Mary Edano & Rose Taylor

Mary Edano and Rose Taylor

Interview Date: 7/15/2014
Interviewer: Susanne Salvestrin

Susanne Salvestrin: This is Susanne Salvestrin, and I am pleased to welcome Mary Edano and her sister Rose Taylor who I am interviewing on behalf of the St. Helena Historical Society’s oral history program. We are conducting this interview at 10:00 on July 14, 2014 at 1322 Inglewood Avenue, the home of Rose Taylor.

Susanne Salvestrin. Welcome Mary and Rose and can you begin by telling us where you were born and when you first came to St. Helena?

Mary Edano: When we were born?

Susanne Salvestrin: Yes.

Mary Edano: Well, I was born March 14, 1924, on Whitehall Lane and our address was Route 2, Box 72.

Susanne Salvestrin:  Good and how about Rose ?

Mary Edano: I let Rose tell.. when you were born

Rose Taylor: I was born October the 18th, 1922, on Whitehall Lane.  What else ?

Susanne Salvestrin:  That’s good, that’s good. And being as you were born in the ‘20s, what are some of your earliest memories that you can remember from when you were a little girl from when you lived on Whitehall Lane?  Mary? 

Mary Edano: We have a lot of memories. Walking to the school bus stop from our house that was located on the…kind of on the hillside.  It was about a mile from where we caught the bus.  We caught the bus on Highway 29 and we walked down every morning to catch the bus, and every afternoon we’d get off the bus and walk home.  It was a wonderful place to be a child because we didn’t have any close neighbors. We could be all over the place and we wouldn’t be bothering anybody.  And we did a lot of hiking.  Rose was our leader.  She was the oldest of the family and she was always on the go.  And so, we would hike through the hills, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, we would walk through all those hills.  We never encountered any wild animals or snakes or anything that could harm us.

Rose Taylor:  Well, my memory of living over there is when I first started school, and I didn’t know how to speak English, so, I was put in an Opportunity Class with some of the others who had to learn to speak English. I can’t remember how long it took, but then I taught my family how to speak English.

Susanne Savestrin:  Do you remember, I know you remember, what school was it that you went to.  What was the school?

Rose Taylor:  It was the St. Helena Elementary School.

Susanne Salvestrin:  It was.  It wasn’t Vineland?

Mary Edano: No, it was the St. Helena Elementary School and they had the Opportunity Classes. The first and second grades were in a separate wooden building located right behind the Catholic Church facing Tainter Street. There was a large stone building that looked like the High School does now.  And I don’t know what classes were held there, but it must have been the third through the eighth grade.  I’m not sure.  That’s where we started and I had the same problem as Rose.  I couldn’t speak English either when I first started and they had done away with the Opportunity class when I started school.  So, what English I learned was from Rose and I didn’t learn that much because at home we spoke the Italian dialect that my mother and father spoke.  So, it was really difficult for me and I had to spend two years in the first grade, so I was behind everybody else.

Susanne Salvestrin: How were you treated because you didn’t speak English ?

Rose Taylor: I don’t really remember.

Susanne Salvestrin:  I know you have something here that you would like to start with so I’m just going to go ahead and let you start with your little thing that you have already prepared.

Mary Edano: Okay. The Edano family history begins in the small village of Murialdo located in northern Italy in the Liguria region. The capital of Liguria is Genova and it’s not far from Monte Carlo or Monaco and approximately 2 ½ hour drive from southern France. The Italian dialect spoken there is Piemontese and our first family member who came to this country was our maternal grandfather, Angelo Franco.

In February of 1901, six months after our mother, Josephina was born, Angelo at the age of 34 left his wife and four children and came to the United States to seek a better life for himself and his family. He departed from the French port of Le Havre and arrived in New York City on March 4, 1901. He worked as a cook in a boarding house in Sonoma County, somewhere near the town of Cloverdale. He spent seven years here and unable to convince his wife and family to join him in this new country, he returned to Murialdo.  In March, 1905, our next relative came, an uncle, Marco Calleri.  He left Murialdo for the United States and joined a brother, Carlo Calleri, at the Lyman Gardens just north of St. Helena. The Lyman Gardens were located across the highway from the Old Bale Mill down a narrow dirt road—- a horse and buggy road with an olive orchard on the right and forest trees on the other side.

You drove down a short distance, crossed a small wooden bridge and everything opened up to acres of beautiful vegetables growing in a flat, well-cultivated area. The tracks for the freight train, Southern Pacific, I believe, bordered the property on the east side and at one point in time, Carlo Calleri ran the place, which was probably leased from the Lyman family. This is the place where many young men from Murialdo came to start a new life in this country.

