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Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Tailoring / Su Misura

 

 Ciao Amici,

         I recently needed a pair of pants that had torn at the hem to be repaired.  This reminded me of how life has changed from back when I was young. With the surfacing of all the blouse mills it seemed back then everyone sewed, it was just a matter of who would fix your clothing. Similar to the end of the shoemaker, when the emergence of the athletic shoe and other inexpensive shoes came into being, it came to be that throwing away the shoes and buying a new pair was more economical it only was worth repairing if the shoe was a quality one. When I would see my Grandpop and Dad dress up for a special event they were something to behold, the cufflinks, perfectly made ties and tailored suits, polished shoes, and so on. It was way before the t shirt and jean generation. Clothing also became a throw away generation instead of a fix and repair society. There were many tailors in my family, before the butcher shop my grandfather Philip worked for Brooks Bros. in New York with his brother Michelle , his brother- in- law Joe Falcone was tailor in Philadelphia, my uncle Giacomo was a tailor in Washington D.C. and he was the tailor of Sonny Jorgensen, quarterback of the Redskins. The tailors back in the day that I remember were Lorenzo Rosato, Franklin Rosato [Rosato’s Cleaners] and Nick Falcone. My Mom’s cousin Phil Falcone was a tailor also and I could consider him a master tailor. I remember once when I was in high school he and his wife Lucy came for a visit.  Phil spoke, “Josy, venire qui e permettetemi di misura.” [“Joe, come here and let me measure you.”] “Why?” I asked. “Appena mi voglio fare qualcosa per voi,” he replied. [“Just let me, I want to do something for you.”] The next day he arrived with a 3 piece tailor made suit. It fit like a glove with the attention to detail only our Italian tailor could do. It was too nice to wear to school so I only wore it on special occasions. Besides how much he is missed I wish he was still here to alter the suit now, my dimensions have changed quite a bit from when I was in high school; damn gravity.

 

 

Che cosa un bell'uomo ha il vostro sarto fatto voi!

What a fine man Hath your tailor made you!

~Philip Massinger

 

Con Cordiali Saluti, Joe

 

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