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Chapter XXIII - DeVenezia Construction, Maplewood

When Eddie returned home from service he did not like to see me continuing working and wanted me to quit my job. Everyone became dissatisfied. With three of my daughters working, they felt there was no need for me to work. However, I was happy with my work and my employer was very good to me and appreciated my work. My boss left up to me the hours I would be able to give, but, for the second time, I had to give in to the pressure of my family and quit my job.

The first few days after I quit I felt like a displaced person. In the afternoon when my housework was done I would go to the grocery store for some supplies that I needed. I felt that I did not belong walking the street in the early afternoon. After seven years of work I had to make another adjustment.

My daughter Irma married in 1946. Shortly after that, Nicola began to not feel well. Upon an examination by the doctor he was told that he had to quit his foundry work. His lungs couldn't tolerate the dust any more. He was only 57.

My son Tony wanted to go into business for himself. A corporation was formed with Tony, my husband, and my son Edward as members. Nicola was able to work outdoors since the fresh air was beneficial to his lungs. Edward was working part time because, when he was discharged from service, he decided to continue in college. With the help of the G.I. Bill of Rights he was able to manage to complete his education.

When one starts a business there is a lot to learn and it was hard in the beginning. We had to pool all of the family resources to stay above water. After a couple of years the business began to expand and sustain itself. There was a lot to learn in construction work and a lot to learn from mistakes.

In 1948, Lee also married and her husband Anthony joined the firm.

My husband still worked hard, but he was well now since being out of doors helped him.

Richard and Marie were both in high school. They both had part time jobs and earned their carfare and spending money.

Lee and Anthony lived with us for a short period of time due to the shortage of rentals after the war.

My oldest daughter, Colette, who now had four children, was being evicted. The house where she lived was sold and the new owner wanted her apartment to live in. She became very nervous because of her inability to find a place to live. Since she had four small children, no one wanted to rent to her.

My husband and I decided to change our house into two apartments, one for Colette and one for Lee. The arrangement we had was temporary and not ideal. I still had four of my children at home and Lee already had one child.

We owned a lot in Maplewood. We consulted with Tony and the other members of the corporation and decided to build a new house for us. The house we lived in would be turned into a two-family house and our two daughters would each have her own apartment.

On February 1, 1950, we moved into our new house. That year our son Eddie graduated Newark College of Engineering and received a Bachelor of Science Degree. He now was a mechanical engineer. I was a very happy person when I attended the ceremony.

Richard graduated high school and enrolled in Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Marie enrolled in the Phoenix School of Design in New York City.

Helen did not like the change of residence from Irvington. In fact no one did. We had a beautiful new home in a very nice neighborhood, with all the modern conveniences and nice furnishings, and no one was satisfied. I was not happy because of the situation. After a few months I told the family that it was time to start enjoying our new home and stop sulking. Like magic the mood changed and harmony reigned again.

Our married children would usually visit us on Sundays.

My husband started the lawn that spring. He had an artistic nature, and under his magic fingers and hard work, shrubs, flowers, a beautiful green lawn, and garden came alive.

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