There was a large, rustic bunkhouse, unpainted, along with an attached kitchen and dining area and that’s where the workers lived. The bunkhouse was an open area and there were cots for the workers. There was no privacy, so they had a couple of nails on the wall to hang their clothes and they put their personal belongings under the cots.

The next relative to come to this country was Luigi Edano. Papa was born in Italy on August 22, 1889. Papa always told us he was born in Murialdo, but the ships’ passenger list when he immigrated to the United States shows a different place of birth. Papa was an orphan and did not know his mother or father. His first home was the orphanage, from there he was passed from foster home to foster home and finally ended up with the Armario family who already had 11 children. There was no room for him in the sleeping quarters of the homestead, so he slept with the farm animals in the space where the straw is stored. His childhood was very rough, his foster father did not treat him very well. His foster mother was a little more compassionate and tried to help him as much as she could, but she had 11 other children to take care of. He received very little schooling and when he came to the United States, he could not read or write and barely could sign his name. There was no play time for him, he worked constantly doing any kind of work he could find, and he was able to save enough money for a third class or a storage passage on a ship to the United States.

Papa left Italy in 1911, the port of deportation was Le Havre, France. He left Le Havre, France on March 19, 1911 aboard the SS Chicago, arrived in New York on March 31, 1911 and the ships’ manifest showed his destination as 218 Broadway Street, San Francisco and his sponsor was Carlo Odella. He, as all of the other immigrants, entered through the processing center at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. 3rd class and storage passengers were inspected in the main building on Ellis Island. Immigrants were told to leave their belongings, luggage and other things at a designated location before beginning the processing. Papa had two suitcases, one contained his clothes, the other contained salami, cheese, and other edibles he was bringing to his friends at the Lyman Gardens. The suitcase containing the food was stolen.

The immigration inspectors usually spoke English and interpreters were provided. Papa was fortunate, his processing officer spoke Italian. They were asked a series of questions, occupation, who is meeting you, who paid your passage, have you been in prison? Questions on your physical condition also were asked and doctors were there to observe new arrivals for obvious ailments. Papa passed medical and other requirements and was tagged for shipment to San Francisco. He was put on a train to Chicago, from there on another train to San Francisco. In San Francisco, he was met by his friend and sponsor and spent the night there. I have to go to another …

Susanne Salvestrin: That’s okay. You take your time.

Mary Edano: With directions from his Italian friends in San Francisco, he left the next morning, April 9, 1911 on his final leg of his journey: San Francisco to the Lyman Gardens located just north of St. Helena. Papa got off the train in Napa thinking it was St. Helena.  When the train started to leave the station, he realized he should have remained on board. He tried to stop the train, but it kept on going, he chased after it but couldn’t catch up with it. He noticed a strange looking individual not far from the railroad tracks with a long braid of hair down his back and a live chicken under his arm.

In his very best Italian, Papa asked him for directions to get to the Lyman Gardens. Papa didn’t understand a word he said, there were a lot of Chinese living in Napa, so it was probably one of the Chinese inhabitants there. Papa continued to follow the railroad tracks north and came to what was known as Union Station and, luckily, found a man working in a prune orchard who spoke Italian. He helped Papa flag down the next train going north and Papa finally made it to his destination.

Papa worked at the Lyman Garden for several years, then he and his foster brother, who had come to this country in 1912, purchased a ranch west of Silverado Trail near the Tomagni Holdings in Calistoga. They operated the ranch in partnership for five years and then sold it and Uncle Charlie then bought a ranch in the back of the old Walsh property, about two and a half miles north of Calistoga on Greenwood Lane. He resided there until 1953, a year prior to his death, and the main crop on Uncle Charlie’s ranch was prunes. This is kind of confusing because I had pictures that were showing them

Susanne Salvestrin: Right. Right. You’re talking about his foster brother, Uncle Charlie.

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: That’s his foster brother that —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — had come in 1912 and he also started at the Lyman Gardens.

Susanne Salvestrin: Okay.

Mary Edano: So, the pictures that we showed on the video had the 50-pound wooden boxes that were used for picking the prunes and the grapes and the walnuts that my uncle had on his property.  We remember picking prunes for Mr. Fredericks, our neighbor on Zinfandel Lane. We were paid $.05 for picking a 50 pound box of prunes.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: And Papa purchased a small house in the city limits of Calistoga and worked for many ranchers in the area including the Nolasco,  Barberi, Saviez, Pocai, Pelissa, Ghisolfo, and Frediani families and others. I can’t remember all of them but some of his very close friends were Dominco and Gilda Barberi.  They also came from Murialdo, the same town, and they had a ranch in Calistoga.

