Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chapter Two, my Father in the Pacific.

An insight into my old man is the other chapter to who are we. From my earliest memories I can hear my dads war stories, I still hear them today and for anyone that truely knows me it goes along way to explain why I like the things that I do.
At any rate my father, John Tesoriero Snr, served in the Pacific, in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. He was stationed up there from about 1943 onwards. He had two paricularly good skills, he was an amazing artist and a crack shot with a rifle.
One day whilst on patrol with buddies along the Yalu River he sighted on a large Cockatoo flying and screeching high above the tree tops, he lead him and then took a shot on the wing and then to everyones amazement it fell like a stone at their feet. At the same moment, they heard a splutter and looked up to see a plane coming down from a great height, tumbling like a leaf, no smoke or fire as usually imagined.
At that point a white parachute ejected, carrying the pilot who swung down slowly. It was an American plane, a P-39 Aircobra and then two similar aircraft flew tight circles around the pilot as he came down.
Dad's mates in jubilation at the shot were shouting a lot of nonsense while this went on, such as 'Wow, what a terrific shot! The bird and the plane with one bullet.' It didn't seem to matter that it had been one of ours that fell from the sky. They later learned that the pilot was rescued and was earlier stricken in a dog fight but this didn't stop the rumours from circling the camp as to Dad's marksmanship.

In this photo my father on the left is with mates overseeing the guarding of supplies that had recently been unloaded at Lae.

One of his sketches showing a huge American LST on the beach spilling forth activity and supplies.

Where do we come from?

Recently Ive been inspired by several of the blogs that I view and the wonderful stories that trace our family history. Its a who are we quest and why am I the way that I am. Well the Papa's tale starts back in New York at the beginning of the 20th Century with the arrival of Nonno Vincenzo Tesoriero, my grandfather.

Photographed here at the Crystal Hall Photo studio East 48th and 14th street New York in approximately 1918 we see a very young Vincenzo hamming it up for the Camera.
Vincenzo was an unremarkable man but he belonged to a very remarkable generation who literally took the world as their oyster and pursued their dreams across the oceans to foreign shores. Vincenzo arrived in Ellis Island from the The Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily, alone at the age of 14 years old. He was a solid lad who enjoyed hard work and so moving to Brooklyn he took up the employment of a stevedore on the wharves unloading cargo. It was here that he meet my grandmother whose family had arrived in the late 1890's. She was born on Union Street in Brooklyn. It must have been a hard time and a hard place for them both because not long after, they returned to Italy where my father was born. Four years later they were boat bound again, this time for Australia and that is where my story begins many years later.
I often wonder what my life would have been like had my family stayed in America. In some ways I have always felt a little cheated by being down in the antipodes when all the things that interest me and many of my good friends call America home, this would go a long way to explaining why Ive been to the states about 26 times and feel a deep affinity for the home of my forefathers. I am of course a product of my own environment, here in Australia, and it is perhaps because of this that I have the interests that I have, had I been born in the States there is no guarantee that I would have found any of 'IT' remarkable and I could have been oblivious to it all. It is this thinking that allows me to rationalise everything at the end of the day but at times it certainly is cold comfort when I know that every weekend you folks are at the flea market perpetually on the hunt for the good stuff. Realistically however It ain't all the bad, as I get to wake early and paddle out into pristine waters and conjugate with the sea and then once home again, dried and warm I get to sit in front of this screen and read about what a fine day you've had and what great vintage pieces you've been able to unearth.

Toes up front 'cause life's a glide.

Some days you just put your best foot forward and go with the glide.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Monster Papa Rides his Mini Simmons

Alas another rainy weekend sprouts more art work. In this rendition The Monster Papa is taking his new Mini Simmons down to the beach to engage in the preverbal foam glide'n'slide. A gentle reminder to all my cyber pals, The Monster Papa T-shirt is available through the Speedway Online store ( for a mere 3,900 yen, buy one now so I can retire!!