John DeLeo has been a resident of Johnston since 1964, when he moved there with his wife and five children. His daughter Janet has published a book about his amazing life. The book is entitled “A Life Well Lived - Accompany My Father, a First-generation Italian American, as he Journeys Through the Great Depression, World War II, Fatherhood, Mentorship, Widowhood, to Family Patriarch in his First Ninety-four Years.”
You can read the first chapter on Amazon by searching for amazon.com/author/janetdeleo. The book is available locally at Barrington Books at their Garden City store as well as their Barrington store. The book can also be purchased directly from Amazon.
This book provides a snapshot of America from the late 1920s to today. Share a slice of history through the eyes of a first-generation Italian American man and his daughter.
Walk the streets of Federal Hill in Providence. Savor the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchens of the Italian immigrants. Watch as they build strong families and help construct a new country. Appreciate them as they strive for and attain their share of the American Dream. Accompany John as he swims and fishes in Boston Harbor. Share his bird’s-eye view as he becomes a “plank owner” aboard the USS Missouri during World War II and witnesses the Japanese Surrender on that storied deck. Allow him and his crew mates to escort you back to Pearl Harbor when the Mighty Mo takes her final journey in 1998. Walk with him as he traverses life’s landscape, develops a family and a legacy. Laugh and listen as he performs his antics, narrates his stories, and tells his jokes.
Whether you are an Italian American or not, I guarantee you will recognize your relatives, awaken a buried memory or two, shed some tears, and have more than a few chuckles. You will smile from cover to cover. Perhaps you will be inspired to examine more about your own genealogy. The author hopes so. You may uncover a treasure trove.
(Text and photos by Janet DeLeo)