I started this project by first asking my pap if we already had a family crest. The thought was, I would modernize and customize the existing crest specifically for my family. My pap had this hung in his house. It was very interesting to read, but it did not give my much that I could use for this project. However, I wanted to take something from this document. So, I decided to use the most common style of shield on it.
About the shield: Needless to say, we are an Italian-American family. That was always important to me. I loved the traditions and stories of my great grandparents that came from Italy. On holidays, we'd go visit "the hill". It was the Little Italy section of our town, Ellwood City. Rosana Street was up on a hill and we had a few relatives that lived up there. The older relatives on Rosana Street were still tied to the old ways. It was a different world up there.
Religion was also important to my family, as well. We went to church every Sunday. It was our Sunday routine. Mass was at 8:00 am, then off to my grandparents' house for Sunday dinner.
Growing up, family was always at the forefront of my life. All of the family, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, would gather at my grandparents' house for dinner every Sunday. In between the loud conversations flying in every direction around the table, we filled our mouths with pasta and meatballs. The real show, however, was before we even sat down. My grandma and pap cooked the meal together and let me tell you, it was entertaining. Whether it was my grandma yelling at my pap, him dancing, or the various foods we would watch him dip into his coffee (we once found a whole slice of tomato at the bottom of his cup), there was always a show. So, it only seemed fitting that when they opened a restaurant they called it Cucina Pazzo. In Italian, that translates to "the crazy kitchen".
My pap, of course, made wine in his basement. I started helping out with it when I was a teenager. Being the low man on the totem pole, I washed the bottles and jugs. Every once in a while though, my pap would let me suck on "the dirty hose". This was the plastic hose we used to siphon the grape juice from the bucket to the carboy. Now, I make my own wine in my basement. I still use the same method that my pap showed to my dad, who then showed me.
The final product: