nipoti), siamo tanti, ma tanti, ma veramente tanti in tutto il mondo e sarebbe bello poterci contare.

Oltre che in Italia ovviamente, ce ne sono tanti in Belgio, in Svizzera, in Francia, in Germania, in Inghilterra e in altri Paesi Europei, e poi in Canada, negli Stati Uniti d’America sparsi dalla costa dell’Atlantico a quella del Pacifico, e in Argentina, in Venezuela, forse anche in Brasile, in Africa e nella lontana Australia.

A proposito dei festeggiamenti per il Centenario dello Stendardo, vi ricordo che oltre le tradizionali feste del giorno 27 e 28 agosto, con la celebrazione delle Sante Messe e delle Processioni con la Banda Musicale al seguito, le serate danzanti e musicali, la lotteria, i fuochi pirotecnici ed altro, abbiamo pensato di organizzare delle manifestazioni anche nei giorni precedenti.

La sera del 24 agosto nella chiesa di Fallascoso si esibirà la cantante lirica Valentina Coladonato, affermata soprano, con arie di Vincenzo Bellini, di Francesco Paolo Tosti e varie napoletane.

La sera del 25 agosto in piazza sul palco si esibirà Enrico Olivieri, rinomato compositore di colonne sonore per film, nonchè musicista e cantante di musica leggera.

La sera del 26 agosto per il divertimento collettivo ci sarà in piazza o sul palco il karaoke forse con una simpatica sorpresa.

Il giorno del 24 agosto in mattinata, nella Sala Conferenze della Mediateca di Torricella Peligna, messaci gentilmente a disposizione dal Sig. Sindaco Tiziano Antonio Teti, per motivi organizzativi in quanto è una struttura moderna, capiente e dotata di moderni mezzi audiovisivi, sono previste conferenze, seminari, più semplicemente delle amichevoli chiacchierate.

Interverrà il dott. Lucio Cuomo che parlerà dell’origine dei nostri cognomi, della loro storia con divagazioni e curiosità varie sul nostro territorio.

Interverrà il prof. Emiliano Giancristofaro giornalista, docente di Storia e Filosofia, titolare di contratto per l’insegnamento di Storia delle Tradizioni Popolari presso l'Università di Chieti e membro del direttivo della Deputazione Abruzzese di Storia Patria che parlerà dell’emigrazione abruzzese in America.

Nella sala attigua potremo usufruire di interessanti videoproiezioni del nostro Savino Tommaso Falcone che vive e lavora in Belgio ma sempre più legato al paese che lo ha visto nascere.

Nel pomeriggio invece alle ore 17:00 a Fallascoso, il nostro Parroco Don Giuseppe Di Pietrantonio celebrerà una Santa Messa di Ringraziamento sia per i Benefattori dello Stendardo di San Rinaldo che per gli altri Benefattori della nostra chiesa.

Ringrazio anticipatamente chi volesse proporre qualunque idea o suggerimento migliorativo di questo evento centenario.

Non mi dilungo oltre, vi aspetto numerosi a Fallascoso e vi abbraccio caramente

vostro

Ennio Filippo Di Pietrantonio

GSM 0039 335 8219568

enniofilippo.dipietrantonio@virgilio.it


Fallascoso 1er aout 2011

Chers habitants de Fallascoso, amis et sympathisants de Fallascoso.

C'est avec grande joie et fierté que je vous adresse cette lettre e-mail pour vous rappeler que cette année l'étendard de Saint Rinaldo, notre protecteur, aura cent ans!

Pour ce motif, nous voulons et nous devons le fêter avec honneur.

En 1904, les émigrants de Fallascoso partirent en Amérique, aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique pour la précision. Ils fondèrent près de Philadelphia la "Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo" avec le pari de promouvoir la fraternité, la solidarité et avec l’objectif d’aider ceux qui auraient rencontré des difficultés économiques ou des problèmes de santé .

Successivement en 1911 a été réalisé l'étendard de Saint Rinaldo qui cette année fetera ses 100 ans.

Sur la face avant de l'étendard le personnage du Saint protecteur a été reproduit dans sa totalité et en petit figure le nom de l'artiste qui le realisa. A l’arrière outre à la date et au lieu de sa création sont également indiqués les noms des fondateurs de la "Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo".

Nous ne savons pas quand l'étendard a été donné à Fallascoso où il est soigneusement conservé dans l'église du village depuis des temps immémoriaux.

