The Joys of Growing up Italian American


Elvira S Oliver, from Carmel, New York,  claims that at age 99 she is the author of “The Joys of Growing up Italian” which is on the internet as anonymous.  We don’t know who  Elvira is – we never met her – she might not even exist – but her story is intriguing at least as told by whoever posted the blog at

As told by  Eric Shackle, another blogger – who may not be an investigative reporter  – “Elvira’s new blog will wow the millions of Americans proud of having an Italian ancestor.  She claims that 40 years ago she wrote a heartwarming story, “The Joys of Growing Up Italian” that has since been “stolen,” and posted on hundreds of websites without permission or even a byline.”  We located the “The Joys of Growing up Italian American” essay and posted it on the Voce Italiana web site. If someone has some scientific evidence or proof of authorship of this essay, in addition to Elvira’s blog, please come forward.


Is MTV Filming “The Guidos,” a New Reality Show about Italian Americans in New Jersey?

If you thought that cable TV’s The Housewifes of New Jersey was a black eye for Italian Americans, and not just for those who call New Jersey their home, MTV may be topping that degrading program by reportedly producing a new reality show called The Guidos —  “a not-so-complimentary reference to young Italian-American men who frequent the Jersey Shore in Ocean and Monmouth counties,” according to Philadelphia’s Daily News.  If true, we say, enough is enough. Basta with the exploitation of Italian Americans.  If anyone has any more information on this planned further assault on the stereotyping of Italian Americans, please let us know.

New Jersey’s ‘Italian’ Problem

From our friends at the Wall Street Journal, we bring you the latest attention grabbing headline:   “New Jersey’s ‘Italian’ problem.”  Please ask the Wall Street Journal at, how did this New Jersey corruption scandal involving rabbis among others, turn into an “Italian Problem.”

“For the American innocent abroad, learning what our sophisticated European cousins consider scandalous can be instructive. So in the thick of an uproar involving Italy’s prime minister, a blonde call girl and lurid sex tapes, it was illuminating to flip on the TV and watch what had made the evening news: footage of a large group of politicians being carted off in handcuffs.

These were not Italian politicians, however. These were from New Jersey.

Here in Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has responded to his latest scandal by saying that “Italians want me this way.” Thus far in New Jersey, no elected official has been that blatant. Yet this November’s race between incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie will test whether New Jersey voters are fed up with the way their state has become a synonym for corruption.” (WSJ July 28, 2009)

Frank Ricci Comes To Town

You have heard about the Ricci case.  Next week, Frank Ricci will be on Capitol Hill to share his views of what happened in his case when he testifies at the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sondra Sotomayor.  In the Ricci case, the Supreme Court held that New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. discriminated against Frank Ricci when the city decided in 2004 to reject the results of a firefighters’ promotion exam.  According to Justice Alito, DeStefano rejected the test results at the urging of Rev. Boise Kimber, a black community activist who has been close to the mayor for more than a decade.  Kimber, who became chairman of the New Haven Board of Fire told the firefighters, many of whom were Italian, some men would not be hired because “they just have too many vowels in their names.”  The Supreme Court and Justice Alito had a different view.   As Frank Ricci said following the ruling, the Court’s decision shows that “if you work hard, you can succeed in America.” Let’s see now how Frank Ricci is treated by the Senators and by the media!

We are not the “Housewives of New Jersey”!

“If we take the sum total of the influences, of philosophy, of government, and in jurisprudence, discoveries, exploration, the influence on literature, on music, on art, on architecture and on science, then America would not have been the country it is without the contributions of Italians, and this stretches from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth centuries.”   Peter Sammartino 1984 (Founder of Fairleigh Dickinson University).

National Italian American Organizations: What Do You Think?

We would like to hear your views about our  national Italian American organizations, such as the National Italian American Foundation, the Order of Sons of Italy in America and its Sons of Italy Foundation, the National Organization of Italian American Women, the National Italian American Bar Association, Filitalia, and so on. In short any organization that presents itself as representing Americans of Italian descent in the United States.  Thank you.

In Memoriam: Neda

Neda Agha Soltan 1982-2009

Neda Agha Soltan 1982-2009