Title: Interview with Multiple (November 16, 1984)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006525/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Multiple (November 16, 1984)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: November 16, 1984
Spatial Coverage: 12057
Hillsborough County (Fla.) -- History.
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006525
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Hillsborough' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: HILL 48

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Full Text

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Interviewee: Lazzara/Nuccio V g/
Interviewed Gary Mormino ai " f-e C \` '
Date: -;.(ftrflt i n-tcrvive ,-"

M: Today is Friday, November the sixteenth, 1984.

yk. Do you know if you were born in a hospital or did they use midwives at that time?

SAt that time, they used midwives, especially the Italian people. The., you know, I would

say Latin people. They all used midwives.


N: And they were, a lot of well-known midwives, one of them, her name was Lazzara.

^ =uh. <

SI think it was Angelina Lazzara. I am not sure. And another one was Mrs. Greco and any

time that you wanted to file a delayed birth record...

.^: ...if, she kept all the records.

That is what I wondered.

4: And that is one thing. In Jacksonville, as long as they would see an affadavit there, by

Mrs. Greco, that she delivered that per, there was no question, they would put you

on record right away. Because she was s, so honest and all of that and I remember she

used to live on Ninth Avenue near Fifteenth Street. Mrs. Greco.

M: Did they use any of the Sicilian rituals they brought over from the old country to deliver


,. .W. That I do not know. What rituals?

M: I mean, did they remove the or anything like that?

I do not know how. (Laughter). I never did know that. I could not tell you.

A" How late were the midwives still used by most Italian women?

Af -A.h, quite late. I remember as a, you knowJ-c a kid that a lot of the the babies were

born at home and had midwives, yot-knew. And at that time, the family doctors, you know.

Lt is not like. you dn nnt--fTrrd, you have a family doctor, but no ah home visits.

P5 Right.

Ad. Like one of the old timers here that a lot of people used very well know, was Dr. Bateri,


M: Uh-huh.

[^n And sh so he took care of a lot of Italian people.

'.- -Uh=-huh. -\

SSo, actually, in the transition from midwives to doctors...

/t: It was a gradual thing.

L Right.

4f? Andr no'.: irl n --

But since doctors made home visits you could still have your children at home.

X1 YT Yes.

M: Now, you and your your brothers and sisters were delivered by the midwives?

N: As far as I know, yes.

M: -tfK'uT. "

v X.' Now, that is a question that ah I cannot say really yes. The last one a+-born was my

brother John and -a in 1913.

4h-- TU'u7h.

#I Ad-A.Lh, so I think ah it must have been. I never did question that.

S That is right.

l Never did.

M: -_ C-r, interested in you the efa.family....

i) See, the thing is that my mother died at the age of thirty-three during that flu epidemic

and she left six children. I was ten years old. Had-l-beeFR had my mother lived a til

a ripe old age and I had been grown, I was still a kid, I think I would have learned a

lot from her, you know, but as it was...

f Were you all able to stay together after your mother died?

)I! Yes, oh yes. My oldest sister was sixteen.

." And ak4 a sixteen year old girl, at that time, was very mature.

: You know. So, she quit school. We were at the At Holy Name Academy. My father had us

all there. She quit school and she took care of us kids. My brother John was five years

old. And 'h she ran the whole thing. And no)it was not proper for kids to be home by

. ": ....themselves at that time. So, my grandmother, my father's mother, came and lived with

us. She could not do very much.

M: Was she from the old country?

S." No. No, s4w, my father was aj? five years old or six, when he came to this country and

the whole family came. And '1,- she was crippled. One of her legs was like this and she

walked with crutches. But it was the idea that we had an older person in the house. Se-,

and then when my older sister got married, then my sister who is now Mrs. Nuccio, she took

care of everything and it went down like that. Then she got married and left-a sister

who is up in New York. She was the longest taking care. I was the lazy one. I did not

do anything. I went to school. I graduated. I did not go to college, but then I worked

with my father for thirty-five years.

: Oh.

: And at I was the only one that really went and worked although my sister had a gift shop.
Mrs. Nuccio. She had T1, gifts and appliances.

M^^Ubhhtt /.

Si On a-E Seventh Avenue, between Sh Fourteen and Fifteen Street.

M: .JUhzh. /i4\

SWhen you worked for your father, was that in the insurance business?

Yes. Insurance and notary work and all of that.

M: Did any of your sisters work in the cigar factories?

..- No, no.

M: Brothers?

Z No. -:W- 4 r

M: But, your father did, for a brief time?

/_. But for a very short time. Yes, very short time.

M: ..Right. You were talking about your mother dying in the flu epidemic. Could you relate

any details about what Ybor City was like in 1918 during that?

L: Not, not really too much. You see, a*, at the age, in 1918, July, I think it was July

15, my aunt always wonders how I can remember dates. I remember the year, then I can

always figure. It was the around July 15, 1918, we moved away from Ybor City. My

father bought a beautiful home right on the corner of Seventh and Lamar and-s of course

1-4 has taken all of that now. And a-, my mother died three months after we moved into

that house. That was 1918. She was one of the first ones to get the flu in September

and then she had a relapse in October and she died October 25, 1918 and at that time, the

doctors could not handle that epidemic.

M: Was she at home or in a hospital?

L: Home.

M: Uh-huh.

L: Could not handle hat and a lot of them.

M: --4JlUhhuh-
L: But it hit,a-ahh did not hit the real old people. Right around the twenties and thirties

and forties. All these people.

\-W: A lot of young parents then. I mean a lot of parents who would have left children behind?

L: Ye4.

M: Do you remember people going around with masks on? Gauze masks on?


M: Mrs. Nuccio,Concetta Licata Nuccio has just joined us and Mrs. Lazarra and Nuccio, could

you tell me something about your families background? Both on your mother's and father's

;sides?, How they came to American and what their families did in Sicily?

L: Do-orw hat Grandpa"r--f at.did ab aJirtd-en- I do not either, would you believe

that I do not.

{loid o-fre know.

L: And I will tell you why. Because my grandfather picked up his family. My mother got

married in 1901.

MwU-" u F:uh.

