Last week I received a charming comment from William Santini on the Photograph Page of our Gallery Section. I was delighted that William was writing about my grandparents, Leone and Angeline Genetti! Since comments are often overlooked, I have re-posted his message below along with my response. It’s wonderful that other American Tyrolean families are stopping by The Genetti Family Genealogy Project to enjoy our shared heritage. Thank you William – your memories are much appreciated!
William Santini – July 5, 2015: “Our grandfather, Martin Santini, was close friends of Leon and Angeline Genetti. My brother Richard and I remember from the late 50’s and 60’s being with our grandparents in Hazleton, at their home for a polenta party, visiting the Genetti market, going to a coal mining area where there was a smoldering underground fire from a collapsed mine and even a trip o the Saint Lawrence with them and our grandparents. We have some photos somewhere. My grandmother was from the Fellin family, also from Hazleton. Several of the Fellin sisters married some of the Santini brothers. There was a Fellin family reunion held in the 70’s at your motel and catered by your family. Any one have some knowledge of those old days? We remember how close friends our grandparents were with Leon and his wife Angeline. Your polenta was different from what my grandparents made – you used chestnut flour as part of your mixture. I talk too much. We would love to hear from your family.”
Louise Genetti Roach – July 5, 2015: “Hi William, thank you for writing such a wonderful comment! I am the granddaughter of Leon and Angeline Genetti and also have fond memories of my Nona and Nono. Unfortunately I was just a young child when they passed away in the early 60’s. But my parents started their marriage living in the apartment above my grandparents’ home and I often spent afternoons with them until the age of five. I remember my Nona showing me how she made polenta pie in a big, black cast iron skillet and my Nono making Tyrolean sausage in the basement then hanging it on hooks in his walk-in refrigerator. We are most likely related since Angeline’s mother (my great-grandmother) was also a Fellin. I would guess that your grandmother and my grandmother were probably first or second cousins. The Genetti Hotel in Hazleton was first owned by Gus Genetti Sr., brother to Leon. His son Bill Genetti then took it over in the 70’s. Bill and I are first cousins, once removed since he is from my father’s generation. The hotel was recently sold and Bill has now retired. There are not many of the older family left – only one of Leon and Angeline’s children is still alive, my Uncle Leon who still lives in Hazleton. My grandfather had eight siblings, the last passed away in 2005 at the age of 102 (Angela Maria Genetti McNelis). There are only about ten surviving children from my father’s generation (their children). Please fell free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be interesting to find out if we have a common Fellin ancestor. If you send me info on your Fellin lineage (names and birth dates) I might be able to find the link. I can trace the Fellin family back four generations beginning with my great-grandmother Catterina Lucia Fellin. I look forward to hearing from you.”
The Genetti Family sends their best wishes to the Santini and Fellin families! If anyone would like to contact William Santini directly, please write me and I will provide you with his email address.
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