Toutefois de la part des émigrants de Fallascoso ce geste voulait certainement manifester un signe tangible de dévotion et d’affection à l’égard de l’attachement à nos origines.

Je m’adresse principalement à vous les jeunes. Je vous adresse prioritairement ce mail car vous etes les possesseurs et les utilisateurs familiers de cette nouvelle technologie informatique.

Je souhaite vous donner l’envie de chercher, découvrir et comprendre qui furent ces émigrants mythiques.

Demandez à vos parents, à vos grands-parents, à vos tantes et autres familiers des nouvelles et des informations de ce temps là. Parmi ces personnes mythiques il y a certainement un de vos proches, peut-être éloigné, qui pourrait être un de vos ascendants.

C'est justement grace à ce sentiment d'appartenance à ces hommes « forts », généreux et courageux du passé "qu'aujourd'hui nous nous sentons tous solidaires et unis pour le futur.

Ce n’est pas un hasard si on observe chez les enfants de cette terre Force et Gentillesse: « Abruzzo Forte e Gentile ».

Soyez fiers de ces origines et cherchez dans les souvenirs, dans les paroles de vos proches, dans leur histoire presque legendaire, dans les vieilles photos, dans les petits films, dans les vieilles cartes postales, dans les vieux cahiers d'école, dans les livres d'école, dans les dessins, et memes dans les chansons ;si elles ne sont que chantées, enregistrez les avant qu'il ne soit trop tard, parce qu’il s’agit d’un patrimoine inestimable qui pourrait se perdre irrémédiablement. Bref! Cherchez où que vous soyez!

Depuis que je suis devenu le promoteur de cet événement, et après avoir échangé un grand nombre d’ e-mail, j'ai découvert que nous, les gens de Fallascoso (bien entendu y compris les enfants et les petits-enfants) nous sommes très nombreux, mais vraiment très nombreux dans le monde entier et ce serait tellement beau de pouvoir nous compter.

Outre l'Italie, nous sommes nombreux en Belgique, en Suisse, en France en Allemagne, en Angleterre et dans d'autres pays européens et aussi au Canada, aux Etats-Unis, dispersés sur la cote Atlantique et Pacifique, en Argentine, au Venezuela, et aussi au Brésil, en Afrique et dans la lointaine Australie.

A propos des fêtes pour le centenaire de l'étendard, je vous rappelle qu'en plus des traditionnelles fêtes des 27 et 28 aout, avec la célébration de la sainte messe et des processions accompagnées de la fanfare a suivie, des soirées dansantes et musicales, de la loterie, des feux d'artifice et autre…, nous avons pensé d’organiser d’autres manifestations les jours précédents.

Le soir du 24 aout dans l'église de Fallascoso se produira la le soprano de succès Valentina Coladonato, avec des musiques de Vincenzo Bellini, Francesco Paolo Tosti et diverses chansons napolitaines.

Le soir du 25 aout sur l’estrade installée sur la place du village se produira Enrico Olivieri, compositeur renommé de bandes sonores, de films, de musiciens et de chanteurs de musique légère.

La soirée du 26 aout, aura lieu sur la place, un karaoké avec peut être une surprise sympathique pour divertissement collectif.

Au matin, dans la salle de conférence de la médiathèque de Torricella Peligna, mise gentiment a disposition par le maire Tiziano Antonio Teti, pour des raisons d’organisation, cette salle présente une grande capacité d’accueil et est equipée des récentes, technologies audiovisuelles modernes, sont prévues des conférences, des séminaires et plus simplement des discussions amicales.

Interviendront également le docteur Lucio Cuomo, qui parlera de l'origine de nos noms, de leur histoire et de diverses curiosités concernant notre territoire et le professeur Emiliano Giancristofaro, journaliste, docteur en histoire et philosophie, professeur d'histoire des traditions populaires à l'Université de Chieti et membre du conseil de direction de la communauté Abruzzese d'histoire de la patrie qui parlera de l'immigration abruzzese en Amérique.

Dans la salle voisine, nous pourrons regarder d’intéressantes projections video de notre Savino Tommaso Falcone qui vit et travaille en Belgique mais qui est toujours plus attaché au village où il est né.