L: And ab about three or four years after that- my grandfather Debetta did not like the kind

that we had here in Florida, he said it was too hot, so he sent his son, yo- kr "Go

L: ...west, young man." (Laiuhter) So, he goes to California and he wrote and told my

grandfather that the weather over there was so much nicer. It was not as hot as it was

here in Florida and so my grandfather picked up the rest of his family and my mother had

gotten married at the age of sixteen and a3-sh--a+-she stayed here of course and her

family left. But I do not know what he did. And as far as my_* grandfather Licata, I

do not know what he did in Italy. Do you? I never did find out, I never did ask.


N: Well, they were from different at, grandma was from Contessa de Lina and grandfather was

from a

L: Sanboca.

" M: Sanboca.

L: San bocarra.

,-M4--Ah-ther.. /

N: No, it was not Sanbocarra was it?

N: Yes, Sanbocarra.

L: Sanbocarra.

M: Not far from -ttr he a- so the contessa person was a then?

N: That is right.

M: Right, Albanian descent. Did they speak...


M: Non parlo Albanese.


N: She can speak it. I cannot.

L: You know, the thing is that-a-my grandmother passed away and I was still a kid but I had

this family that I used to go to and I loved the language. There was this fellow

Stt used to come to my to the office and I would say

He says, what do you say "How are you". And I loved the language and what little i learned

if I catch someone that will listen to me, I use it.

M: 4-th h. Did they, did the contessioti use that amongst themselves?


L: Very much so.

N: It is a slang of Greek, I think.

L Not a slang. I-t-is-ah.--what--$4-4--may--not, I do not think I not my history, but I always

heard that a lot of the Albanians that they fled the country many years ago and they most

of them settled in Compesatellina and so they mixed part of their language with part of

the Italian.


L: And-ah, but rti, I do not think it is anything like it. But that language really flourishe

in New Orleans.

M: Yes.

L: They even had ab=eh a short tabloid, a paper that would come out weekly and I managed to

read it sometimes, you know. But it was interesting, but over there more than here in

Tampa that they knew, they called it the Brish. The Brish.

M: Now, did they different?

L: You know what is?

N: Do you hear?

L: Do you hear? ? Do you understand? So, they call it ? A -

It means do you hear, do you understand.

N: See, I do not know.

L: But the language is they call it the Brish.

h-tth-t-hh. /7

N: Can you write the language? They say no. Then they say then it is not important for me

to teach it to my children. And she would not teach it to us.

L: If she would have lived, she would have spoken it to Papa and maybe we would have learned

it more.

M: Did the people from Contessa, did they look differently?

N: I do not know.

M: I mean did they have different features, since they were Albanian descent.

L: I do not think so.

N: No.


M: Right, what about in terms of religion? Th-ah; -..

L: Catholic.

M: They were Catholic, not Greek Orthodox as they were in?

L: No, not really.

N: No.

M: As they were in the old country?

N: My father came here. He celebrated his fifth birthday in Savannah, Georgia where the

boat landed here.

M: This is Mr. Licata?

N: Uh-hth. L d

M: Phillipo?

N: Phillipo. And then from there they went, hat s -- waysli y my grandmother said they

went to New Orleans and they stayed there about eight years.

-M:-U-hhuh. '

N: They had a grocery, store there.

M: Never said anything about workign in the sugarcane fields?

N: No.

L: They never did.

N: No, they never did.

N: And Te4- he went to school in New Orleans. When he came here to Tampa he was fourteen

years old. He could speak Englishi About the only Italian who could speak English and

he interpreted for many, many Italians.

L: They used to take him to court to act as interpreter.

N: Court. -Uh-ffh.

L: And that is whow he learned the law and everything.

N: That is right. He was very, very dear friend of ah RxBxxMKKay

L: .B. McKay.

N: Raineyklawyer, lawye--, he passed away many years ago and he was a very dear friend of his.

L: A Mr. Hampton.

N: Yea.

L: He used to call him ab Philipe.

-.:-Uh-huth-- 7

M: Was that Dr. Hampton?

N: No, no.

L: No, no, no. Attorney.

M: Oh, okay. Yes. I noticed that in your family came from New Orleans to Tampa in 1891.

N: That is right.

M: That also was the year that they had that famous lynching in New Orleans. The day....

L: I never heard anything.

N: That I do not remember.

L: They never said anything at all about that.

N: Never said it. Never heard it. Probably was after they came here.

L: I guess they~EiT-mV-sta, tsts,. you know how the people you wonde ow come they settled

here. Because the first one had to come.

L: And then they say well lt 'L go over there because Cousin John, Giovannio ,.Antonio is

there. My sister is there. And they used to that is why. And a lot of

_____'__ I guess because I am not too good at the Italian

and j-.so a lot of them come over here. You know, they like in New York, they have maybe

a lot of Callebrese and different ones, you know, but here we have more of the Sicilians,

M: Yes.

L: And-KT atT' and they used to go that way and you wonder why did they come to Tampa? Why

did they land in New Orleans? You know?

L: My grandmother had a sister living in New Orleans.

N: That is right.


L: And ah-;-and perhaps that is why they went over there.

N: I think so.

L:-And--then- -... .

N: They had a grocery store here in Tampa where the Italian Club is. The corner, that is

where the grocery store was.

M: Is that right? -.Uh-hub. Oh really.

N: Right there on that corner.

L: And the Italian Club used to be across the street where a little cat store was and...

M: It burned in 1914. Now, would you remember it across the street?

As a young girl?

N: No.

L: No.

M: Would not?

N: 1914, no. I was born in 1903. I do not remember.

M: You do not remember right across the street?

L: You know, we ah...

N: We were just kids you know. All your interest is playing outside.

M: Wheref-w-s-your,_do you remember where your first home was in Ybor City?

L: Yes.

N: Yes. Wasn't it Seventeenth Street?

L: Ye .

N: And Fifth Avenue?

L: No, no, no, no, no. Seventbenth Street and Seventh Avenue.

N: No, that one was when Papa ran for City Councilman. He had to move in the District and

we moved there next to the Chinese Laundry. The Chinese Laundry was right on the corner

of the southeast corner ofah Seventh Avenue and Seventeenth Street.

L: Where the Broadway Bank is now.

N: No.

M: Yes.

N: No, across the street.

