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y name is Narcisso Dominick Ambrosi. I was born in Carisolo (Carisol), Italy in March 1930.

I was named after my twin brother and sister who died about two years before I was born. His name was Narcisso and her name was Dominica thus my name. Today, everyone calls me Nick. My father and mother brought me to America in 1932 with my two older brothers. I believe it was on the SS Roma. My father, Guido had been here in America from about 1915, working as a knife grinder or moleta. All four of my fathers brothers were also moletas. I am also one of five brothers and together our first initials spell out G-R-I-N-D (Gus, Remo, Italo, Nick and Dino). I dont know if my parents planned it out that way but it is somewhat funny how that worked out! We made several trips back and forth between Italy and America when I was growing up. In 1939, my mother and two younger brothers and I all went back to Italy on the Rex. I won the bobbing for apples contest and earned the title of Biggest Mouth! We stayed with my Grandma Virginia Maestri when we got there and saw firsthand how the war was affecting families. My grandfather was in England under arrest because he was an Austrian born in Carisol. We were to come back in September but Hitler invaded Poland and no ships were leaving so we stayed until November. During the war, my brother Bill served in the Pacific and my brother Gus served in Europe. Even though I was a young boy, my uncle and I had to take over their knife grinding delivery routes while they were away. Eventually, I met and got married to my wonderful wife Cynthia . She was from Mount Vernon, New York. I got drafted into the Army

Family Stories: The Ambrosis

and did my boot camp at Camp Chafee in Fort Smith, Arkansas which is long way from the Bronx! During the Korean War, I served as a forward observer nd then chief switch board operator. I left the 69 Field Artillery in 1953 with the Korean Service Metal W/3 Bronze Service Star.

My wife, Cynthia and I settled down in northern New Jersey. I opened a little shop in Denville where I repaired lawn mowers, sharpened saws and of course carried on the moleta tradition and had a knife grinding route. I also learned the locksmithing trade which added to my successful small business. In 1962, I had a two story building constructed that had my shop/store on the first floor called Master Grinding and Security, and a spacious three bedroom apartment upstairs. This is where Cynthia and I happily raised our five children, Gerard, Michael, James, Christopher and Catherine. Many years have gone by and I have since retired from business. One of my sons did carry on the family business of locksmithing and even is a fourth generation moleta with a small knife grinding route. I have had the pleasure of traveling back to the old country over the years. One memorable trip and the most recent, was in 1993 when my wife and I went with two of our sons and their wives to Europe. We were fortunate to travel to Carisol and visit with relatives there. They loved seeing the beautiful country there and the warm friendly faces. It was a great opportunity to have my grown children see where their roots come from. I have enjoyed recalling my Italian heritage and how it has influenced my life and family in so many ways. Thank you for letting me share it with you. Written by Narcisio Ambrosi, Denville, NJ.

The Ambrosi Brothers: Gus, Remo, Italo, Nick & Dino


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