Susanne Salvestrin: And this was before your dad married?

Mary Edano: Oh, yes.

Susanne Salvestrin: Yes.

Mary Edano: This is all before my dad married. Well, in the year 1917, no in April 1917, the United States under President Woodrow Wilson entered WWI, all eligible men register for the draft including non-citizens.  My father at that time was a non-citizen and he registered in Calistoga on June 5, 1917 and we have a copy of his registration cards and it shows that his age was 27, an alien from Italy  His occupation was farmer, he was self-employed, single with no dependents. In the year 1920, and the president was Republican Warren Harding, Papa and a friend Enrico Rossetti purchased 11.74 acres on Whitehall Lane about four miles south of St. Helena and we have the original hand-written certificate of title covering a period between December 21, 1878 to June 18, 1884.  The certificate continues on from June 1884 to December 23, 1920 and some of it was hand-written and some of it was typed. This is, I’m trying to read this, but this was a narrative for our video —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — and so, but it was interesting to read that a Mr. Hardcoff who was deeded the property in 1878, granted an agreement to lay water pipes across the southernly corner of the 11.74-acre parcel and the right of the owner of the parcel to draw water from pipes not to exceed 420 gallons in any one week or 60 gallons a day. I remember that Papa had a 3,000-gallon used wine tank to collect water from the water pipes just described. There was no measuring device, in the winter and the spring, the water tank was always filled with water, but in the summer and fall, the mountain springs dried up.  Papa had to start the big old gasoline pump to draw water from our well which was just a hand dug well, 35 feet deep. January 5, 1921 Papa purchased, he bought out his partners share of the property and, no, this is when the property was purchased. I’m going to get it confused here —

Susanne Salvestrin: That’s okay. That’s all right.

Mary Edano: Well, the property on Whitehall Lane was purchased from L.N. Dunn and his wife Lola Edith Dunn and H.C. Dunn and his wife Cornelia Dunn for $2,800. And we have the state and county tax statement for the year 1920, the total tax was $102.83, and the statement indicates the property was bounded on the north by Meyer, on the east by Niebaum, the south by Parker, and the west by Clement. We do not remember the Parkers or the Clement’s.  I remember Meyer and Niebaum and Fredricks was our neighbor to the west and Stillson, our neighbor to the south.

In 1921, Mama leaves mother and father and two brothers and two sisters in Italy to join a brother and sister in St. Helena. Port of departure was Napoli and she came here aboard the Dante Alighieri and arrived in New York on November 10, 1921. Mama enters the United States through the immigration center at Ellis Island as did the other immigrants that came before her. She was 21 years of age, like Papa, Mama was lucky to have an immigration officer who spoke Italian. She too was labeled and tagged for shipment to San Francisco.

At the train depot in Chicago, she had her first taste of American food. She bought something to eat from the vendors that lined the train station. She disliked what she bought.  Years later she discovered what she had purchased was a banana and a slice of mincemeat pie. Mama was introduced to Papa and she knew him in Italy but not too well.  But anyway she met him here and they were married in Napa on December 19, 1921 and we have their marriage certificate. The marriage certificate states that Louis Edano, native of Italy, age 32 and a resident of St. Helena, County of Napa and Josephine Franco, native of Italy, age 21, a resident of St. Helena, County of Napa, color white, said parties being of sufficient age to be capable of contracting marriage and witnesses were Enrico Rosetti and Rosa Calleri, signed by the justice of peace, Napa, California. They were also married in a Catholic church but we’re not sure if it was St. Johns or St. Helena Catholic Church.

In the year 1922, Enrico Rosetti sold his interest in the property on Whitehall Lane to Papa. On October 18, 1922, the first Edano child is born. She is named Rose Severina. Rosie, as she was called, was born at home with Dr. O’Connor coming to the house for the delivery and of course Josephina Pensa was there. She lived here in St. Helena and she was kind of a midwife and she helped my mother as she helped other new mothers in the area here.

Susanne Salvestrin: No. You take your time. That’s okay. It’s nice that you have it written down because it helps. It’s very hard to remember if you don’t have things written down.

Mary Edano: Yeah, but I didn’t get this organized, I should have re-written it.