L: Where Walton's Florist place was.

M: Uh-huh.

N: No, no.

L: Where the Bank of Ybor City used to be there.

N: No, it was on the southeast corner right next to there were a row of houses all the same.

I remember when I used to go.

L: Well, the southeast corner is where the Broadway Bank is.

N: Well, it was southwest then. Southwest.


N: That is where the Chinese Laudrey was on the corner.

L: And then irrT, in 1906, yeaC, l906,-ab around February, my father built a home on the

corner on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Seventeeth Street.

N: Oh, that was gorgeous.

L: Three weeks after,_thrp eeweeks-Fater that, my sister was born. Francis was born and that

is why I know she was born March the ninth, so it was three weeks prior to that. It ws

in February of 1906 that my parents, I was not born then, my parents moved there and my

sister Francis was born and I was born there and my brother Tony and my brother John...

N: Two brothers.

L: My brother Tony died at the age of sixteen. So, -ad four of us were born in that house.

M--Uhj-huh. 9

L: He wanted to know about-a'h,,the midwives at that time. We were all delivered by midwives

were' t we?

N: I think so.

L: But I do not remember.

N: What was the name?

L: I do not remember. I could have been Greco. Mrs. Greco.

N: Dr. Bartley I think was the one that delivered us because I remember when Johnny was

born I got a nail in my foot, stepped on a nail and Dr. Bartley came to see momma and

looked at my f6ot so I know it was Dr. Bartley that was there because he was;an old

man Dr, Bartley .

M: -WUfiih.

N: I think I might have had Dr. bartley.

L: That I am not going to say, because...

MLj: Uh-huh-

N: I think she had Dr. Bartley. Whenr-when-they lived next to be Chinese Laundry and when

Papa ran for City Councilman, I was a baby.


L: Gee, that is many years ago.

N: Many years ago. In 1903.

M: Tell us about your first memories of Ybor City. The first things you remember as a child?

That stand out in your mind now?

N: I remember going to school. But I was a big girl then because we went to the iiffYbor


L: Uh, uh, bL ..

M: This...

L: Now, it is Oil P.H.

N: Oil P.H.

L: What did they call it at that time? Our Lady of Mercy was the name of the church and now

it is Oil P.H. It was facing Seventeenth Street at that time.

M: Uh-hu .

L: And then they now, the church faces Eleventh Avenue. O.L.P.H. Church.


L: Na, na, because now it is on Bayshore. But at that time,....

N: Academy of the Holy Name. And I was so grateful. I meant to tell a.-Roland that he had

a picture of the Convent of the Holy Name so the on the front page and it brought back


M: Really. IFTn- T- Yeah.

N: It really did. I could know where I was in the eleventh grade. I know where I was in the

fifth grade. And everything.

M: bh-hiuh. Who were your ah-classmates at that time?

N: Sylvia Corral.

L: Evar Eva Morris. The Corral Family, that had that big cigar factory in Ybor City.

M: Spanish background, dh'th.L

N: And um Selma from ah oh what was it?

L: Minnie Pettiway.

N: Minnie Pettiway.

M: Utfmtrth Were they mostly Latin children or....?

N: No, not really.

L: Not really.

N: Afd-f--ah in fact this Selma was from Arcadia. She went to the Seabreeze. You know, that

is my cousin.

M: -rtr-ntrh Oh, really.--Uh=huh.

N: Our fathers were brothers and aSh she asked for me.

M:---Uh-huh. I

N: She said she knew a Licata that I went to school with. Lucie do not...


L: Would you believe that this is... right there, so you know right there, so 1901.

N: Maas Brothers.

L: Yeaj. Would you believe that?

N: Maas Brothers.

M: This is the same picture as the 1901 wedding.

L: Yes. That is my father and...

M: So, this would be Phillipo and Mrs. Debetta, Miss Debetta.

L: Miss Debetta. Marietta and my father Philip.

M: She was very young was 't she?

L: Sixteen years old.

N: She was thirty-three when she...

M: Now, was that unusual? Did the Italian women, the Sicilian women marry that young?

L; I guess.

N: Yes. It was usual yes. They got married very young.


W: In your generation, did they -.arry-, still marry so young?

N: Not, in mine no. No, I was twenty-one years old.

L: But still a lot of them are marrying.

M: Courtship for a while would be fine. In just a little bit, we could talk about courtship.

You were talking about your early memories 16, what about Ybor City, the men going to

work and the women working?

L: That is four sisters.

N: No, my mother never worked. Women worked in the cigar factory. My mother-in-law did,

but I do not remember any of our family working the cigar factory.

L: None _T my,-ah yead, Aunt Francis.

M: What was your father's store like?

N: Then, it was my grandfather's store. It was just a grocery store.

L: Here is when I was pretty.

M: -Uh-huh. And what was your father doing when, was he helping with the store?

L: You know they usually put a lot of things in he paper before but not now any more.

N: He was educated and very bright for the schooling he had.

L: We had a lot of ah...

N: And I remember that at the wooden sidewalks. You do not remember.

L: You do not see that any more.

M: 1908. Do you remember the -

L: No.

N: No.

L: They do not have those.

M: Mrs. Lazarra what are your earliest memories of Ybor City?

L: You know, way back, I can not remember, the horse and buggy days, but Iknow I remember

automobiles because my father was one of the few that had i> a car. And we had a Ford

that was no top and w- got the picture there and we went to see O 'l idand took

a picture of all of kids in that Ford, you know. We were just as proud of it and all

of that, but I do not remember. My father, and that--wa my brother John was a baby

because I do not know who was holding him in that picture and he was born in 1913, so

L: ...in 1913, we-wese, my father already had a car. There were very few at that time.

You did not hear that people were riding in an automobile, you know.

MT-yh-htih. /

L: But I do not remember very much. I remember -shwhen at Papa built that home on

Seventeenth Street and Fifth Avenue. Ah- the street was not paved yet.

N: Oh, the dirt was that thick.

L: The,-Q @te street was not paved yet and ad so, I was more in Ybor City after in 1-96-,

-.i 1930, when I started, at the end of 1930, when I started working for Papa at that

time. And everything was paved and it was nice and the stores, everybody, it was just,

Ybor Cit s not like it is today.

