2020: H – April A to Z… Family Stories: Having Snow Fun… and more!

2020: H – April A to Z… Family Stories

I’m back in 2020 for my fifth year of participating in the yearly April A to Z challenge… and as usual I racked my brain scribbling ideas on paper since the end of last April. It wasn’t until January, that the light bulb finally went off in scrolling through the 85+ of unfinished blog posts in my draft folder. Bingo… there was my A to Z topic…

Family Stories as told to me… mostly by my husband!

From the moment I married into this Italian family… I fell in love with their stories… their memories… and the family. My husband grew up in West Haven, Connecticut… where there was so much to enjoy as a young boy… especially a place known as Savin Rock… although long gone now. It somewhat resembled Coney Island… but was even larger when his parents, aunts and uncles grew up. They had stories… and I was always an eager listener whenever they told those stories…  remembering, and scribbling down to preserve, just as I did with the family recipes that had once only been in their heads. 2020 has became the year I’m telling many of those stories… along with my husband’s memories to preserve for the generations to come. Many of those who told me their stories, are no longer with us… and I hope to keep their memory alive in these stories… as they are now my family also… and I love them all!

My previous years of A to Z Challenges are:

Come sit a spell and enjoy!


Having Snow Fun and more!

steve on sled in snowFIX

Sledding on Kneen Street in Shelton at Noni’s house

“I remember waiting for the bus after lunch…one day in heavy snow… Aunt Dolly got off the bus and announced that school was closed. School was in two sessions… she went in the mornings and I went in the afternoon. She would be getting off the bus… while I was waiting to get on for the afternoon classes; we lived on Sawmill Road at that time.”

Steve on hill at Kneen St Shelton CTFIX

Lots of snow sledding at my grandmothers in Shelton, CT.

steve snowmanFIX

Snowman building in West Haven!

Steve and Dolly and snow (1)

Aunt Dolly helped build this big snowman with me!

“When my grandparents lived on 1st Avenue, I remember Dolly and I with Uncle Johnny built a really big snowman in the front yard. The balls were so large that we had to actually cut them in half to even pick up. You must have perfect snow to build a snowman.”

“It was usually my uncles who cleaned the driveway when my grandparents moved to 1st Avenue. Sometimes they cleaned with shovels, but often they liked to just drive their cars back and forth to pack the snow down. Uncle Gene (Cavallaro) sometimes came with the plow from his garage to help out when the snow was really deep.”

johnny in snow okinawa maybeFIX

Uncle Johnny (Cambino) enjoying a snow day in Okinawa

In talking about the weather on TV…. “It seems like just yesterday when we went to see Johnny Poe play in his last game. I often went to the Thanksgiving football game with Johnny and Maggie to see West Haven High School play Hillhouse… it was always the last game of the season. One I specifically remember was when it was about 16 degrees… I was probably in eighth grade. Even as cold as it was, I never saw Uncle Johnny ever wear a coat – but he did carry a flask on those cold football games to keep warm. I don’t think he even owned a coat, but I guess he did for deer hunting in the winter as he often talked about the deep snow that they had to walk in.”

car with deersFIX

Freddie (left) with brother Johnny (right) Cambino, and friend George Froleck proudly showing their deers!

“Johnny, along with Frankie, Freddie, Marshal Carbone  and George Froleck went hunting every year. It was standard for them… nothing stopped them from those yearly trips! On one hunting trip they were snowed in… and lost in the woods. The snow was almost waist-high, but Johnny, being the toughest and strongest, managed to get them out, he said. He took the lead and stomped down the snow as he plowed through… making the way for them to follow. Johnny always told that story and said, “I sure thought we were goners that time – thought for sure that they’d find us in the spring – dead. I don’t know how I did that, and if I wasn’t as strong as I am, I wouldn’t have been able to.”

“The picture above of Johnny and George Froleck with the large buck on the hood of the car was from one of their hunting trips. It was the time when Johnny shot the largest deer ever (about 260 pounds), and told me, “good thing I’m strong, as I had to drag that bastard through the snow all by myself.” In showing the photo to Aunt Nancy, she recognized the license plate as one from their garage (Marshall’s Garage); I guess they drove one of the garage cars to go hunting with.”


“One Christmas the family all chipped in and bought my grandfather a snow blower. I think he used it only once before he fell cutting tree limbs and hurt his shoulder… then the boys used it. My father often went down to help clean their driveway too.”

Nancy: “We did a lot of crazy things as kids growing up. My brother, Johnny, had a big black Lincoln car. I remember riding in a snowstorm once with him – going down big hills, sliding back and forth – and that was all on a quarters worth of gas – money was short!”

dad with snow in serviceFIX

My father, holding the snowball, enjoyed snow while in the service!

“Whenever we had snowstorms, all the kids in the neighborhood brought their sleds to the side of I-95 to slide down the embankment alongside the highway… in the summer when the grass was high, we’d mash it down and ride down on cardboard. Once we had it really matted down… it was super slick. Living down from the factories near my  house… there was always and abundance of cardboard thrown out. We had to make our own fun back then.”

“When it snowed… it was a free day from school… and we stayed out all day!”

2020 AtoZ Thank You Reading

Continue reading 2020: April A to Z: Family Stories… click HERE
To read more Family Stories… click HERE

© 2020, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2020: April A to Z: Family Stories, Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories, Husbands Family Stories: and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 2020: H – April A to Z… Family Stories: Having Snow Fun… and more!

  1. ReginaMary says:

    We lived outside as kids! We had a front hill that was perfect for sledding and the plow would leave the BIGGEST snow banks at the bottom of the hill. We played for hours, only coming in to change our mittens. Some years we had so much snow that we could make tunnels in the snow banks. We absolutely loved sledding at night too! (PS. Those Flexible Flyer sleds scared the tar out of me!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. scr4pl80 says:

    We had no snow where we lived but I do remember going once or twice to the mountains to see some. We never stayed long though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Snow days are the best. I still remember one year where the snow was so bad we ended up missing an entire week of school. It was so fun. Weekends In Maine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I had no snow days off from school but we did have some bad ice storms that stopped everything for days.


  5. mollyscanopy says:

    Great snow photos! I well remember backyard sledding — and also zooming down hills aboard “flying saucers,” those aluminum disks that modernized sledding in the early 1960s. That snow blower is also quite impressive. Thanks for the nostalgic interlude!


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