Mos na harroni. Do not forget us.
Nina Pecoraro Borgman Carpenter
The best education I ever had was growing up in the Bush.
For the Italian girls our parents were too strict. It was school, home, and church.
Victoria Marie Gandolfo Pelliteri Stassi
Ma & Pa
Growing up, when years seemed long and things loomed large, and in their shadows, apart from the cares of the world which were all too real to them, we played and dreamed of days to come.
And when that distant time was somehow suddenly upon us, facing in such a small way the cares which troubled them, we finally knew how much we owe them, and how very much we love them.
Joe C. "Buffo" Cerniglia
Hanging out at Schwartz Pharmacy meant reading comic books with a yamulkah in our back pocket, in case Barney Nathenson came along needing men for a minyon.
People were concerned about children. They knew every child. Kids didn't do stuff, because someone would tell your mother.
The Bush was not without fault, but what neighborhood is? Maybe we didn't realize how special it was until it began to disappear.
Catherine Tripalin Murray
Because of family tragedies some children in Greenbush left childhood early. At the age of 14, Jennie Justo became the near-sole support of herself and her younger siblings.
- Rosalie Coronna Potts
So many people are afraid of who they are and where they came from. To me, it is a part of who I am and why I am who I am[.] All the people who came before me are exciting!
- Roberta Shivers Mecum
When you tear down this community, you are ruining the best neighborhood in the country!
Anna Mae Miller Mitchell, Longfellow School Hearing
We came by boat, foot, cart, horse, and train. We brought our customs, traditions, a few possessions, and dreams of opportunity and freedom.
Philana Gandolfo Friede
I am here as the result of a pig and the ingenuity of my mother. She raised a piglet, sharing the family's food, and sold the full grown pig for $9 to pay for my father's passage to America.
Providence Raimondo Warne
A kaleidoscope of life was settled in Greenbush, "on the other side of the tracks". They helped pave Madison streets, laid the concrete sidewalks and curbing, put in the stone, bricks and laths that created office buildings and residences, and carved the stone statuary that graces the exterior of the State Capitol.
If you didn't grow up there, you missed a great neighborhood.
Around the corner on Regent was a barn owned by a Jewish man we called "Spike". Early each morning I took a bowl for fresh warm milk for a nickel.
Raffaele Reda loved to sing and had a beautiful operatic voice. Each morning he'd wake up before anyone else, walk out to the middle of Regent Street and, like a farmyard rooster, sing Italian songs with such zest that you couldn't be angry.
The immigrants of the Bush have woven a beautiful tapestry of life for generations to enjoy.
Joanne Caravello Batts
I stripped tobacco at Lorillard Company located behind Proudfit. We were paid a $5 gold coin for week's work of six days, ten hours each.
Rachel Sweet Dutch
Two Schiro brothers married two Wrend sisters and together they raised fourteen children in one house.
Georgia Schiro Cerniglia
The city used to dump street snow at Harloff's outdoor park. When spring arrived, all the guys would take rakes to clean the field. This is where we played softball, basketball, and touch football and where we practiced running, pole vaulting, and high jumping.
The Bush was not a slum. A slum is an area of old houses deteriorating. In the Bush houses were being improved and the property became valuable - too valuable.
Odell A. Taliaferro
Firemen repaired old toys and at Draper School there was a lending system. Children could check out toys like library books. That's how I learned to ride a bike.
We lived in a two story house directly behind my father's grocery store. With thirteen kids in the family we needed all the room there was, yet one room was off limits - the spaghetti room where the pasta was stored.
Anne Intravaia Cerniglia
Living on Regent Street for over 50 years, Josephine Casara Brasci didn't leave the neighborhood, Greenbush left her.
We had a bread man, a coal man, an ice man, a fruit and vegetable man, a watermelon man and a fish man, and a man who sharpened knives and scissors. Each had a distinctive sound.
Anne Stassi Bruno & Frank Bucaida
Many black men had trouble finding jobs that would support their families. They often worked at two or three or more part time jobs. My father, Richard "T-Bone" Johnson, found his permanent job at the Roundhouse as a turntable operator.
Clovis Johnson Oliver
The Italian people in the Bush didn't argue about "just anything." Instead, they argued about who grew the largest tomatoes. Grandpa Fiore would sit on a chair and watch them grow.
Maybe we got along so well because we were all in the same boat, and the name of the boat was "Poverty."
My father's dog was his constant companion. He was just a mutt, but a real "show dog." He could twirl a pasta colander on his nose like a hula hoop.
Beatrice Ales Uccello Gervasi
Our house at 109 S. Park was the headquarters for the 30-day-long Black farm workers strike at Mazomanie in 1949, a time of intense legal and de facto segregation. Police and racist whites gave us a hard time.
Clarence & Maggie Kailin
Neighborhood House was originally called Community House until a little girl walked in and asked me, "Are you going to be my neighbor?"
Helen Dexter, NH Board Member
When the summer nights were too hot to stay in the house, my sisters and I laid pillows and blankets in our driveway at 817 Regent, while Chuck slept on the roof of the garage. In that neighborhood no one worried about us being outside all night.
Florence Clementi Blazek
The sounds of day and night were of train whistles, the coupling of freight cars, and cattle mooing at the stockyard near the Roundhouse. You could hear cars backfiring, street cars clanging, peddlers calling out their wares, children playing, mothers calling children home, men singing, and the music of accordians on special holidays.
A loud whistle blew every night at 9:30 at the University Boat House as a signal for boats to get off the lake. It became our curfew as well and we'd all run for home.
