Photo:The book signing at Barnes & Noble on November 2019
By Laurie Luongo
I grew up in Somerville ~ more than 50 years ago ~ when it was a good place to live and raise a family. Mine moved from the North End when my Uncle purchased a three-family home on Marshall Street. In it lived my grandfather, my uncle and family and my family. We went to church at St. Anne’s, where my older sister and I and our cousins attended parochial school. For over 50 years, I kept in touch with the diminutive Sister Stephanos Badessa, an icon of the school and parish. She lived to be 102 years old and was still growing her own tomatoes.
My sister and I would walk to Broadway and take the bus to Foss Park where we swam in the public pool during summers. Mom, who never drove, packed me and my younger brother up in our winter woolies to take the bus and then the “T” to Filene’s basement, where Mom was known for bringing home bargains.
During the holidays, Grandpa always had Italian cookies from the neighborhood bakery (the name I cannot recall), and anisette to go with his coffee. Immigrants (he was from Sicily), wanted desperately to fit in so I rarely heard him speak Italian. My dad was bi-lingual Italian; however, Mom forbade him to teach us Italian, for fear of being ostracized. It’s a shame, as I look back, because now it is okay to be ethnic and we are proud of our heritage.
I miss those days ~ when Somerville was not referred to in derogatory terms and when families sat on the stoop at night to talk about the day. Neighbors were neighbors, we knew who lived in the houses on our street and those people were our friends. We had milk delivered in glass bottles, and, if needed, Doctor Menendez made a house call. It was a simpler time ~ when most people were civil and kind….
I moved from Somerville decades ago and, as a hotelier, lived all over the country. All of my relatives except for my siblings, have stayed in Massachusetts. The Somerville clan moved onto Hyde Park after my Uncle sold the Marshall Street home. Grandpa and his family (he was widowed at a young age and remarried), moved to School Street where Grandpa died in 1975.
My career high point was being hired and working as the VP of HR for the Trump Hotel Collection in 2007. In 2011, I had to resign and move to Florida to care for my mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sadly, Mom died in early 2017. I was depressed and unable to do much for over a year. One day the green light went on and I heard Mom telling me to get on with my life. I always wanted to write a book and after a couple of fits and starts, I published, “The Essence of Donald J. Trump ~ Lessons on Achieving Success”. It speaks to my time with the Trump Organization, working with the Trump “kids”, opening many hotels in several countries. Additionally, I discuss a different leadership trait in each of the 10 chapters and I feature those people, famous and not, who have used that specific trait to garner their version of success.
The highlight of writing the book was my first book signing at a Barnes & Noble where I sold out all copies and some of my own inventory. I think Mom had something to do with it but, I am just a girl from Somerville!
The book is available at Titcombsbookshop.com, a family owned Cape Cod book store in business over 50 years
It’s available on Amazon.com as well!
Photo with Ivanka Trump includes me on far left at Trump Las Vegas, 2007.
Photo: With me shaking Don Jr’s hand is his book signing on Nov. 13, 2019 at Trump Las Vegas