So, it might seem a little odd that I’m posting these letters to the public. Two of the people referenced in the letter (Angelina’s daughters) may still be alive and what a thrill it would be to have the internet somehow connect us. You hear that Thia Guerrini, Rina Guerrini? If you’re reading this, I would absolutely love to hear from you. We’re related by marriage, and my cousins would get a real kick out of hearing from long-lost cousins in Italy. If they were alive, they’d be in their 80s this year (2014). It’s a long shot, but hey, you never know.
Moving on! The letters are also interesting for their historical information. Nellie Gasparri, (my first cousin, once removed) apparently sent a package along with her letter to her aunt Angelina. The reply letter from Angelina is what I’ve got posted here – she enclosed a separate, smaller piece of paper thanking Nellie very specifically for the coffee since, she explains, it was something they hadn’t seen in Italy for many years since the war. She also mentions that they’re missing many things, and that her daughters appreciated the clothes Nellie sent. Basic living supplies seem to have been pretty scarce in San Valentino (Sorano). There’s also mention of Nellie’s Aunt who I can assume is her mother’s sister, my grandmother, Norma Innocenti. Just like the last letter, the same grammatical/spelling errors persist (penziero instead of pensiero, “ai” and “o” instead of hai and ho for the verb avere, and a couple various misspellings). It’s slowly making these easier to read since the handwriting is becoming more familiar. At the end, Angelina writes a little blurb to also thank the friend (of Nellie’s I assume?) who wrote the letter, Gina Canali. In my translation, I added some punctuation to help with flow and took a few liberties with some of the not-easily-translated Italian phrases. I love perfectly literal translations, but it never flows well. Without further babble, here’s the translation, and images of the letter. Click any image to enlarge.
February 16, 1947.
Days ago I received your letter and even the package that you sent. I just received it and it was delivered in good condition. I can only thank you for the thought that you had for us. Your cousins Thia and Rina thank you for the clothes that we really needed because in Italy we are lacking clothes and many other things after the war. Your cousins are ages Thia 18 and Rina 17.
Dear Niece, if it’s easier for you to write American, write that way since there is someone who reads to me. As for the letter that I wrote to your aunt, I hope that she has received it and my greetings and if she writes to me again it would make me happy. I’m glad that you are in good health. As for us, my daughters and my husband are well, but for a while I haven’t felt well but don’t worry that it’s serious.
Dear Nellie I would like to know so much about you all. Make your brothers write to me too and tell me how you’re doing now that you’re left without your father. I have so much sorrow for you all. We are far away and I cannot give you any comfort. I would like to have a memory of my brother if it’s possible (a photograph of yours); it would be much appreciated. For this time, I can only greet you and kiss you, united to my family. I tell you that your aunt thinks of you always,
Don’t ever forget that my address is only this:
S. Valentino di Sorano
Pro di Grosseto
Do you understand?
Greetings again to your friend that wrote the letter,
(enclosure, on green paper)
I thank you so much for the coffee, here it’s been many years and you don’t see it any more and I tell you again there are many things we’re lacking here in Italy. Nellie in as much as I remember your address it’s not as it was before. Did you move? It’s been a while since your aunti wrote to me the other time where she is. I want to tell you many other things and ask you many things but I’m afraid I’ll bore you. Write to me at length and tell me many things. Again, many kisses, your aunt,