Susanne Salvestrin: It doesn’t matter. No, it does not matter.

Mary Edano: Papa had an automobile and a lot of people didn’t have an automobile, but he did have an automobile, a second-hand one.   I don’t know what make it was, but it had a black canvas top and side panels that could be snapped on during the rainy seasons. It had to be cranked to be started and when the canvas top wore out, Papa removed it.

Now we had an open-air taxi. On rainy mornings, Mama would tell Papa to drive the children to the bus stop. We would say, “Oh, we don’t need a ride, we can walk,” but Mama insisted. Rose, Johnny and I would get in the back seat all holding on to one big black umbrella while Papa sat in the front, driving without any protection from the weather. We always got to the bus stop before the bus got there, we would tell Papa, we could get out an wait for the bus and you could go home, “Oh, no”, he would say, “You stay right there under that umbrella until the bus comes”.

When we boarded the bus, there was laughing and smart remarks.  It was so embarrassing, but that was the way in the good old days. On March 14, 1924 a second child is born. Another daughter, the second daughter is named Mary Louise. Mary was born at home with Dr. O’Connor coming to the house for the delivery. Dr. O’Connor had a little drinking problem and when he filled out the birth certificate, he wrote the name Mary Louise Nero instead of Mary Louise Edano.

Luckily, he had the mother and father’s name correct, otherwise, we would not have been able to find the birth certificate. On April 21, 1925, a child is lost in the woods. The lost child was two and a half year-old Rosie and then here I’ll read what the article was.

Susanne Salvestrin: In the article, we’ll include that.

Mary Edano: So, on December 17, 1925 the third child is born. A son named John Nate. Johnny was also born at home. Dr. O’Connor and Josephina Pensa were there for the birth. On October 18, 1926, on Rose’s 4th birthday, Papa buys 10 acres of land from Anna Rogers.  The parcel is a portion of the former Galleron ranch and is located at the end of Galleron Lane about one mile north of Rutherford. The price was $3500 for 10 acres of prime vineyard land. On January 15, 1927, Papa leases three acres of property he recently purchased on Galleron to our uncle Louis Franco.  Our uncle used that property to raise vegetables and he sold his vegetables to the grocery store in Rutherford that was run by the Bosettis.  He also sold to grocery stores in town. One was Rossi and Anderson and I don’t know what the other ones were.

Rose Taylor: What are we talking about? I’m sorry.

Mary Edano: About Uncle Louis’s vegetable garden.

Rose Taylor: Oh. Yeah.

Mary Edano: On January 15, 1930 the fourth child is born. Livia Jenny, the fourth child was born at home with Dr. George Wood and Josephina Pensa there. Mama’s favorite name for a girl was Livia and Papa’s favorite name for a girl was Jenny so, the name Livia Jenny. When the child was baptized, the priest said Livia and Jenny were not Catholic names, both Mama and Papa were very disappointed and couldn’t come up with another name in the spur of the moment, so the priest named the baby Anita. He said that was a good Italian name.

Mary starts school at age six. This is the first-grade class pictures and I don’t have –. She could not speak English, so she spent two years in the first grade. The Ursuline sisters of the Elmhurst Academy taught catechism at the church. Catechism classes were held after school, so Rose and Mary walked about four miles home after catechism. The Elmhurst Academy occupied the area where the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Robert Lewis Stevenson School are now located. The year is 1932, this and the next year are the worst years of the Great Depression. Papa works at more than one job at very low wages, 15 to 20 cents an hour to support his family. Sunday is always a church and company day.

There was a lot of “doom and gloom” in the 1930’s, but the people found a way to laugh and have fun. Friends would drop by on Sundays.  We always had company on Sunday and they would just pop in. They wouldn’t, you know, let you know beforehand, but my mother would always add some water to the broth and so, every Sunday we had a large crowd. We have some pictures here that show, you know, everybody that was there.  There was a group from Crockett that would come. One played the mandolin, one played the accordion and one played the guitar, so we had music, food, and wine.

Rose Taylor: And when they sang, they harmonized so good. I used to love to listen to them. And they played Bocce ball, but not on a regular court.

Mary Edano: So, this one I have is, you know, describing the different people that are shown in those pictures. Well, I don’t know if I should read all of this, but —

Susanne Salvestrin: What is it about?

Mary Edano: It’s about when President Roosevelt took over and the banks were closed and —

Susanne Salvestrin: Well, I’m going to ask you, this is all taken from your video that you have?