N: No.

L: ThIere wer allh,- remember the stores. There was not a vacant store on Seventh Avenue.

Not a vacant store.

N: You could walk...

L: And the people, the store used to close at midnight. -Sorcs ed-to-...

N: On Saturday night.

L: On Saturday night, the people walking up and down and the fellas I remember, if I may say

so, rn-fro-ot of crest and especially the the Cubans and Spanish.

N: Oh, yes.

L: ida. You know, girls would go by and they would flirt and theyj-t girls loved

to go walking on Seventh Avenue--Yott-ktew, at that time. -14 not like today.: They

pull in':the sidewalks at six o'clock, five o'clock. But a. I remember Seventh Avenue

and I remember ybor City was a beautiful place.

N: Yes.

L: All the Latin people, they had all these homes before the urban renewal came and tore

everything down. They were nice homes. They were dh with porches. People would aFs-ah

pass by and "Hi" 'tomo esta? Malo frisco" And all that the fresh air and all they did

not even have to lock the doors. A lot of people never locked their doors at night. It

is not like today. But it was a lovely area, all Spanish and Italians and cigar factories

and most of them worked in cigar factories. The Italians, they all spoke Spanish, but the

e--: A:A ,-,,* .. in-i;-1n anrA hm- wC hr-,,anc in thp rinar factories they had a reade


L: ...And it was like a pulpit. He would get up there and he would read thQ news in Spa,i-sh.

He would read maybe two or three chapters a day in Spanish, a novel you know. And they

would be the whole floor,- -yaQ rs people working. So, the Italians had no other

alternative but to learn to speak Spanish and they all spoke Spanish. And that is why I

speak Spanish, but not the best, but I can get along all right. Like a man told me in


N: Latin, Spanish, Italian.

L -yhhuh.

M Wtea home?

1---Wha t.

M: What did you speak at home?

N: English.

L: English.

M: English and not Italian, really.

L: See, because it maybe it, my mother did not know too much of English.


L: But my father did. Very well.


L: So, I have a daughter and hbshe can kind of catch on a word or two of what, if I say

anything in Italian, but it is a pity she does not.

N: My children are the same. Thiy--dno not spak, -ah, I have to go with somebody and interpret

for women, you know, Vince, my son, Vincent Philip, the attorney.?

M: Yes. Yes.

N: I had to interpret for an old Italian lady for him.

L: You know, and that is, that is...

M: You were talking about walking down Seventh Avenue. What about chaperones? Do you

remember chaperones?

N: No, no chaperones. We used to go...

L: Well, that was us.

N: Us?

L: Us. Because my father was very broad-minded. Very, very broad=minded. In fact, a&, we

lost my brother in 1926 in September and he came to the office and at that time my sister

Francis and myself. She was married. And a, so he came and he bought two tickets to go

to the Palace Theater which was Th downtown.

N: o

L: Vaudeville and a movie. And he said, "Here, I bought these two tickets, I want you two to

go." Said, "Papa, we can go.: Tony has not been even two months or three months" whatever

it was. Said, "What are people going to say." He said, "What do you care?" He says, "I am

your father and I want you and Francis to go." He was very broad-minded.


L: You know, and.Jwell across my father, I used to S, when I dated my husband, I did not have

a chaperone, but there was, used to go to the Italian Club a) they used to have the dances.

L: And ab you see, they had one row of chairs all around the hall. Who was there? These old

biddies chaperoning the girls. Do you think they went with the fellow there to dance?

Never happened. T-eyah...

M: -tL-huh -Uh huh.

L: At that time, they did nbt have chaperones.

N: I remember when I was young that I was the one that was, my sister was the little child, the

oldest one, I am the second one in the family.


N: There was a store, Adam Katz, and it was next to where is now on Seventh Avenue

on the other side of ....

M: Sombrero Loco. -UTfin-Uh.

N: And a =it was a beautiful a-grocery a-dry-goods store. They used to send me there. I

would walk over there and get everything my grandmother wanted, my mother, or whatever they

wanted. I would go and buy it. Lace, ribbons, anything they wanted. And I used to walk.

I was just a young girl. Walking there by myself and never had anybody bother me. I was

not afraid.

L: You were not like the nuns. At that time, no one nun walked by herself. Had to be two


I. -Uh-=huhi

N: You know that.

M: Why is that?

L: A nun? To go down the street by herself? Never happened. They were always dressed in

their habits. Today you do not know. You have to be careful. (Laughter). But Sfist- it

was that way. ~%- always, but ah-not like to day. Things have changed.

. id-the-ai, were there particular nuns who stayed in Ybor City for a long time?

L: Yes.

: And were known in the community?

L: Yes, there were nuns that were at the convent. Right across from Eleventh Avenue and

Seventeenth Street.

M: What h denomination were those ....

L: They-atrtry were the Notre Dame.

N: Notre Dame.

M: Was Ybor City a religious community?

N: Oh,yes.

L: At that time, yes.

N: Yes, at that time, mostly.

L: I would say yes.

M: Most Italian men went to church?

N: And Spanish people too.

L: Ida I do not think so. You think most of the Italian men went to church. I do not think


N: No, not the men. The women They used to go to church.

L: Maybe in Italy they did. But a?[ when they came here, I do not know whatever happened.

": Most denominations here, it was mostly women and children who went to church.

M: -lh-huh.

3 So, the Catholics would not have been...

L: Even today, .we are not going to go into that.

M: Did you spend a lot of time as a young lady at the Italian Club and the other clubs?

L: Yes.

N: Yes, I belonged to a club at the Italian Club. Now, which mentioned Marilyn

Greco, the Greco's--a, excuse, she passed away now and we have bazaars.

M: --Unhunr.

N: And the ehut-eh-the Italian church in the city also was Att-when I was young, in my teens,

I helped Mrs. Neevy, the one they named that Catholic school on Columbus Drive. What did

they call it? Neevy is it? Well, she was the one for giving bazaars and things and I

was the one that helped and they built our church over there. One, there were quite a fei\

of them. I do not want to take all the credit.

M: Would your father often go there in the evenings?

L: No, at that time.

N: No, Papa would not go to church in the evenings.

L: No.

M: No, not the church, the club I mean.

