The “old” Coastside, where everybody talked Italian (5)


Rina’s father set up a vegetable stand half-a-mile north of Half Moon Bay on the “Lopes Ranch.” As a teenager, Rina often worked there. Her future husband “Italo used to stop and visit. One time he gave me a ride. I was walking to Half Moon Bay with a heavy pack filled with clothes I was going to send to my grandmother in Italy.” After that Italo stopped by the vegetable stand regularly.

When they wed in 1931, the “padrone” John Patroni loaned his Cadillac car to the happy couple. Italo ‘s brother, Egisto, who later owned gas stations in Moss Beach and Princeton, drove them to Half Moon Bay–in style–for the wedding ceremony held in the “little” [by little, she meant the old, now gone] Catholic Church.

At their first home in Princeton, Rina and Italo farmed 75-acres in artichokes and sprouts. They rented the land from the Danieri brothers, who lived in what is today the San Benito House on Main Street. Two or three men worked for the Pacinis; Rina did the cooking.

….to be continued…