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: If you would like to let us look at that video together and decide whether that would be something that we could copy and have also because to me, it sounds like your video is just absolutely awesome. So, but it’s, you also said there’s lots of personal things on it.

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: So, I don’t know if you mean they’re personal things you don’t want anybody to see or if it’s —

Mary Edano: No. It wouldn’t be of interest.

Susanne Salvestrin: — just that you think that we would. Oh, but that’s not true. Because everything you have said so far is exactly what we want to hear. What it was like here in that day and you’re telling us that.

So, maybe later when we’re done here, not, we won’t do it today but another time, we could look at that and see if that’s something because when we have events, sometimes now the 160th Catholic Church Anniversary is coming up, that might be something that would be nice to see because you are so our church to have on a Power Point for people to be able to see as an anniversary type thing because that’s a very wonderful thing. So, we’ll talk about that but, I don’t need to, we can skip by the president thing right now —

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: — but, and go more toward your family stuff but that is something we can talk about.

Mary Edano: Okay. Yeah, I should have re-written this and left out all that stuff —

Susanne Salvestrin: No. No, no, no, no, no that, no, no, you don’t have to.

Mary Edano: — but I didn’t have time to do that. Well, prohibition officially terminated on December 5, 1933 and Louis Martini, you know there’s not too much said about him, but he was one of the first ones to start something after prohibition, you know, after the Depression and that helped the community here. Louis Martini, an Italian immigrant, moves his wine making operation to St. Helena, builds a winery and begins to acquire vineyards and the future of the wine business is beginning to look better.  My father got a job working in his vineyard and it was a life saver because it was really rough at that time and I’m not sure how much he was paid an hour, but it was better than any other job he had and I remember his first boss was the vineyard manager. I don’t know if he also managed the winery. He was Plinio Morisoli and we feel that the Martini’s really helped out and very little is said about them.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right. Right.

Mary Edano: We don’t have too many pictures because we didn’t have a camera, but we collected green stamps.  They were given out by different stores here in St. Helena. So, Rose talked Mama into getting her a camera by using books of the S & H Green Stamps and some of the photos that were taken were taken with that little box camera. We’d like to tell you about our little dog Blackie.

Susanne Salvestrin: I think you should.

Mary Edano: Our first dog was Fannie and, of course, we don’t remember that and that’s the dog that Rose followed when she got lost. So, they got rid of the dog, but then my father got another puppy and we named him Blackie.  He really took care of the kids. He was so attached to us that I remember one time Johnny, our brother, did something wrong.  My mother said, wait until your father comes home and I’m going to tell him and you’re going to be punished.  Papa came home and Mama told him about what Johnny did.  Papa grabbed the razor strap hanging on the pantry wall and Johnny took off running towards the orchard with Papa behind him. Blackie didn’t like what was going on and ran after Papa and bit him on the leg.  Blackie’s actions stunned everyone and Johnny was spared the whipping!

Another time: We ate a lot of bread so, we had five, no, we had three bakery trucks delivering bread to our place and I remember my mother would send us out and say, will you get five loaves of French bread, and the fellow that drove the bakery wagon would say, are you sure, you better go back and make sure it’s five loaves, yup, my brother would go out, yup, five loaves of bread and one driver, he was from the St. Helena Bakery was very, very nice.  He would give us a stale cookie or other bakery goodies.  Sometimes he would play around with us. Well, Blackie didn’t like that, so he bit the bakery truck driver on the leg.

Rose Taylor: Was that Louis Parnesari.

Mary Edano: No, it wasn’t Louis Parnesari. So, the next time and from there on, he wouldn’t get out of the truck. He’d have everything ready and give it to us through the window.  No more goodies for us kids. On Sundays, we would always have chicken, because we couldn’t afford to buy meat and we had chickens. They ran around loose.  We had a hen house but they ran around loose.  So, how do you catch a chicken for Sunday? My mother would tell Blackie, ‘Blackie, we need that chicken for Sunday’.  Blackie would chase it, wouldn’t kill it or hurt it and if it would get away from him my mother would say, ‘that’s okay we’ll wait until later’. He wouldn’t forget, he would get that chicken and get it to my mother in time for Sunday dinner.

Susanne Salvestrin: That’s amazing.

Mary Edano: Yeah. Yeah, and we had chicken hawks that would come and get the chickens and he knew the chicken hawks and he would bark and bark and bark and he just wouldn’t let them land. He protected the chickens. Blackie was with us on all of the hiking trips that we took when we were youngsters. He was always with us.  No matter where we went, Blackie was there. He walked us down to catch the bus and then he’d be there in the afternoon to walk us home.

