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CLEMENTE MATTERA

Home Up CLEMENTE II CLEMENTE III

Oldest Son of Luigi Mattera and Marianna Calise 

Born in Casamicciola, Ischia, Naples in 1874 - Married Maria Antonia DiCarlo at St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia, PA on 25 October 1898 and Died in his home in Philadelphia, PA on 30 November 1946

An uncle, remembered with love and respect by the children of his two brothers.  In words left by, Harry Mattera, his nephew:  "Uncle Clement was a man about 5'3"-- the wagon he drove was more than twice as big as he was. When he had to climb up to the top of that wagon to the driver seat, he had one heck of a job.  And it was hard to imagine this man lifting all that produce off the back of that horse and wagon plus handling two horses at the same time. He was tough!"       

 

Grandpop

At nine years old, in his birth town of Casamicciola, he survived a devastating earthquake with a minor hearing deficiency; spent the balance of his youth very happily in Marseilles, France and in about 1896 the young ambitious man with his equally ambitious family docked on the eastern shore of the United States.

As is listed in the Philadelphia Directory, he began as an entrepreneur, buying and then selling his produce to the various hotels and restaurants. He later became a teamster, driver of a horse and wagon, for his long time huckster friend Felix Spatola and Brothers, when they opened their business.

Grandpop and my Dad enjoyed a special relationship throughout their lifetime and my Dad's fond childhood memory was sitting next to his Dad on the wagon making deliveries and looking forward to the treats obtained at the end of the day "bar" stop.

Part of the fun of going to Norristown by Reading train, was visiting him at the Reading Terminal, where he worked for Felix Spatola and Sons, anticipating  my usual treat of gourmet fruit, such as lady apples.

On Saturday afternoons, he sometimes went to a nearby bar, (owned by a nephew, Angelo DeLuca) and on occasion I was sent to remind him it was dinner time and at the same time was intrigued to see the card playing scenario reminiscent of CÚzanne's painting of the card players.

My grandfather's home-made wine was pink vinegar, no comparison to my Norristown grandfather's delicious red wine, and drinking too much transformed him into the Neapolitan singer, happily singing "East Side West Side All around the town" and "The French Marseilles"; in one swoop combining three nostalgic parts of his youth.

When I was playing baseball (sans bat and with a rubber pimple ball and a roofed ball was a definite homerun) on Bouvier Street, my eye always caught him returning from his day of toil with his daily large bag of fruit and produce thrown over his back.

One Christmas my Aunt Adeline bought him a  gift of a rubber Popeye with a can of spinach because he was an ardent Popeye fan --did he buy the Philadelphia Ledger, his favorite newspaper,  just for the cartoon.

Because he was usually notably quiet, everyone's recollection of him is witnessing a singularly  significant, sudden outburst. Aunt Mill remembers bickering with her sister Vera and with one unexpected movement , each receiving a blow with synchronized hands.

On another occasion, his quick jump from his hassock at the front window,  as he bolted toward the entry startled me, only to see that (after many verbal reprimands) he was phyically  instructing his grandson on how to close a door without slamming it.

When I was old enough to go to dances, he surprised me by asking why I was leaving to go out at almost 10 o'clock p.m., to which I retorted that the dance started late but I would return at my designated time and the answer satisfied him.   Looking back with a sharper understanding of our relationship, it occurs to me that  there were many subtle instances of protection shown by him for me.

In his years as a retired driver, I recall being startled by his rage, one summer evening while sitting on the front step after dinner, he had observed a passing driver mistreating his horse by unnecessarily whipping it.

Sadly, on 30 November 1946, the black crape was hanging at our front doorway at 1737 W. Passyunk Avenue; Grandpop, ill on Thanksgiving, had suddenly died and the shock left our usually feisty grandmother temporarily immobile.  My only clue that Grandpop's illness was grave was noticing my Dad tending to his personal needs and witnessing, very thought provoking, his slow walks from his bedroom to the bathroom in his "long johns".

The morning of his death, there was an atmosphere of mystery in the living room, I was peering over the stairway banister wondering why there was activity only to learn it was the undertaker tending to his duties.

Being two weeks short of sixteen years old, (an unforgettable year) my duty was to run errands, especially providing the cake for the constant flow of relatives, friends and neighbors for the three day viewing; baby-sit my cousin Charlotte the day of the funeral and assist the neighbors arranging the food  table for the many returning mourners.

A very quiet man quietly left us but not without leaving his mark---in English, French and Italian.

 

grands.gif (67812 bytes) Maria & Clemente

 

Descendants

Children of Clemente Mattera and Maria Antonia DiCarlo
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Anna 12-29-1899 James Marlo   Six 05-01-1973
Louis 11-23-1901 Clara Zane   One 07-28-1924
James 11-09-1903 N/A    

07-08-1961

Nicholas 02-10-1906 Susanna DeBlasio 10-13-1928 Two 02-24-1989
Elvira 07-01-1908 Leonard Forte 10-11-1930 Two 03-26-1971
Mildred 12-21-1910 Alfred Cimineri 04-30-1930 One  
Amelia 03-21-1913 Michael Maffei

abt.1961

None 07-15-1986
    Domenic Coloni 06-25-1934 None  
Adeline 08-28-1915 Frank Fragale 10-18-1940 One

08-22-1998

Peter 11-14-1918 Theresa Infanti 1948 Three 10-05-2003

 

Grandchildren of Clemente Mattera & Maria Antonia DiCarlo

Children of Anna Mattera and James Marlo
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Annamarie 04-02-1925 Kenneth Garvin   Two 05-10-1986
Louise abt 1927 Donald Young   Four  
James A. 1929 Marilyn L. Scheidel 1949 Two  
    Josephine Correa 1960 One  
Joanna 1933 Glenn Carlson   One  
Ralph 1934        
Richard 04-19-1939       01-10-1992

 

Children of Louis and Clara Zane
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Clement 10-18-1922 Maxine Latus 03-18-1943 Four 02-08-1993

 

Children of Nicholas and Susanna De Blasio
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Marie 1929 Joseph Saponaro

06-03-1950

Six  
Clement 1932 Pauline Capizzi 11-05-1955 Four  

 

Children of Vera and Leonard Forte
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Frances 1932 A.Robert Ehrig 08-24-1951 Two  
Leonard 09-04-1945 Angela Palanta 10-07-1978 Two 11-01-2003

 

Child of Adeline and Frank Fragale
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Charlotte Antonia

1943

William Minnick

05-01-1976

One  

 

Children of Peter and Theresa Infanti
Child Birth Spouse Marriage Children Death
Peter Robert 1948 Joan Maffei 10-07-1972 Three  
Maryann 1956 Paul Trebelhorn 05-28-1977 Three  
Debora Anne 1958 Richard  Livingston 01-10-1987 Three  
 
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