The “old” Coastside, where everybody talked Italian (3)

half_moon_bay_00000048.jpg (Photo Italo and Rina Pacini)

Before 1941 and for a time thereafter Dianda and John Patroni were called “the padrones or the “bosses.” Patroni owned the Patroni House in Princeton near the present site of the Half Moon Bay Brewery Co.

“He [Patroni] and Dianda owned most of the property” in El Granada and Princeton,” said Rina.

In 1910 Rina’s mother came from Italy to work as a cook in Miramar for Pete and Iacopina Gianni, who ran a lively saloon where “all the Italians went dancing.” The building with a false front and bedrooms in the back is a private residence today.

“Pete Gianni’s wife was my mother’s paisano,” explained Rina. Iacopina and Rina’s mother had lived in the same Italian village, bonding their friendship.

“My mother was 18,” Pacini said. She was short, 4’11”, and as a child was called “the little blondina. She was poor. She lived up in the hills where they had cobblestone streets.”

Rina found it ironic that tourists now find her mother’s Italian village picturesque. Her mother was anxious to escape to America in the early 1900s.

…to be continued…