Susanne Salvestrin: That’s amazing.

Mary Edano: He was, he was —

Susanne Salvestrin: He was your dog.

Mary Edano: Oh, yeah. My mother loved animals, but she didn’t want them in the house. We had cats and dogs, we had a bunch of cats and dogs, but not in the house.   We were all born at home except Louise, Louise was born in the hospital.   So when she came home from the hospital, Blackie would whine and cry and get up on the window of the kitchen outside and look in to see. My mother didn’t know what was going on with him. She said, ‘Blackie, you want to meet the new family member?’  She brought him into the house and he smelled the crib.  My mother put the baby down close to him and he spent a few minutes with her.  He left very happy to have met the new member of the family that he had to take care of.

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, for goodness sakes.

Mary Edano: And sometimes, at dinner times, my father would say, “Well, let Blackie in the house” and my father would give him some scraps from the table. Blackie didn’t feel comfortable, he knew my mother didn’t want him in there, so the first chance he’d get, he’d go back outside.

Susanne Salvestrin: Amazing. Wow.

Mary Edano: So, I think that’s, this is kind of hard, I think —

Susanne Salvestrin: That’s all Whitehall, Whitehall Lane.

Mary Edano: — yeah, this is all Whitehall. Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: So, what prompted him to come here on Inglewood? What happened?

Mary Edano: Well, when he, like I said, it was getting too difficult for him to work the property —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — because he had to use the horse and plow —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — and at that time they didn’t have tractors that they could use on the hillsides —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — so, he decided that it was just too difficult so, he put it up for sale. No buyers, this was 1948 – 1949, no buyers. He advertised nationally, still no buyers and so, finally two friends of his from Oakland, I think they did it just to help my father out. They said, well, we don’t want the 11 acres but if you could divide it into smaller sections, we would be interested.  We could build a house and come up in the summer time or come up when we retire. So, he did that. He broke it up into three parcels and we always had the hope of going back, you know, Rose and the children, you know, —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — and then after that happened, you know, we thought, it’s not the same —

Susanne Salvestrin: It’s not the same.

Mary Edano: — It’s not the same place that we were raised and so that really kind of broke our hearts. It was a beautiful place, it had five huge live oak trees, they were beautiful, they were my father’s pride and joy.   After he subdivided the property, the larger piece that had the house on it was sold to someone from Napa. The name was Ferrario.   His wife bought the place because of the trees, she loved the trees and then she passed away. Her husband sold it to somebody else and the first thing they did was cut down all the trees. So, then we thought, oh, we’ll never go back. It was, I don’t know, maybe because it was our home, I don’t know, but —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — it was just —

Susanne Salvestrin: Your growing up place.

Mary Edano: — a special —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — special place for us. In the springtime we would get on the front porch and you could look out to a sea of white because all the prune orchards were in bloom and you could hear this constant buzzing of the bees getting the nectars from the blossoms. It was just kind of a constant buzz, but it was so beautiful —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — it was just all white and the scent of the blossoms, it was really something —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — and, I don’t know, there was so much about that place and across the road, the property belonged to Niebaums.  He was related to John Daniels and John Daniels, took over. But before John Daniels took it over, when Niebaums had it, the place was just a grazing area for horses and cows.  It was fenced in, but we would get under the fence and go out into the field and collect obsidian, the arrow heads —

Susanne Salvestrin: The arrowheads.

Mary Edano: — oh, there were millions of them there and then beyond that was a, just a pile of dirt and a fireplace that was still sticking up in there.   And there were pear trees and apple trees and we knew there was a house there. And we knew it wasn’t burnt because there was this kind of mound of adobe dirt so, we couldn’t figure out what it was.  Mr. Meyers, our neighbor, tried to tell us, but we were kids, we didn’t know what he was talking about. But anyway, it was a great place to play and there were all of these fruit trees and quince, oh, there was a lot of quince and there was a little stream, a little creek that ran right near there.  We used to play there and there was a ditch along the south of our property and we would collect pollywogs in a coffee cans and take them home and watch them turn into frogs.

Susanne Salvestrin: To frogs.

Rose Taylor: Can I insert something?

Susanne Salvestrin: Yes.

Rose Taylor: A lot of people use to go over there and look for Indian artifacts.

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Rose Taylor: I don’t know why but we did have a mortar and a —

Susanne Salvestrin: Pestle?

Rose Taylor: — we should have brought it here but —

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, you didn’t.