N: Oh, the club, he was the first president.

L: He used to go there all the time. The ah=E Italian Club and the Spanish Clubs which is

the Center EBtudiano and the Center Espagnol and even the Cuban Club. All right. -At thit,

many years ago, I remember as a kid they used to ah have'c mparry picnics and.ah they would

get about a thousand people or more, oh, it was terrific. Everybody looked forward to it.

And they-@P- y helped each other. And-ah sI remember belonging to the Italian Club,

and then serving the people at the picnicanrd-ah...

N: I did too, I think.

L: I-hae some of these are dead, but I am still sitting there. (Laughter) ha-t7- This this

here is Italiana Golden Anniversary, 1908-1958 and ah that is our fifty years



L: And 1y+ h7dTbmx a it is a souvenir program. You heard of Pello Sisera?

L: Look how young he is there. Anid-atr- all of these people here. Here is my father. 1906

they have got to 19-. This is a very nice, have you seen that.

M: IT1=h r. Yes.

L: Oh, you have seen that.

N: Yea, he was the first president of the Italian Club. He was president for years and years

and years.

L: I do not know whether he was the president. Mr. ah

N: DQboner?

L: No, no, no, no. Ah, Ay yi yi. Mr.

M: Ferrogamo?

L: Ferrogramo. There you got it. Yu know when my father was a Town Council, he could not

take care of all the correspor ence and everything and so ah he got Mr. Ferrogamo, he is

a very smart man and ah-he used to typw all the correspondence and used to take care of

everything. He had a desk in the office.

M: Yes. Uh-huh4 What would go on in the Italian Club? What would the men do there in the


L: Oh, they had a cantina downstairs. They would play cards, you-know, and mostly, yeo-kttw.

+4)(ave a beer or have a coffee and play cards.

M: A woman would never go there though in the evenings?

L: No.

N: No.

L:ie-would go in the evening if they had a social. But they would not go in the cantina.

M: And what would you do at home, while your father was gone? What kind of activities?

N: We were young. We had to study. (Laughter).

L: That is the one thing we did.

M: What kind of games would you play?

N: Not at home. Not in the house. We would play outside.

L: This,-th4i- picture here, you see a lot of a well-known people. When my father,-when he

was president of the Italian Club, they had a membership drive and he said that if they

would have six hundred new members that he would give them a picnic And so,.that was

in 1924. I remember that.

N: That was the year I was married.

L: And -al so here is D.B. McKay. Wait a minute. No. This is Peto'Knight and D.B. McKay

right by my father. This is Oscar Yellow. Oscar Yellow oh, loads of them here that I

could, this is, he was at that attorney friend-Saidle-, Sanders, anyway there was.

N: You want to know if he was Judge Sands?

L: Judge.

M: Where were all the women in there? Where were all the children and women during that photos

Do you remember when that picture was taken?

L: Yes. In 1924.

M: The women are...

L: Women, wov n, they did a lot of &L we all did a lot of the cooking and all of that. You see

this picture? YoT-Tee--, you have seen it.

M: Yes, I know. I have got a couple. They have got some marvelous shots. It really is.

W: DId they say from...

N: Cooking, lts not talk about cooking. NI do not even want to talk about it.

W: Would they take their sons along to the club?

N: Their sons? Yeah.

L: Not when they were kids.


L: Later, they would join.

N: Yeh, when they got a certain age.

M: Now, could you get medical benefits there at the Italian Club?

L: Oh yes.

M: Yes, utf-hah. Since you were a young woman.

N: Unless you pay separate. Did it Annie?

L: What?

N: Medical benefits from the Italian Club?

L: The a4-h e- thing -F at that time -af you were a member and you paid so much a week and that

would entitle you to be a member of the club pls you would get medical benefits.

L: Which never amounted to much. and a lot of them did not want to belong to it because they

did not have the hospital. They wanted -a,

N: They wat.t, he is

L: 1They-wraaed it like the ah had their hospital see.


L: But although the Italian Club gave, paid so much, a percentage of not-in-full, they had

to go to the hospital, they would just pay them so much.

M---h-truh. A

L: Fourteen dollars a day I think at that time. You know, that was a lot of money. And if

I remember, but now, a;-8i those clubs at least, I speak for the Italian Club, did not

get in any new members. These -you,-pp-c, that entitled you to go to the New Year's

Dance, the dances they used to have and all those things like that. It entitled you to

that, but you were paying as a member.

M:-Utt-hu. /b.

L: Then, they started raising the prices and naturally things were going up. Everything was

going up. They started raising a lot of got out of it, like I did. I will tell you, I

did too. Because I hadthen you go into insurance.

N: That is right.

L: See, that is all the people had at that time was these benefit clubs and all of that. But

now you go ahead and you cover yourself with Blue Cross and Blue Shield or whatever, you


N: Medical insurance.

L: And va; so now ar-the Italian Club is the few that are die-hards are they are still keeping

it up, you know what I mean.

ve'^-Yous6thei-e flKe-PE'p-p^ .--

M: Mrs. Nuccio, I have been curious. How did you meet Mr. Nuccio? What was the courtship


N: Well, my sister W, Nick's brother worked for my father at the office and he met my

sister and my sister married him and then he met me through my sistee'through the family.

And so we were two brothers married to two sisters.

M: -1Thtrth. Yes.

N: And he passed away in 171. My sister has passed away also. And that is how I met Nick.

M: Do you think ah-Mr. Licata was involved in politics. Do you think that influenced Mr.

Nuccio to get involved in politics?

L: I do not think so.

N: I do not think so. No, because there were so many years, that was just about when I was

born and he was just a couple of years, he was born in 1901 and I was born in 1903. And

a you never know.




L: We will keep that quiet.

N: Yes, we will keep that between us two girls.

M: How would you reflect back upon yomu years in politics?

N: Well, they were very interesting, but they were very tiresome. See, Nick was one that

he never liked to cater anything. I had to do the cooking. I used to cook for four or

five hundred people at one time.

M: Oh.

-WT Oh my.

N: And he had parties about three or four times a year and invited hundreds of people.

M: I heard these stories. Is this true that that he never allowed someone to take him out

to lunch. That he would always bring them back

N: Take them home.

