I’m happy to report that all of the details for the 2011 Reunion of Poggioreale Families in Houston have been worked out. While we were hoping to use our sentimental favorites at the Sacred Heart Hall in Houston, we were not able to reach an agreement with them on hall rental and catering. Fortunately, we have found a nearby hall that will easily accommodate an even larger crowd if necessary. The Reunion Planning Committee, which is composed entirely of volunteers, has priced the tickets to just cover the hall rental, a lunch of Texas Barbecue with all the trimmings, and a little left over to get the next reunion off the ground.
Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for children 10 and under. In an effort to keep cost down for families with small children, parents who would like their children to share a plate may purchase an “admission only” child’s ticket for $4.
This year’s reunion will be at the SPJST Lodge 88, which has been a popular venue in Houston since the 1960’s and is only 4 miles from the hall we used for the 2009 reunion. The address is 1435 Beall Street, Houston, Texas 77008 in The Heights neighborhood, just northwest of downtown.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, no later than July 24th, by either credit card or check. Please see the website for details. The 2009 reunion sold out well before the reunion date and about 50 people on a waiting list were not able to attend, so please buy your tickets early! If your family is planning a reunion this summer, you might want to consider having it along with us. I’m also very proud to announce that we will have special guests at the reunion who are coming from Poggioreale. Other confirmed guests so far will be coming from Australia, Utah, Missouri and Kansas, as well as all over Texas and Louisiana.
You can click this link to go to the website www.poggioreale.net
, or the following link to download and print a copy of the flyer for the reunion:
We Need Volunteers
If you can spare an hour during the reunion, we need people to:
– staff the check-in desks
– watch the kiddos
– take photos
– make our out-of-town guests feel welcome
– help the lunch serving line run smoothly (the caterers will do the serving)
Please contact me if you can help and we’ll set up a volunteer schedule. The volunteers at the 2009 reunion were the greatest reason for its success and I know this one can be even better with your help.
More about Reunion 2011
Needed: A few good Sicilian Performers who are interested in volunteering time to show off skills as a dancer, singer, juggler or other variety style act at this year’s reunion. Please email your headshot or photo and resume’ or bio to the e-mail address that follows. You will need to submit a short video of your performance either by DVD or YouTube.com.
We all know that Italians Have Talent and here’s a great opportunity to show it off! If you have questions, feel free to contact Leanna Sparacino at 713-320-4116 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Town
Beginning in 1723, the wealthy Morso and Fardella families of Poggioreale constructed theChurch and Convent of the Capuchin order in Poggioreale. Fifty years later, the town’s population was recorded at about 1100 and the churches in Poggioreale gained their independence from the church in Gibellina. The Capuchin church was named for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and contained a number of objects made of precious metals, many paintings and a noteworthy, life-size wooden sculpture of Christ on the Cross, which now graces the altar of the mother church in the new town of Poggioreale.
Around 1905, when a wave of immigration to America greatly reduced the town’s population, mass was being conducted in this church only on about 15 days a year, during August, and was discontinued completely shortly thereafter. While documentation is lacking, it is believed that the church’s contents, except for the crucifix, were transferred to the famous Capuchin Convent in Palermo. Children that grew up in the neighborhood of the Poggioreale Convent during the 1940’s and 50’s circulated many stories alleging that the structures were haunted and they seldom spent more time than absolutely necessary in the vicinity.
Entering the old town from the west, the rubble of these structures, which were destroyed by the 1968 earthquake, lies a few hundred yards to the right, south of where the hospital and orphanage once stood.
Did you know…
… that Peter Vella Wines of California is named for a Poggioreale family descendant? In fact, a cousin named Pietro Vella recently completed two 5-year terms as mayor of Poggioreale.
… the tender young tips of squash vines, called tenerumi, are commonly used in Sicily to make soups and pasta dishes?
… in the Poggioreale dialect, from Storia di Poggioreale, Sicilia by Father Francesco Aloisio
Li robbi lordi si lavanu ‘ncasa. (Wash your dirty laundry at home)
Cu’ prèstu cridi, prèstu si penti. (He who trusts too quickly will soon be sorry.)
Hope to see everyone in Texas in August!
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