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Highly peculiar trading!

Luigi Baggio (Chicago, Illinois 1920)

I never knew my grandfather from my mother side but I have always heard of his fascinating experiences across the ocean, and more precisely in North America back in the 1920s.

Among a few philanthropists and high-minded Italians, my grandfather (Luigi Baggio b1893 - d1959) spent several years in the United States of America at the time of John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. (the then American business magnate). As you may well imagine, it was not all plain sailing at the time as a result of the Great Depression - an immense tragedy that placed millions of Americans out of work - was about to strike. And yet at the same time the entrepreneurial skills and motives of my grandfather went beyond any expectations!

He had worked in New York City for 4 years and subsequently in Chicago, Illinois for 6 years doing principally mob jobs such as medium-term co-operations in the city sewer excavations for new urban jungles yet to take shape into fashionable and modern suburb forms. So there he was - trying to live up to a faraway foreign land high expectations!

There were also some particularly hilarious episodes in terms of sales activities in which he took part up front. Back in 1920s it was forbidden to sell alcohol in North America and as a result speakeasy enterprises flourished especially in the US in the 1920s and 1930s, since those were places for going to buy and drink alcohol illegally. Funnily enough and to make ends meet - my grandfather (together with a few mates of his) used to smuggle alcohol stuff into a coffin while heedlessly crossing interstate borders under starry winter skies. Local people were often utterly baffled by the scene of a couple of hefty men tugging (by means of ropes) a coffin full of bottles of Italian Grappa (the equivalent to whisky). Of course, locals were blissfully unaware of the coffin contents! Sorridente

Well -  I never knew a man who had better motives for all the wonderful fuss he caused in a foreign land and I find it almost impossible to stand aside as a mere observer. That was my grandfather, genuine, smart and above all a great tradesman and somehow I guess I have always been a bit like him!!

(dreams from my grandfather)

Giorgio Gastaldello, sales and marketing manager
Giorgio Gastaldello
Sales & Marketing Manager

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