M: That he would always, that you would never know.

N: Never know how many he was going to bring home.

L: She had water ready for the soup to make more soup. (Laughter).

N: Just like my son says, "Momma, I am bringing somebody. Can you put a cup of water in the

soup?" Well, I always have food ready that a1- I knew he would do that. That is true. He

would come and sometimes I would expect one or two and he would bring six or seven. Who

would stand for that?

1: Did he do that when he came on dates?

N: No, he de's not do that, no.

L- I, Llidl-eoff?

SNo, it is on now.

N: One time we had a place in Lake-Hefesas-sa and a6 the lake over there and fixed one hundred

fryers all dressed with meat inside. Orreor they were about two pounds apiece. One for

each person. I cooked all that.

M: Oh. My.

N: I mean I have cooked a lot.

M: U-m=t-h. What were the early years like when he first got on the City Council? What-were,

how eTe different from the years he served as Mayor? What was life like then?

N: Well, it was not so hectic then as it was after when he was countyy commissioner He wa

a-very,- he has always been a rsfot of coTns3Crn, very conscientious about his job er-d-- he

Q;?\,was the youngest City Councilman on record in Tampa Florida. I do not know if you know

that or not.

MT-Uh-huhb T

N: The reason why I know t Greco, when he got elected, he was thirty-two years old and he

went over and checked it and he says, "You know, when I checked it, I thought I was the

youngest and I find out you the youngeet.!I He told that in front of me and ah-so thtuiwas

rIth4i-ki---n he was seven years in the City. From 1936, he ran for County Commissioner.

M: Yes.

N: What was it? Fernandez and he did run and he .Santoya, I

think he was the city councilman and he ran against him.

M: In thinking back about all the battles he had with the Tribune, how would you recollect?

N: Oh, boy, did he fight the Tribune. He sure did.

L: I would not want it on record what I have to say about the Tribune.

M: Put it in Sicilian or dialect or -

L: Then no one would understand it that way. (Lah-t-e4r-r

N: Oh, boy, did he have to fight that Tribune. They pawed him.

L: That is because the Tribune could not control him.

N: They could not control-him.

L: You see, a lot of these politicians, they yes, yes, yes to the Tribune and he was not

that type, you know. He felt wat he was right, he did not give two cents for the Tribune

and the Tribune did not like that. They wanted to control him. Do everything that the

Tribune wanted him to do and he did not do it. And that is why.

N: Did you know that he was the one who ah-who well in his brain was to oien up the

prairie land?axdx

M:~-th-4uhih. I

N: He is the one and there is no, today they do not even put it in the paper that he was the

one. The other day they had it and they say that it was that Lowrie bought the first

elephant Sheena or did they say that Mr. Nuccio was the one who before Sheena came in

the prairie land was open. He had to the American to when he opened it up, he

had the American Beauty over too. I do not know who she was.

M: Exxcus e.


N: Oh, that is a city in itself.
L: And you know...

N: Have you been to it?

M: O m7 nn-- *: u

N: The children in the little cars ih-tea-he-r- them traffic and to have traffic lights.

Oh it is so nice. It really is.

L: Well, at that time, there was a lot of criticism that a& the Mayor was spending money

at Lowrie Park when the city needed other things and all that. And today,,,egte# xe

N: Tney thought of the children...

L: ...they are having fund-raising things to,.-yon kTuw,T-~o maIke- ,to fix it all up and

have animals in cages. They let it deteriorate.

N: But they never have mentioned his name today that he was the one who, who it was his...

L: Project.

N: Project, mindto work to always for the children. He loved children. When he was County

Commissioner, he used to, there were children there that people, poor people that needed

surgery, tonsils and adenoids and they could not afford it. He would take them,-take-them

ttrwho was in charge of the county hospital at that time. Each County Commission was in

charge of different things. One was County Commissioner was the maintenance in the barn

they called it.

M:---Uh-4uh. /,,

N: And 8a different things and he used to take them and have their tonsils taken out for

free, cost them nothing. Onle-t-ime-,-Ba tr, he built Brandon. I do not know if you know

it or not.

M .--_-tm.-- _ln~b u h. /

N: When he was County Commission for Brandon 'q" -one-horse town with one general

store. That is all. They would have everything. Drugstore, grocery store, everything

in that store. They all would go to that place and sit down to6-tt had one of those pot-

belly stoves over there. One time, he went and he asked them, when he was County Commission

er, he asked them if he could go in..THesay, "No. They dorjt allow anybody." Because he

was Latin and they would not let him go. They was all rednecks there. And he said, 4,

says, "Well, can I sit outside?" "Well, that is up to you. If there is any room on the

bench you can sit down." So, he sat down and then anybody go, he would tell them who he

was and they need anything for their district or anything. So, one time, this old man goes

over there and said, "Mr. Nuccio, my wife is so sick. The doctor says that they ca 7

do anything for her." Says, "Can you do something for her please. Could you help her."

He says, "Yes." So, he went in to ,"May I use your phone?" Say, "Okay." So, he went

in and called the ambulance and the ambulance went there at the store in Brandon where he

was. Him and the old man got in the ambulance and they went after his wife and they took

N: ...they sent her to the county hospital. So, then he went back to bet his car and a few

weeks later, the man goes there and and he says "How is the Mrs. doing?" "Oh, she is fine.

She is doing all her chores." Laughter. "Says she is fine" From then on, Nicholas got

over there and he put the sidewalks. He built Brandon, he really did. Put sidewalks in all

the schools and the churches around the churches and the schools. Everywhere in all his


M: Jh .hh.

N: He made concrete bridges.

M: You were talking about that he faced discrimination. Can you all relate that? Your father

telling you or your own experiences?

N: There were no

M: I mean how Italians...

L: Thfe-r-was, there was some discrimination, Afh- because I remember people used to go to

Egypt Lake and they had a sign there, No-lat-aiFTi No Blacks or Italians.

N: Sulphur Springs too.

L: And Sulphur Springs. And all of that.

N: You know Chimino Drug Store?

L:-I-trhh. &Vn '

N: Well, the old man used to work there and he came to Nick and said Nick told him said you

can go and told his wife cause she was Santangelo. Says you can go. She was a redhead and

Lucie was not. But there are not a lot of Italians wear--ng red hair too you know. And

he says you can go in, but he can not. Cause his name was Chimino.


