Years ago one Spalla was a Baron and cousin to the King. A couple of generations later came the three brothers; Luigi, Andrea and Philipo. Phillipo was father to Louis, Jack (Ignacio) and Andrew. There were also two sisters, one older and one younger. The younger sister drowned at the age of five under the water wheel at their mill. I know nothing of the older one.
Don Phillipo was married to a lovely lady named Paulina Luongo (My Grandmother – your Great-Grandmother). Paulina had a maid and Paulina was pregnant so Phillipo visited the maid for her favors. You know the expression; “Le droit du seignor !”Well, he thought he had the right and kept the maid as his mistress. That woman got pregnant and gave birth to Andrew. Grandpop took the baby to his saintly wife and told her to raise him as a Spalla. The whole Family was up in arms and would never, ever, accept him as a true Spalla.
A few years later Andrew’s mother and her brother conspired to kill the wife. They believed the Andrew’s birth mother should marry the father and become the lady of the manor. So one day while my Grandmother sat nursing her daughter, the maid’s brother crept up behind her and slashed her throat. My father was five years old and standing in front of his mother.
My Grandfather, your Great-Grandfather, was found guilty and spent eight years in prison. He was charged with hiring a killer for his wife. Not true; he really loved his wife, but his testosterones were too high. The truth finally came out and he was declared innocent. The other two went to prison and died there. While the father was in prison, the two or three uncles took over. They put your Grandfather to work in the mill, my father was sent to boarding school, and Uncle Andrew was the scape-goat-hated by the whole family and persecuted by all. He was not considered a true Spalla.
One day Uncle Andrew ran to hide from the Uncle and ender up in the stables where a mule bit him and scarred him forever.
After the father was released from prison, things didn’t get much better so the boys started to save their money and make plans. They didn’t like the way the younger brother was being treated. The Uncles didn’t like the idea of the two older boys trying to protect the one everyone considered an outsider. So they came to America to save Andrew for persecution.
Your Grandfather was about nineteen, my father was seventeen and uncle Andrew fifteen. They lived in Long Island where they had relatives.
My father had an education equivalent to two years of college so when his number came up, he had to go back and serve in the army as a Lieutenant. He returned to the U.S. when the war in Tunis was over. They all settled down and became U.S. citizens. They went to a lawyer and waived all rights to their inheritance.
The Family was worth Fifteen Million Dollars and after World War II, the government gave them more millions for their water rights.
They were all happy in the good old U.S.A. and they all made a good living.