Rosario "Nick" Stassi
In the early days ice cream was seasonal. At the first spring delivery Dad would tell his customers that ice cream cones were free. It was great for public relations and an exciting day in the neighborhood.
The Bush was a microcosm, reflecting the Americanization process. From many peoples one neighborhood emerged, whose cohesiveness outlasted its geography.
Carol Goodwin Goroff
We had credit back in those days but no credit cards. Local grocers had a ledger with each family's name. When payday came, we settled our accounts. The grocer paid interest in candy or ice cream cones for children.
Addrena Matthews Squires
If I saw my mother picking something on this very spot, I knew she was gathering mushrooms for supper. "On this very spot" is now where the Greenbush Memorial is located.
Sarah Brasci Jones
We didn't know we were deprived until the social workers told us.
Joe C. "Buffo" Cerniglia
The Blessed Martin House recruited Greenbush children to a Saturday morning program in the basement of St. James Church. Blessed Martin moved to Greenbush on West Washington from 1945 to 1952. It provided guidance, spiritual, and cultural enrichment, especially for Black children, who felt comfortable there.
Clovis Johnson Oliver
After supper we'd head down to Brittingham Park to play football. With school, chores, work, and meals, it was dark before we started so I painted the football white. Try kicking a ball heavy with paint; it's slightly hard on the toe.
My father had a bocci ball court at our house on West Main. There were short boards on each side, a high board at the end and benches along the sides.
I never knew about racism until I left the Bush and joined the Army.
Al Dockery & Algae "Duby" Shivers
The White Front Grocery was my favorite spot for soda pop, semenses or an ice cream cone. Mr. Caruso would stick the scoop into the water container with a flair. He dug his arm deep into the ice cream drum containing the flavor you chose. I left his store with the feeling that my nickel got a bigger scoop than anyone else.
During WWII the servicemen based at Truax Field headed down to "Spaghetti Corners" at Park and Regent. Restaurants within a half block were Bunky's, Tiny's, the Roman Inn, DiSalvo's Spaghetti House, and Jimmie's Spaghetti House. Lines formed early and remained until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes the servicemen would do dishes to get their meal and help move the customers along. Lines ran from the door around the corner as far as the old viaduct on N. Park.
Angie Reda Puccio
My father Guiseppe Schiro, tavern owner, was known as "The Goodwill Ambassador," "The Mayor of Regent St.," and "Father Joe." Advice and loans were available to those in need. One bitterly cold night I saw a homeless man, Eric, crawling into the back of a truck. I went out to tell him he would freeze to death. My father and I fixed him a bed near the furnace. Eric stayed and did errands in exchange for a roof over his head.
Frank J. Schiro
The Triangle, a three cornered circle.
WHA TV Video 1984
Lawrence Salerno sang the theme songs on the radio soap operas Little Orphan Annie and The Helen Trent Show. My brother would call me from Chicago to put on a midnight supper for his friends. I would have the grocery store opened to buy the food.
Rose Salerno Barbato
There were times when Dr. Michael J.J. Coluccy would give a patient a prescription plus a $5.00 bill to pay for it.
Destroying a neighborhood will never happen again in Madison. The residents will be involved in community planning.
Sol Levin, (2nd Director, Madison Redevelopment Authority)
And then the singing began. It was called "Stornelli". Like opera, one would begin by singing a statement. Another would sing an answer. Verses were created as they sang, and laughter and applause accompanied their cleverness with words.
Joseph R. Vitale
We make everything that goes into the preparation of cheeses, except the cheese itself.
Motto of Marschall Dairly Lab
Euruchim Epstein was the first rabbi and cantor of Greenbush. When he learned that he was dying of tuberculosis, he set up his wife in a grocery store on West Washington Avenue. His son Abe started hawking newspapers at age 7. By age 14 Abe was earning $35 a week, enough to pay off the mortgage, while attending high school full time.
Wisconsin State Journal, 1918
The Canepa Brothers built a plywood camper on a trailer. The back had an awning over the railing, like a politician's railroad car, with a circle saying 'The Brown Bug'. Guys would go to Baraboo and Devil's Lake for camping and rattlesnake hunting. One group of young boys went as far as the redwoods in California.
At night in the 'Brown Bug', we would warm our blankets on the car's hot muffler, and dash inside to huddle together.
The Fox Den was the first Madison restaurant to serve spaghetti dinners, free with drinks. When the city forbade this, my parents charged one cent.
Festivals at Brittingham Park sent mouthwatering aromas throughout Greenbush. All those good times and fund ended when the neighborhood disappeared.
Sarah Fodera Nietupski
All us guys sold newspapers. We had to sell 100 papers to make $1. I bought my first bicycle with my earnings.
Reverend Antonio Parroni of the Italian Methodist Church was a vital force in the Greenbush community. He established clubs to help youths learn useful trades. His church had more than 300 members which included 14 nationalities.
Childhood in the Bush was the best time of my life. I grew up eating as much spaghetti as my Italian friends.
Her parents were holding two-year-old Josie Macnasco's hands as she stepped off the boat at Ellis Island. It was the beginning of a new life for her immigrant family.
Joanne Schuepbach Jensen
The weather was cold, the house was not insulated, and we were poor. I built a wagon from some old wood, and found four baby buggy wheels at the dump. For a handle, I tied string to the wagon and pulled it that way. I'd go down to the railroad tracks and collect coal. There was something like a funnel under coal cars, so if you knew where to look, it was easy to fill the wagon.
Gardens were everywhere. If you visited a family, they'd always send something home with you.
We couldn't wait for Saturday to arrive. Kids lined up at the Neighborhood House to watch silent films for a penny.