Par contre, dans l'après -midi du 24/08 vers 17h00 à Fallascoso, notre curé Don Giuseppe Di Pietrantonio celèbrera une messe de remerciement tant pour les bienfaiteurs de l’etendard de Saint Rinaldo, tant pour les autres bienfaiteurs de notre église.

D’avance je remercie tous ceux souhaitent qui sojhaitent proposer ou suggérer une idée pour enrichir cet événement centenaire.

Je ne me prolonge pas davantage, je vous attends nombreux à Fallascoso et je vous embrasse sincèrement.

Votre dévoué

Ennio Filippo Di Pietrantonio.


Fallascoso 1 august 2011

Dear Fallascosani, Friends and Fans of Fallascoso,

It is with great honour that I am sending you this email to remind you that the banner of Saint Rinaldo, our Patron is turning 100 years old this year!!

For this reason we must celebrate this event!

In 1904 immigrants from Fallascoso living in the US, near Philadelphia created the “Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo” with the aim to promote the brother-ship and solidarity between the members helping each other economically and whenever needed.

In 1911 the Banner of Saint Rinaldo was commissioned and handmade.

This year it is 100 years old.

On the front of the Banner there is a full image of the Saint and in small writing is the name of the artist who made it, while on the back not only you find the date and place but you will also find the names of those who founded the “Società di Mutuo Soccorso di San Rinaldo”.

We are not aware when the banner was sent back to Fallascoso, now exposed in the church, and which has been for a long time, but it was certainly sent back by the immigrants of Fallascoso to show their devotion, affection and proud of their origins.

Above all, I am writing this email to the attention of the younger generation, my first contacts, and in possession of technological skills which they should use to search for and understand the stories of these “historical ancestors” immigrants.

Ask your parents, your grandparents, uncles, aunts and relatives, information about those days and about those people as I am sure that among these “historical ancestors” you might have a relative, maybe a distant relative but anyway a relative.

It is exactly this relationship that belongs to these men “strong, generous and courageous of times long gone” that we feel close to now and in the future.

We know that people from this region are known for their strength and kindness “Abruzzo forte e gentile”.

Please be proud of your origins and try to look for them strongly in: your elder’s memory, in stories, in photos, films, old postcards, old school books, paintings and also in unsung songs and also sung ones. Tape them and keep them before it is too late!

Since I took on this task as a promoter of this event, having exchanged various emails I discovered that we “Fallascosani” (of course including our children, nieces and nephews) are thousands and thousands in the world and it would be great to be able to contact each other wherever they may be.

Obviously, apart from Italy, there are a lot of “Fallascosani” in Belgium, France, Germany in the U.K. in other European countries, in Canada, in the US from the Atlantic sea to the Pacific one, in Argentina, in Venezuela also in Brazil, in Africa and in far away Australia.

With regard to the festivities of the 100 years of the Banner, I would like to remind you that on 27 and 28 August with the celebrations of Mass and the procession with the band, the musical and dancing evenings, the lottery, the fireworks and other events, we have thought of organizing events in the days preceding 27 and 28 August.

On the evening of 24 August, in the Church of Fallascoso, Ms. Valentina Coladonato, a soprano well known worldwide, will hold a concert with songs from Vincenzo Bellini, Francesco Paolo Tosti and various other Neapolitan authors.

On the evening of 25 August, in the square of Fallascoso, a concert will be held by Enrico Olivieri well known song writer for films and also a famous singer.

On the evening of 26 August, we will enjoy a Karaoke concert and there will be a surprise during the evening.

On 24 August, but still to be confirmed, we will be using the Media Centre (given to us by the Mayor and the Culture Group) which has a modern soundproof room with seating for 100 people, up to date electronic equipment, maxi screen, Internet connections which could be used for a Video Conference, or just a chat among friends on the origin of our surnames.

A speech will be given by Mr. Lucio Cuomo

A speech will also be given by Professor Emiliano Giancristofaro who has a degree in History and Philosophy and teaches History and Traditional customs with the University of Chieti, he is also a member of the “Deputazione Abruzzese di Storia Patria”, and he will speak about the immigration of the residents of Abruzzo in the US.

Another speech will also be given on Saint Rinaldo’s life and history as he lived in our areas and escaped in the year 1000 to the distant Calabria after having been attacked by the Saraceni.

In one of the halls in the Mediateca you will also find a great collection of photography of one of our ex residents, Mr. Savino Tommaso Falcone, who now lives in Belgium but is remains part of Fallascoso where he was born.

