Monday, August 24, 2009

Before I begin blogging, I want to pose a question to the Bloggers of the World: Am I now the oldest blogger on Earth? Even though a famous department store (which shall remain unnamed for the time being) declared my birth-datei invalid when I applied for a credit card recently, I was able to convince them, that it is still valid even thopugh I am 99 years old. And when my son Floyd who lives in San Diego, California visited me recently to celebrate my birthday, he convinced me to become a blogger...and that I now would be the oldest blogger on Earth. He came to this conclusion after scrolling through the Internet and read that the two oldest bloggers, at the age of 109, had recently passed away....Olive Riley on July 12 in Australia; and Ruth Hamilton on January 18 in Florida.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA in 1910 to Italian immigrants, and I grew up so deeply ingrained in the Italian culture that I didn't realize until I was in my very early teens, that I was an American.

Many years slowly passed by, and after my beloved parents left this Earth for greener pastures, it became the custom for my family to gather at my house for special occasions. They came from Long Island: Centereach, Baldwin, and West Hempstead; from Brooklyn, N.Y.; from Sherburne, N.Y.; from Alexandria, Va. and even Burlington, Vt. All participated in the festivities, enjoyed the comraderie, and filled their bellies with real Italian food with all the trimmings. Then after three or four days, and sometimes a week, all departed.

One day in 1968, after a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration...and coming home from a rather hectic and busy day at the office, I entered an empty house. Alone and feeling somewhat nostalgic for the good old-times, I sat down at my kitchen table, and on an old manual typewriter typed "The Joys of Growing-up

Italian", jottting down random thoughts, regardless of gender or tense (past, present or future). Then after only a few friends and family members received a copy, I just placed it in a drawer and forgot about it. I did not come across it again until the Year 1976, when I moved to a beautiful house on the top of a small mountain in South Otselic, New York. Surrounded by forests, cornfields, dairy farms and down-to-earth country folk, I thought I was in Heaven. That particular area generated only a few paesans (Italians). As soon as I became acquainted with them, I eagerly presented them with a copy of my newly found essay.

The Winter of 1977-1978 found St. Otselic's roads rather impassable for a city-bred girl. Over 10-feet of snow was piled up in my driveway., and I would have been confined in my home all winter, if it wasn't for the generosity of the farmers, who came to pick-me-up with their tractors for special appointments I had to keep. My daughter Angela's concern for my well-being guided me into a new direction. Once more I packed my belongings and dropped the baggage in a small lovely house in a senior development known as Silver Ridge Park in Toms River, New Jersey. There, I suddenly found myself , once again, engulfed in the Italian culture. Without saying too much more, many copies were made of "The Joys of Growing-up Italian, and I gladly distributed it throughout the Village.

I refined the essay in 1980, and again several more times...correcting grammer, genders, tenses and punctuation, etc. As I became older, all one had to mention is that he/she was of Italian descent, and off went a copy of my essay. This happened quite frequently, no matter where I wandered: on trains, buses, and even on airplanes. Addresses were exchanged and new friends were borne.

Several year's ago, at a meeting of the Golden Age Seniors in Patterson, New York, next to me sat Claire. (Oh, let me shy away from my story and let me tell you something funny about Claire. She and her sister Connie live in a lovely estate in Connecticut, whose grounds are beautifully manicured and embellished with exotic plants and bushes. One day, she discovered that an unknown stranger had taken up residency on her grounds...food and lodging free. The stranger roams freely and frequently visits others in the neighborhood Each time he returns, he makes his presence known by tapping on Claire's back-porch. As soon as Claire or Connie glance through the plate-glass door, he strolls into a slow-dance, he spreads his tail into the shape of a fan, and shimmers magnificently with rainbow colors. What a show-off! But really, how can a Peacock say "I'm home!".) Now let's get back to my story. As Claire and I were engaged in a pleasant conversation, I learned she is a "paesan". Immediately I made known to her that I was the author of the essay "The Joys of Growing-up Italian" on which I had received many compliments over the years. A startled look crossed her face, and in a subdued tone said: "Elvira, its on the Internet". All Hell broke loose! I'm being plagarized!

I wll continue with this diatribe the next time I blog, if you find it interesting.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Elvira. Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

    Congratulations on being the world's oldest blogger if you sre indeed 99 years old. Is there any you can prove your exact date of birth?

    Randall Butisingh, a Guyanan poet and philosopher living in Florida, who is 96, is thouhjt to be the world's oldest blogger.

    I wrote a story about him. Just click on http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=385262&rel_no=1

    Best wishes, Eric (I'm only 90).

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  2. Can you please send me a photo or two for a story I'm writing about you?

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  3. Elvira,

    Fascinating story. An special thanks to Eric for leading me to it.

    I'll be coming back for more.

    Cheers

    Martin (novice grandfather and blogger)

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  4. Hi Grandma,
    I see you find yourself in the lime light again. I enjoy your stories so much, and this is a great way to help preserve those lost moments.

    For those that question your true age I can only assure them Grandma (Elvira) is the real McCoy. There is a wealth of experience and wisdom to be had from Grandma. We all know history repeats itself and she has seen alot of it.

    WE are very proud of you, and keep up the good work!

    The Vermonters

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  5. OhmyNewsInternational has posted your story, with a great photo. You can see it at
    http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?no=385592&rel_no=1

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  6. You are already hitting headlines worldwide
    Elvira! See report on http://www.seniorsworldchronicle.com/

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  7. i also can vouch for grandma elvira being 99 years old. i was at her birthday party just a couple months ago in which she announced her intention to the table that she was planning on writing a blog. it was very impressive. :)
    keep up the good work, grandma!
    love,
    jason

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Welcome to the world of blogging, Elvira. I know I will enjoy your writings and I hope you will visit mine. I will be 69 at the end of October, so I am a baby compared to you. I can only hope that I will be as vital as you are when I reach your age!

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  10. YOU GO GRANDMA!! this is great!!!!!!! Keep it up! Show the world what you're made of!

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  11. I really like your stuff, thanks for sharing!!!!!!!
    This is just amazing!!! ñ_ñ

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  12. Opening to Page 10 of the North County News, I'm thinking: what a beautiful woman... and at her age, uses a computer! Inspiring!
    Question: Where, in brooklyn, did you grow up? I lived at East 3rd and Avenue "S" from the age of 6, near my grandmother who lived on Vanderbilt Street (the house is still standing)I have made a habit of NOT telling my age because I am still quite active (drive, teach CCD for my parish,run a house, shop, etc.) and people sometimes have a false picture of what folks like me are supposed to be like, so I keep my hair dark, and keep on doing (almost) all that the younger folks do. Anyway, if they are that curious, there are ways these days to find out anyone's age.
    Elvira, wishing you a new birthday year full of un-expected blessings - most of all, love.

    Beatrice Picone Romano

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  13. Hi Beatrice. I just read your comment today although you Posted it on July 13th. I guess life is catching up with me because since my 100th birthday I am experiencing the woes of time. If you live in the vicinity of Carmel N.Y. it would be interesting to hear from you. I'm in the telephone book. I was born and grew up in Brooklyn and lived on Atlantic Avenue and also St. Johns place. Many thanks for your comment. Elvira Oliver

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