Peter J Oddo tells about his life and passions in West Hartford
This is the story of Giuseppe and Giovannina Oddo and their family, who emigrated to America in 1947. One of their children, Peter J Oddo, tells us about his life, made up of successes and one of his greatest passions, the gardening that has made him one of the best known people in this sector. We report his story. Enjoy the reading.
My life story in America
“Our family consisted of 6 people and emigrated to America from Gratteri, Sicily just after the war in 1947. Our uncle who lived in Hartford, Ct. Paid for the trip. Our family consisted of my father Giuseppe and my mother Giovannina, my older sister Teresa, my older brother Liborio, my younger brother Salvatore and me, Pietro.
A sister Nicoletta remained in Noto because she was married. We moved into a house that was owned by my uncle in Hartford, Ct. I was nine and enrolled in a Catholic school run by Catholic nuns who spoke Italian and English and helped me learn my new language. After several years, both my father and my mother worked.
They saved up enough money for a down payment for a three-story house in Hartford, Ct. After completing high school, I went to Weaver High School in Hartford and graduated in 1958. My parents couldn’t afford to enroll in a local college, so I decided to start construction work as an apprentice field engineer at a couple of new buildings under construction in the Hartford area.
During my engineering apprenticeship I also attended night school to learn not only field engineering but also surveying. I took courses in architectural planning and design. Throughout this whole schooling that I did, I also got married to my beautiful Italian bride who I met while in high school.
We got married in 1961 and were lucky to have moved into her father’s house on the third floor that was reserved for us. My wife Mary Jane is Italian and was born in Hartford in 1942 but both of her parents were born in Foggia, Italy, and also emigrated to America for a better life. My wife and I celebrated our 59th year of marriage on June 3rd.
I grew up and learned my craft in engineering and design reading, I was a field chief engineer on many construction projects in Connecticut. I eventually graduated from Project Superintendent in 1973 on many commercial buildings and school projects in the Connecticut area.
Among the many school buildings I was commissioned to build were: E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, Ct, Killingworth Middle School, Farmington, Middle School and many more. Some other commercial projects I was superintendent on were UConn Health Center in Farmington, Ct, Connecticut General Insurance in Bloomfield, Ct, Queens College in Queens, New York, Federal Office Building in New Haven, Ct. and many others.
After around 55 years in the construction business, I retired in 2015.During all my years in construction, I also raised a family of 3 boys, Peter born in 1966, Michael born in 1968 and my last one was Anthony born in 1973. When my first child was born in 1966, we bought our first 6 bedroom home, where I now live in West Hartford, Ct.
All my boys have graduated from high school and none of them wanted to go to college, they are all married and have their own families. I have a total of 8 grandchildren from my 3 children and I am proud to say that 2 of my grandchildren, Michael’s children, are now at the University of Connecticut, Gabriela is a Junior and Alex is in her fifth year graduating from chemistry.
He is a college scholar and has been accepted into a prestigious college in California, UC Berkeley and the school will pay all of his expenses.
Marco, a short story of my life that I want to share with the people of Gratteri “.
Rubrica “C’era una volta in America…”
In the picture Giuseppe Oddo, his son Pietro and family #iltempodelritorno