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atteo Povinelli, my grandfather, first came to the US in 1903 from Carisolo.

He was 18 and had already experienced more than most. At the age of 12 he had been sent off with an older man to Innsbruck to learn a trade. After a short period of time he ran away from his master and walked back to Carisolo. In order to cross the Brenner Pass without being picked up by authorities guarding the pass, he took the rim of a wagon wheel and used a stick to roll it as if he was playing with a hoop. By the time he came to America he had become a moleti or grinder. Settling in the NY area, he acquired a mola, the traditional grinders push cart, and began plying his trade in Hoboken and Weehauken, NJ. Between 1903 and 1921 he made another 2 trips back to Carisolo. In 1912 he married Maria Vanzo in Carisolo. In 1922 my grandmother was finally able to join her husband in the US, and in 1922 she arrived in NY with their three children, Theresa (8), Lena (my mother 2), and Louis (an infant). Many years later it was determined that the kind man who carried Lena down the gangplank off the ship that day turned out to be my paternal grandfather, Pietro Christe, who came to America on the same voyage. The Povinellis settled in West New York, NJ and had 4 more children, Raymond, Inez, Anne, and Marie. Growing up and surviving the Depression was difficult, but grandpop always provided and frequently brought food home that was given to Maria and Matteo Povinelli him in payment for grinding services. He was a generous man and often sent Louis with a package of food to the large family across the street. Once, when a son asked Louis about this story, he responded with, Of course we helped them; what the hell do you think wed do; the Povinellis are good people.

Family Stories: The Povinellis

Anne married Rudolph Maffei, a grinder whose family was from Carisolo. Marie married Herbert Haas, a police chief from West New York. In all, the seven Povinelli children had 24 children. Among these grandchildren the following occupations were embraced: grinders, teachers, business owners, entrepreneurs, home makers, army officers, school superintendents, bankers, TV directors, dental technicians, designers, photographers, emergency medical techs, and firefighters. We all are still immensely proud of our heritage and remember the many family gatherings for polenta dinners with canederlie, venison stews, and all the fixings of our people. The men singing the old Tyrolean songs was always a highlight of those events.

I should note here that 110 years after my grandfather Matteo began his grinding business from a pushcart, then to horse and wagon, then to truck, M.Povinelli and Sons is still a viable business being run by Louiss sons, Matthew and Paul. Rudolphs son, Michael Maffei still runs the grinding business begun by his father, and Jeff DiSimone still runs the grinding business begun by his father in law Henry Cristoferetti. Though I did not become a professional grinder, many happy hours were spent working summers and spending vacations at my uncles shop learning about the cutlery business and being taught mechanics skills by my Uncle Raymond. My cousins and I frequently talk about how brave our grandparents were to embark on a new life in a new The seven Povinelli children all married in America. country. We also never fail to remember the wonderful Theresa married Alex Maganzini, a grinder and master experience it was to grow up in a family with such a hislocksmith from Giustino. Lena married Mariano Christe, tory. The Tyrolean heritage is unique and wonderful. To an accountant from Lasino. Louis married Ruth Carter, a be part of it is a source of pride, an honor, and a blessnurse from Brooklyn. Raymond married Ada Turri, ing enjoyed by few. The Povinelli story demonstrates a whose family was from Pinzolo. Inez married Henry beautiful and rich success story. Written by Ronald Christe` Easton. Maryland Cristoferetti, a grinder whose family was from Avio. 11

L to R: Lena, Inez, Raymond, Marie, Grandmom Maria, Louis, Theresa and Anne