N: Says but that is my husband. Says well I am sorry, but he can not go.

M: --Uh-hu h. h '

L: There is still a lot of those people that are prejudiced, but they cannot continue that.

N: Ye a1

L: Because today there are a lot of Italians that are married...

N: That are intermarried.

L: ...to-air yes to those high society in Tampa.

N: That is right.

L: And they can not say, "My son-in-law is Italian, my daughter-in-law is Italian or Spanish"

and talk against that,ye+uknow. But there are a lot of them still prejudiced. One day,

one of them came in the gift shop, because I am a volunteerPSt. Joseph's and came in there

and says, "Are you Spanish?" I said, "No, I am an American, but I am of Italian descent.

I said, "Why do you ask?" She says, "Because of your accent." And w'i/th a sort of that

look on her face and I said, "Well, I will be damned." L-ghrTF Yea1. Came right out

and ...

W: Was there -a much dating between Italians and anyone who was not Italian when you were

growing up?

L: Today?

W: No, when you were dating?

L: No. Nz ...

N: Sp--rTi--st~peop-e, Spanish and Italians that were.

L: Yea But not not very much at that time.
M: If you had brought home a young Cuban boy to meet your father, what would he say?

L: I do not think Ah they would like it bery much. At that time.

M: A Spanish boy?

L: I do not think so. Even Spanish. No.

L: They were all sticking to their own. But ar,-but-they-wer notE aT these ah-Latin people

here were not prejudice like the Anglos. Theycall them Florida Crackers, V4ee.

M: What about Black Cubans in Ybor City? Were there Black Cubans in Ybor City?

L: Not many.

N: No. Not many.

L: No.

M: Not in the Italian area?

N: I am surprised now when I go to the grocery store and I see some black ones and they speak


L: Cuban. They are Cuban. Do not tell them Spanish.

N: Cubans. Oh boy. It is surprises me to see that-atr..

M: There were many living in the Italian area of Ybor City?

N: No.

L: Do not ask. Look, if you do not know whether a person is Spanish or Cuban, do not ask

them, "Are you Cuban?" Because if he happens to be Spanish, he will be so insulted.

N: Oh boy.

L: You better just ask "Are you Spanish?"

M: Laughter.

L: Do not ask that.

N: Oh, no. Cubars- do- nt, Spanish people do not like to be called that.

M: Why is that do you think.

N: Just because, I do not know. B~eatrse-they consider them part of them.

L: Because the Spanish people consider themselves a lot better race.

M: Than the Italians?

L: And hate it in every way.

M: Did the Italians consider themselves a cut above Cubans, do you think?

L: Above Cubans.

M--Uh-huh. dW

L: Everybody thinks theirselves above Cubans.

M: -u-t-4hu.

N: Even today.

L: Even the Cuban people today. The peopTe-,the Cuban people that came twenty years ago and

the ones that came five years ago.

N: Three years ago, five years ago. They want to run the city.

L: Oh, they do not,f-do-net like those Cubans that they come on on Mariel.

W: Did you know Cuban or Spanish girls while you were growing up? Was there more interaction

among girls between the races where, or between ethnic groups where there would not be

so much concern as with boys?

L: Growing up, ah, well my sister was engaged to a Spa.air;-s -a Spaniard and then she broke

up with him, but ah it was not, there was not any ah...

N: That was oh, forty years ago, was it Annie?

L: Oh ye You better believe it.

N: Uh-huh.

L: That was a, I can tell you that it was way before ah-9--ah 1932.

N: I think this was little baby, about a year old.

L: About 1932, '1, it was a long time ago. That is going too far back.

M: Uh-huh.

L: I do not, you know, there are a lot of people that can tell you really more than I can,

because QE I do not have that kind of a memory to go back and remember. As a kid, I was

a happy-go-lucky. Trhr you know, what I mean?

N: You did not take an interest in the city or when you were a child.

L: And then we lived away from he.re.,Ybor City, after'fsam 1918.

N- -llahuh.

L: We lived away from Ybor City. -;I, .then of course, I worked in Ybor City.

M: Uh-huh.

L: But a Il knew mostly the men then. (Laughter) I mean for business.

W: Did men always buy the insurance?

N: Then we moved on

L: Men, oh yes. Mostly. And some women.

N: And on that that was the most elite section of the...

L: Tampa Heights?

M: Yes.

N: Mr. Henson, he used to have an automobile. He lived on the corner. Brown's lived there.

The Carlton's lived there.

L: You know, Tampa Heights, where the old St. Josephs's. I think they call it St. Elizabeth.

M: Ye 5 Sure.

L: That was a beautiful area. Palm Avenue, they still have some nice homes there.


M: The other question I was going to ask you. We were earlier talking about births. What

about the funerals? What were funerals like? For instance, do you remember your

mother's funeral?

N: I remember my grandfather's.

M: What about the rituals and where they went?

N: I was four years old.

M: Is that right.

N: And that's the only funeral I remember.

M: In 1805, utbRTTuT Tell me about it.

L: No, you do not remember Momma's funeral.

M: What was it like?

N: Ye 9, Momma's funeral I remember, but Imean as far back or about. I remember it was at
the hose and my grandfather was lived next to us in that house that Annie was telling

you. And ah there was a, the coffin was satin lined, not satin, taffeta like, cloth any-

way. Silk cloth. And it was high and I was four years old and I was crying. I say,

"Papa want to see Nana."

M: Nana.

N: "Want to see Nano. Want to see Nano. Want to see Nano." So,he picked it up to show him

to me and then they had music. At that time, they used to have a band that would play

music. Oh, okit was weird.

L: That is the procession.

N: YeaID, The procession.

L: The funeral procession.

N: It was weird.

M: Meaning in what sense?

N: An because they played music that -you know,-that a l really hit you.

L: Well, then tell him that way. The body was at home. They never kept them more than two


N: That is right.

L: Then the funeral procession would be at-following the band.

N: The band, uh-huh.

L: The people that could afford it had the band and they as a respect, they would go, even if

it was out of the way pass in front of the club where the club had the flag at half-mast.

N: Yeda Half-mast.