I will not keep you any longer, but if you have any suggestions, ideas or initiatives please send them to me as they will be highly appreciated.

Waiting to see as many of you as possible in Fallascoso, I send you my sincerest regards,

Ennio Filippo Di Pietrantonio

Tel: GSM 0039 335 8219568

enniofilippo.dipietrantonio@virgilio.it



One of the most important artifacts of present and former residents of Fallascoso will be 100 years old in 2011!

During the late 1800’s a few brave men began departing Fallascoso to other parts of the world seeking a better life and better opportunities.

The majority of these men made their way from Fallascoso to Naples or Genoa and boarded steam ships that would take many of them on an adventure to the United States of America. Fallascosani descendants arrived at Ellis Island, New York, Boston, New Orleans, but most of them came directly to the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The real journey began when they first arrived in Philadelphia. They stayed in boarding houses along Christian and Fitzwater Streets in South Philadelphia until they found work and a new way of life. Many of them became laborers for the Pennsylvania and Reading Rail Roads. Both of these rail lines were being built from downtown Philadelphia to the suburbs of northwestern Pennsylvania, and onto Chicago, Illinois. These rail lines passed through the communities of Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Villanova, Radnor, St. Davids, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, and Paoli.(today these upscale communities are referred to as the “Main Line” communities). As the rail road extended farther west the men started to board and embark on their new lives in these local communities along the rail road to avoid the long commute back to South Philadelphia each day.

 
While these men were living in these local “Main Line” communities, many of them found other job opportunities and better pay than the rail road could offer. Many of these men remained along the rail road in these communities and called upon their families from Fallascoso to live with them.  Eventually, other Paesani and family departed Fallascoso to come the USA with a promise of a better life and jobs. Many had very little money and relied on close family and friends to assist in supporting them until they could find work and support themselves.

In 1904, these former residents of Fallascoso created the “Societa’ Italiana Di Mutuo Soccorso of San Rinaldo” in Philadelphia. The goals of this Mutual Aid Society, as noted in the 1904 bylaws was to:  ‘encourage a social and brotherly feeling; to accumulate a fund from dues and assessments of its members to be applied to their relief when sick and to provide for the burial and that of their wife’s after death’. Additionally, the club was to ‘exist perpetually’.¹

The majority of Fallascoso’s former residents settled in and around the town of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. They began buying homes, getting better jobs, creating new companies and raising their families. They relocated the San Rinaldo Club from Philadelphia to various locations in and around Ardmore, Pennsylvania to better serve the majority of the Clubs Members.
 
Many former residents, living in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1911, decided to create a Traditional Gonfalone or Banner as a gift to their family and friends who remained in Fallascoso.

This type of Banner had great significance as a Christian religious object that was first adopted by Italian Medieval Comunes. The devotional act of carrying the banner in a procession was believed to be a holy act of worship, and it was hoped that the act would gain divine favor from God, Jesus, Mary, and the Saints portrayed on the banner.

The handmade silk banner is suspended from a crosspiece attached to a long pole, and has been proudly paraded through the streets of Fallascoso. On the blue front side of this banner
 
is a lovely hand embroidered image of San Rinaldo (the Patron Saint of Fallascoso) On the red backside in gold letters are the names of the earliest former citizens of Fallascoso, then living in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. They were: Domenico Piccerelli, Carmino Di Pietrantonio, Donato Taddeo, Domenico Di Pietrantonio, Amadio Di Pietrantonio, Michele Taddeo, Domenico Oliviero, Guiseppe Di Valerio, Nicola D’Antonio, Domenico Di Pietrantonio, Rosario Di Nanni, Guiseppe Francione, Antonio D’Antonio. (note spelling differences on banner: Carmine, Piccirelli, Giuseppe, Olivieri.)

Gerry D'Antonio pointing to his great grandfathers name


In 1990, Ennio Di Pietrantonio (the unofficial Mayor of Fallascoso) had the Banner of San Rinaldo restored by the Central Institute for Restoration in Roma.

Today, the Banner of San Rinaldo is on permanent display in the church of San Nicola di Bari, Fallascoso. The Banner has been used annually since 1911 for important ceremonies, special occasions and especially at the Festa of San Rinaldo each August.


¹(The Club disbanded in the mid 1960’s as membership declined when older members passed away and the younger members moved from the Philadelphia area to other parts of the USA.)

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