Rose Taylor: — we left it over at the other place.

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, okay.

Mary Edano: Then we found out that that’s where Mr. Bale —

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, right. That was his home there.

Mary Edano: — that was his first home —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — there and that’s probably what it was —

Susanne Salvestrin: It was, right.

Mary Edano: There was a huge fig tree, it was mission figs, it was a huge tree and the best figs and then next to that there was an oak tree and way up, maybe 25 feet up, there was a bee hive and in the summer time the honey would drip from the tree so, we’d bring a pan over and leave it sit overnight. The next morning we’d go over and bring home a pan of clean, golden honey.

Susanne Salvestrin: Didn’t even have to go up to the hive.

Mary Edano: No, no. It would just drip down from there.

Rose Taylor: Oh, you asked us before too, what did we remember being on a place. Well, we used to do a lot of the work ‘cause when my dad used to work eight hours a day.  We’d pick up the brush after he pruned, we helped burn it, we picked grapes, we picked prunes, so we helped take care of the ranch while we were over there.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right, right.

Mary Edano: Yeah, we picked prunes for our neighbor, Mr. Fredericks who was behind us. He had a large ranch. I think Wheelers had the property east of his, but he had a lot of acreage. He had prunes and walnuts and grapes, but his main thing was chickens, the white leghorn chickens. One of the chicken houses was right behind us. Right behind our house and there he had all of the roosters and they were so mean. If one of them got out, boy, if we saw them we ran into the house because he’d chase you. My uncle, Marco Calleri and his wife Rosa Calleri, lived on the property and worked for Mr. Fredericks.

Rose Taylor: And during war time all of these people didn’t have any workers because the men were gone to war, so we had to help pick the prunes.  During the war time, because my family were Italians, they were restricted from going so far. They took my father’s shotgun, they never returned it

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Rose Taylor: — you know, so, and then we had to use food stamps.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right. And you had, I remember seeing Noni’s, you have to have this little paper, travel pass if you wanted to go somewhere —

Rose Taylor: Right, yeah, right.

Mary Edano: Yeah, we had —

Susanne Salvestrin: — that said you could, right.

Mary Edano: Yeah, we had, my father had little cabins, and, in the barn, he made, like, two or three apartments for his friends that needed a place to stay. All old Italian men, single men and we had one man, his name was Carlo —

Rose Taylor: I forgot his last name for now.

Mary Edano: — but anyway, he looked Japanese, he did, and he would go to do his grocery shopping in Rutherford at the Bosetti’s store because they were Italians and he said there was some comments made that, you know, he was Japanese and so, from then on he wouldn’t go shopping anymore, my father would have to shop for him because, you know, the Japanese were put in concentration camps…

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — so, it was.

Susanne Salvestrin: It’s a touchy time.

Mary Edano: Yeah. Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right. So, after Whitehall —

Mary Edano: We came here.

Susanne Salvestrin: — you came here?

Rose Taylor: Mary, did you say where Papa used to work for Martini on the farm over there —

Mary Edano: Yes.

Rose Taylor: — and then also in the winery —

Susanne Salvestrin: And in the winery too.

Rose Taylor: — and then over at Golden State, I guess it was called.

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, okay. All right.

Mary Edano: No, it was the Co-op.

Susanne Salvestrin: The Co-op, the Co-op.

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Rose Taylor: That was something to see, all those trucks lined up.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right, right. Did you know the Salvestrin family? Did your parents —

Mary Edano: We knew Emma —

Rose Taylor: Emma.

Mary Edano: — because she was —

Rose Taylor: Not Mr. so much but –

Susanne Salvestrin: Emma.

Rose Taylor: — what was her name?

Susanne Salvestrin: Emma.

Rose Taylor: Emma, yeah, because she belonged to the ICF and —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Rose Taylor: And I went to school with Nelly.

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, I was going to ask you if you went to school with Nelly.

Rose Taylor: She was one year older than, well, maybe not older because I had to stay back —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Rose Taylor: — but she was year —

Susanne Salvestrin: She was one year older because when she died this year, she was 92.

Rose Taylor: Yeah, see, I graduated in 1941 and I think she graduated a couple of years or maybe before I did..

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Rose Taylor: Right.

Susanne Salvestrin: So, I saw at Vineland school, she was in the register for that in the second grade.

Rose Taylor: Oh, she was.

Susanne Salvestrin: In 1927, right, she was at Vineland school, but she didn’t speak English either —

Rose Taylor: Right.

