All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. ~ Jim Rohn
In 1915, my great-grandfather Luigi Vallorani left his home in Italy to start a new life in America.
He was told the streets in America were paved with gold. When he arrived, however, he discovered the streets were not paved with gold, and it was the Italians who did the paving!
Like most immigrants, Luigi had a dream for the good life and he was willing to work hard and take the necessary risks to make his dream come true.
He eventually opened a grocery store and a restaurant to support his family.
Luigi was a shrewd and competitive businessman, and intent on putting down roots, planning to make the Vallorani family a business empire.
His vision for the Vallorani family was sadly cut short. Life in America cost him three infant sons and a young wife who died during childbirth.
He took his only surviving son, three-year-old Eugenio, and returned to Italy. Despite the turn of events, Luigi’s dream for his family did not end with his return to Italy. He continued to instill this vision in Eugenio, my grandfather.
When Eugenio came of age in Italy, he was required to join a military youth group.
One day, Eugenio found himself marching down the streets of Rome in a parade supporting Hitler and Mussolini. Luigi wanted nothing to do with fascism. That day, Luigi went to the consulate to send my grandfather Eugenio back to the United States.
At the age of 15, my grandfather sailed alone across the ocean to pick up where his father Luigi left off in America…