This is the second letter sent from Michele to Abbot Follo and the eighth often altogether. It too may be a draft, just as we suspect the previous letter also was. Like the previous letter, it is unsigned. Michele mentions that has received two recent letters from the Abbot written on 12 and 24 January respectively.
ORIGINAL LETTER IN ITALIAN
Hollis 1 February 1950
Dearest Father Follo
Your two letters have been received, one dated 12 [January] and the other the 24th. Before anything else, I and my wife were saddened regarding the misfortunes of your sister, and for the illness of your dear niece, and I extend my best wishes, and those of my family, for a prompt recovery, and that upon receipt of this letter you find yourselves all in the best of health.
I have written you a second letter that you should receive following this one, in which I have explained an idea of mine regarding the Bell. Tomorrow night a part of the Committee will hold a meeting in the house of my brother-in-law, Giovanni, to go over the expenses for the organ, and I have asked him to inform you of everything.
Regarding the seven meters of fabric for your cassock, my wife is awaiting a friend of hers who is supposed to take her to the city of N.Y. where there are stores that exclusively sell such material, and I obtained the address from the Pastor of my church in Jamaica, a city of one and a half million with grand department stores. I went out to find [the material] but with no success; the Pastor told me that it is still quite difficult to find good material, and he showed me some material that he purchased in Rome in 1927, still in perfect condition and better than the material that they sell here, but I also believe that it [the material being produced in America] is still better than the scrap wool currently produced in Italy. Based on the above, you should receive this material rather than something else, as well as the 2000 lire*, without any obligation on your part, except your thoughts [on our behalf] when you say the Holy Mass.
Were I to come to Italy alone, you would be the only one to know about it, no one else before you, but for the present, I cannot give you any assurance, as my job is only to extend a hand of brotherly friendship and to thank you for the opportunity given to me as one you have put your trust in to be of service to the Mother Church, and to tell the Padulesi that your family, from its antecedents to the present, may have been equaled, but never surpassed for honesty and rectitude, etc., etc.! Therefore, to tell you the truth, it is my obligation to serve my Mother Church, and that at the title Pastor that His Eminence the Archbishop of Benevento has named and entrusted to you as Abbot of the Mother Church, the Padulesi here should be proud of you, and thank the Good Lord for such fortune, this is my opinion and that of honest persons of good sense!…
My wife is awaiting a reply from Signora Graziella Alfieri, married name Tretola, regarding the house that my parents left me, as various people have written that it is in bad condition and that it should be repaired, and I do not know what they are writing about, but she told me that she hopes that I will come to spend a season in Paduli and that after so many years of administration she desired that it should be repaired, and I have responded that Signora Graziella is another Mastropiero [unknown reference], and that if so I will not grant her the capacity any longer to give [the house?] to other people, friend or relative, and that in respect for my deceased parents I would like the house to be maintained in good condition, but before this I ask you a favor, that you go see it and tell me what impression you have. Alf. Tino wants to buy it for his sister, but she responded that she did not want to see it. I truly do not know the house as it was bought when I had already found myself in America, and if you wish more information you can ask about it from the father of my Godmother as he knows more about it than do I.
I have heard it said that the municipal administration needs 400,000 lire, the Convent 300,000 lire, and I believe that including the Bell 800 dollars more. The Plaque that comes first setting aside other requests that I direct to you.
NOTES AND COMMENTS
Zullo-Follo1Feb50: Handwritten letter written in ink on both sides of single sheet. Unsigned. Possible draft. From Michele Zullo to Padre Giovanni Battista Follo of Paduli. Translated by Alexander De Angelis, February 25, 2001.
*I believe that this means that Michele is going to send Abbot Follo the cloth produced in America and that in addition he is returning the 2000 lire that the Abbot gave him to buy the cloth.