L: And that that was the funeral.

N: I remember that.

L: But they were the I remember the bodies of different ones atr that passed away that I

remember at home.

N: Momma was at home, too.

L: And then,-ah- they would have ah-the procession, pass in front of the Italian Club and they

would go right on to the cemetery.

M: "Jh-luhi \\.

W: WOu1d-they-4aveproess-i-ens-,like for your mother, was her procession pass by the Italian

Club or just your dad's?

N: No, my mother passed away there was no procession. It, no band, no music then.

L: Well, because at that time, there were too many dying. They did not have enough coffins

to b- them.
N: Yeah) it was the flu. See. it was the flu of 1918.
M: Uh-huh.

L And they were putting them in boxes and burying them as fast as they could.

N: My momma had a beautiful coffin.

M: How long would ah a widow expect to mourn in those days in Black?

N: Oh, at least a year, is )t it, Annie?

L: Practically. Let me tell you what a young girl, Ti-ahr-abh a daughter, if her mother died

or her father died, Tt would dress in black.

N: If you would want to come and say hello next it was all right.

L: THey would dress...

N: Right across the street. Let her, thank you, Mrs. Huey.

yVoR 'lr

L: They would atWold dress in black.

M: Thank you.

L: And then at-until the girl got married, she would not take mourning out.

W: Oh.

L: Like they were telling me about my aunt. When my grandfather died, my grandfather died

three weeks before I was born and my aunt was a teenager. She dressed in black and she

did not take those black clothes off until she got married.

I\W Hum.

L: That is how strict they were. But that did not happen to us. (Telephone) Hey kids none of

you are going to be dressed in black.

M-Ihbe-a4. /T\

L: I do not know whether you are getting very much out of this.

M: Oh ye4. I am also curious about the strikes in Ybor City. There were many long strikes.

Do you remember it affecting you your family or your business? For instance, you said,

you went to...

L: There was a strike in 19-, was it 1920?

M: There was one7 Uh-+rtrh- 1920 Yes.

L: The one that lasted eighteen months.

M: Nine months I think or eleven months I believe.

L: Well, all I can say is that maybe I was twelve or thirteen. I was a happy-go-lucky kid

at'the least I cared was to take interest in a strike. At that age, I had,---had a

different life than some of these. Some of these, at the age of twelve, thirteen, they

were already working in cigar factories, at that time. But my father always gave us

everything we wanted and we did not have to go to work. We had what we wanted. We had

a nice home. We had food on the table. Anything we wanted. S,0, it did not,_J-td-dd-not

affect me. You have got to speak to someone that really suffered.

M: What about your father's attitude, he being now a businessman? Particularly in that 1931,

you would have been working around there with that last strike. Did he ever voice his

concern over the strike that it was hurting business, or they should or should not be


L: That I can not answer.

* M:^Ih-hruh.

L: Whether, the way he felt. I do not know.


L: And still, at that time, when I started working, I must have been about eighteen or nineteen

and ah I really do not know.

R: Did you sell insurance mostly to the cigar worker families or did you sell insurance all


L: To any, anybody. Anybody. Not just a-any one businesses.

"T h-Ihuh.

L: We had general insurance. No life.


L: And ah you see, my father had been in Ybor City for so long as a kid and they all knew

him. "Oh, Mr. Licata, Mr. Licata." And a lot of them,,t -ey had family problems and all

of that. He was like,like a counselor.

L: They used to come to him. Ask his advice. What could they do? This and that and all.

M: Did he ever ship money back to Italy? To people, families trying to come over to America?

Did he work with that?

L: No.

M: As Mr. Grimaldi did?

L: No -N.No. The only thing my father did about those people that wanted to come over here

was to sr-ah-make out these affadavits of support. Well, y-R'aiow-h' at that time, they

could not come unless someone would sponsor that person where they would stay, t-atthey

wce, whether they were citizens and that they had a business and all of that and that they

were sent for brother or sister or whoever, cousin, relative and then they had that

affadavit, they had to promise that they would never allow that person, if that person was

allowed to come, that they would never permit them to be a-Hon welfare, in other words.

Wi th-huh.

L: To the city, county or state and they always promised to take care of them and everything.

Those affadavits my father used to draw.

MFl--tlhuh. /

L: That they were signed as a notary, he used to do that and the sponsors.

M: What did he do as Italian Council? __'i__"_ }

L: As Italian Council, he used to get ah passports for a lot of those people.

m1--h. 4

L: -A-i he used to sometimes they could not find a trace of the family, ah:;-ye i ow, like a

man was over here and his wife would write and want to know where he was and he had

remarried. (Laughter). And she wanted to know about,-y-i-knewy-her husband and all those

things like that and *a then na they wanted to--a. he was to send for their birth

certificates that thejdid-ne they needed a birth certificate here. Oh, a lot of little

details. ATd-ay-, then there were a lot of Greeks fromlid Springs that they were under

the Italian roof in this island...

M.--Ight./I -

L: ...so, they used to come to Tampa and my father used to take care of them and their

passports, -h, extending their th- leave here. They-w r- to t rnmP and...

M: What was his attitude towards Mussolini? Do you recall at the time in fascism?

L: I do not think he had any use for him. Yt -see, you know, of course, alh then they they

"2t did away with all these consular agents and they had just New Orleans, San Francisco,

New York, rtfivnk-they-had--iT-r-they did not have one in Florida, in Miami.


L: So, they did away with all of those, but a, my father aihe was Italian council to help

the people, you know. But my father was not raised in Italy. Y/u know what I mean. He

was in America.

M: hth-huh. /


L: So, that is what he was. He was not going to ta-eeah- go for Mussolini, fascism, or what

is the other one, Germany?

M: -Uh-huh.
,-\ ,.. ,

M: Nazism.

L: Nazism.

M: Anything else?

L: Hit--e4-.Hitler I mean, you know, Hitler. All of those. No, he was an American.

Efino-tat-, I am sorry I can not help you.

M: No, nu you have been very. 1'J (1

L: Not very much.

VJW: No, it has been wonderful.

M: Listen, do you have any final questions.

W: No.

M: We would really like to thank you for your time. We are most appreciative. Thanks.

L'. Your welcome.

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