October 3, 1997

Did you know that the largest wedding that I ever saw took place in Berwick in the late 1920s? This was the wedding of my oldest sister, Jenny Guzzetta.

There was an old Italian lady, who originally came from Italy, and she used to come and visit my mother. All those old Italian people who came over from Sicily (Italy) would visit each other all the time to talk about their homeland. This old lady saw my sister, Jenny, and asked her if she was married. My sister answered that, no, she was not married. She told my sister not to worry that she was going to find her a husband.

Lo and behold, about a week later, the friend called my mother and told her that she had a gentleman friend, James Costa, who was coming to court Jenny. The lady also said to be ready on Sunday that he would be on the Excursion (Southern Pacific) train and would get off in Berwick. The train station was only a block away from our house.

My daddy made Jenny wear a white dress and a veil on her head and stay in the house until his arrival. There must have been almost 50 people at home to see this match between Jenny Guzzetta and James Costa, Sr. when he arrived. The train came about 20 minutes late; the people were milling around, were nervous and hot, as there was no air-conditioning then. Jenny was sweating profusely in that heavy white dress. The train finally arrived and a man got off the train – he was dressed in a frock-tail coat, had spats on his feet and was wearing an English top hat and had a walking cane. He looked like the Duke of Windsor.

He walked in the middle of the street, twirling his walking cane. When he reached the house, he stepped into the room where Jenny awaited him. He was told not to talk or get too close to Jenny, but to stand there and stare at her for about 15 minutes. That’s the way they fell in love in those days, by staring at each other. Sometimes, couples used to stare at each other all night – that’s what you call real love.

Evidently the staring worked, because then and there they set the date for the wedding. As the wedding date drew near, my daddy killed four calves and two hogs. We made about 200 pounds of Italian sausage; there was one sack of parched peanuts, a barrel of wine, about 30 cakes and pies, fig cakes and cannoli.

There were two, five-gallon cans of black olives, 25 heads of fried cauliflower, 50 pounds of Tascavada Italian cheese, 20 gallons of olive oil, two bushels of Fava beans and hot Italian bread from the forna.

There was a band playing Italian music, and the guests drank, sang and danced all night.

Next morning, we found old man Joe Pizzo in the clothes closet still out cold. That was a wedding to end all weddings.

* The End *

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