Susanne Salvestrin: — when she started school.

Rose Taylor: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: So, what prompted your dad to come to this property or did he buy here or no?

Mary Edano: Yeah, he finally, well, he was planning to move from over there because he couldn’t, it was too hard for him.  So he was a member of the Napa Valley co-op and at one point they were financially not doing too well, so they decided they would start selling some of the property and he was a member, so he was given, you know, first choice and he bought this property here.

Susanne Salvestrin: So, the co-op owned —

Mary Edano: All of it —

Susanne Salvestrin: — all from —

Mary Edano: — all of this —

Susanne Salvestrin: — all of this all the way down to where the co-op is, was?

Rose Taylor: All of it.

Mary Edano: There was no building, it was all vineyard right to —

Susanne Salvestrin: It was all vineyard?

Mary Edano: — all vineyard to Highway 29.

Rose Taylor: There was no buildings, no nothing.

Mary Edano: No buildings, it was all vineyard.

Susanne Salvestrin: Wow, I didn’t realize that.

Mary Edano: It was all vineyard, yeah, to Highway 29 and then they started selling along the highway and I remember Bill Harrington bought some of the property and he had a nursery there. This is after we had moved here, then it changed, and Tripoli got it and I don’t know. So, anyway, I forgot what I was going to say now. Anyway, he bought this from the Napa Valley co-op and then he wanted, across the street when we moved here, across the street was all grapes also —

Susanne Salvestrin: Okay.

Mary Edano: — and so, he wanted to buy that property. It belonged to Del Agostino, another Italian family, and he was up in years and it was hard for him to take care of the place and his children weren’t interested in it, so he was going to sell it for $17,000 and my father wanted to buy it. He wouldn’t sell it to my father, for some reason, I don’t know. So, he sold it to Dean Turner, the —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — the moving thing —

Susanne Salvestrin: Right.

Mary Edano: — and before we moved here someone by the name of Smith bought the corner here, where the wine tasting is now —

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh, right. Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — they bought that and built frozen food lockers —

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh.

Mary Edano: — right at a bad time because that’s when home freezers were coming in —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Mary Edano: — and so, they went bankrupt. So, the Bank of America took it over and they put it up for auction and so, the president of the bank, Paul Alexander, knew all these immigrants, you know, he helped them with, he was very good —

Susanne Salvestrin: He helped my in-laws too.

Mary Edano: — so, anyway, he called my dad because he knew my dad had purchased this adjoining property, so he asked my dad if he would be interested in it, he could put in a bid and my father said, no.   There was the house that was connected to the building and my father said, I don’t want the building, but I would be interested in the house, and he says, no, we can’t break it up, it’s just so.  But there were no takers, so finally Paul Alexander called back and says well, we can’t seem to get rid of it, so we are going to sub-divide it and the house will be separate, if you want to put a bid on that.  Then Dean Turner put a bid on the building.  He didn’t want the house, so my father got the house. He was the only one that put in the bid for $7,000, and he could have put a lower bid because he would’ve gotten it.   So, that’s how we got here.

Susanne Salvestrin: Got here.

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: And that was 19 —

Rose Taylor: And then he asked if he bought the property, would we build a house, that’s how I got here.

Susanne Salvestrin: Oh.

Rose Taylor: And then he has more property that he bought from Driscoll —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Rose Taylor: — on Tokay —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Rose Taylor: — and on Inglewood —

Susanne Salvestrin: Uh-huh.

Rose Taylor: — after, they bought that after he came here, huh?

Mary Edano: Yeah. For someone that couldn’t even write his name, yeah.

Rose Taylor: He believed in investing in property.

Susanne Salvestrin: He was smart.

Mary Edano: Yeah. And he could, you know, he was a jack of all trades but a master of none, but he was willing to do anything, you know, —

Rose Taylor: He couldn’t write, couldn’t figure out, but he could get it done.

Mary Edano: Yeah, he could, in his mind, he would measure and if you want him to build something, and he built a lot of things, not really good but he could figure in his head how much lumber he would need and how much cement he would need and I don’t know how he did it, but he did.

Susanne Salvestrin: Amazing. Sounds great.

Rose Taylor: Now, we hear our life story.

Susanne Salvestrin: Right. Well, it’s a wonderful life story and that’s not the end of it because we haven’t even gotten to you two, you know, so, but —

Mary Edano: Yeah.

Susanne Salvestrin: — I am going to, it’s already quarter to twelve so, are you getting tired? I mean, we can, let’s see if I can figure out how to stop this.