By Richard Valeriote
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Extra resources for Alice Street: A Memoir
So I dutifully enrolled in the industrial program. I disassembled a car engine, worked on a lathe, built wooden furniture, and wired a miniature house. Toward the end of the first year, my brother, Mike, who had earned a teaching degree in college and played professional football, came home for a visit. When he found out I had enrolled in the industrial program, he scowled. ” he asked. His apparent disapproval caught me off guard. ” Mike ﬂew out of the chair and stormed out of the house, headed for the store.
There were about a dozen sacks in the pile each week, and I noticed that she only looked at the ones on the top and then ﬂipped the pile to look at one or two on the bottom. After that I hid the sacks with holes in the middle of the pile. My revenue from this weekly trip averaged about a dollar, which I turned over to my mother for safekeeping. Occasionally I would use the money to buy a live Plymouth Rock hen from one of the farmers to take home. My mother would ooh and aah and praise me for choosing such a nice fat hen.
My mother told me this story later, recalling that the poor nurse was more distraught than she, who had by then become familiar with the fragility of life. She said she comforted the nurse, assuring her that the accident had been “Dio lo vuole” – God’s will. ” “Dio lo vuole” slipped off her tongue frequently, no matter how terrible or trivial life’s twists and turns. If someone died, it was God’s will. If there was an earthquake, tsunami, conﬂagration, tornado, ﬂood, deluge, or drought, my mother declared it God’s will.