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About the author


Bob Farina was born and raised in New York City, growing up in the boroughs of both Brooklyn and Queens. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bob lived and worked in New York City until 2006, when he and his family moved to Charleston, SC. I Didn't Always Like Calamari is Bob's memoir of growing up in New York during the '40s, 50s, and 60s, as well as the growth of his own family and career all the way through the turn of the new millennium. It is also the story of determining how to survive and grow in the face of everyday challenges, personal tragedy, and family conflict. Bob graduated from St. John's Prep in Brooklyn and St. John's University in Queens, NY. He enjoyed a 30-year career with Bloomingdale's department store, where he held the position Vice President of Operations for the world-renowned flagship store on Lexington Avenue in NYC. Eventually he earned the title Vice President of Customer Service for the entire company. Following his career at Bloomingdales, Bob was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Hart Systems, a bar code scanner rental company. Presently, Bob is a real estate professional with Dunes Properties, a firm that serves the Charleston area. Bob and his wife, Mary Ann, reside on Daniel Island in Charleston. His daughter, Allison, and grandson live locally, and his daughter, Carolyn, resides in Charlotte, NC, with her family. An avid golfer, Bob has enjoyed many of Charleston's magnificent courses. …and he absolutely loves calamari – a lot!
Read more
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I Didn't Always Like Calamari
A NYC Italian-American Story

Overview


New York City in the 1950s - I was a product of America's economic and societal transformations. My grandparents were Italian immigrants. I proudly anticipated being the first in line to attend college. My family created a pedestal of achievement for me - but after 18 years of being perched atop this pinnacle as the "favored son," I was no longer supported by them. Relationships were severed and seemingly unbreakable ties now delineated my past life from the one I was about to create. This is the account of my personal journey to survive and to thrive without my relatives. I discovered that as long as I was in a position to "Make just one someone happy...," then indeed, I could be happy, too. And I was. And I am.
Read more

Description


Bob Farina's life journey began in New York City in the 1940s. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bob was raised in the burgeoning and fast-changing neighborhoods of the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs. America's post-war economic and societal transformations had a significant role in shaping the city, these neighborhoods, the people who lived in them, and on Bob's formative years and experiences. Starting with his close relationship with his parents and grandparents as a child, I Didn't Always Like Calamari looks back on the poignant memories and touchstones of this time that were so significant and impressionable, Bob easily recalls them in vivid detail decades later. Beginning with regular family dinners and gatherings, always featuring his grandmother's favorite Italian recipes that are described in mouth-watering detail, moving through his early school years, Bob re-counts the dedicated work ethic demonstrated by all of the adults in his life – another formative value he inherited. Moving up through middle school and then Catholic high school in Brooklyn, readers are taken through a mind's reel of unique, and often endearingly funny, coming-of-age experiences, but many of which may have a ring of familiarity to readers who grew up in a similar time and place. Stickball in the city streets, a first dance party, running afoul of the teaching Franciscan brothers, and other vignettes at once both commonplace and profound, this is a vivid recollection of the times, the values, and the changes Bob lived through and up to his high school years. The dawn of that most tumultuous decade, the '60s, brings more life-altering challenges and experiences to Bob as well. Starting with his college years at St. John's University in Queens, NY, and there meeting his wife-to-be, Bob takes readers on a tour of a time in his life that is at once joyous and heart-wrenching. Faced with choices that will define the rest of his life, Bob opens his heart and his mind, parsing out what it means to understand and navigate the difference between living your own life while trying to understand and respect the feelings of those who have sacrificed a great deal to give you the opportunity to make that life. In the course of that struggle, drawing on the values instilled him by his family and upbringing, Bob shows how he came to terms with the evolving reality of altered relationships with his family and the joy he found daily in the promise of his own new family and professional career. From there, Bob shares his family's growth, personal challenges, triumphs, tragedies, and joys all the way through the present day, including the wide network of friends whose company he and his wife have enjoyed for many years. I Didn't Always Like Calamari is one man's clear-eyed account of a life well-lived and a recollection of the experiences that shaped him.
Read more

Overview


New York City in the 1950s - I was a product of America's economic and societal transformations. My grandparents were Italian immigrants. I proudly anticipated being the first in line to attend college. My family created a pedestal of achievement for me - but after 18 years of being perched atop this pinnacle as the "favored son," I was no longer supported by them. Relationships were severed and seemingly unbreakable ties now delineated my past life from the one I was about to create. This is the account of my personal journey to survive and to thrive without my relatives. I discovered that as long as I was in a position to "Make just one someone happy...," then indeed, I could be happy, too. And I was. And I am.

Read more

Description


Bob Farina's life journey began in New York City in the 1940s. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bob was raised in the burgeoning and fast-changing neighborhoods of the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs. America's post-war economic and societal transformations had a significant role in shaping the city, these neighborhoods, the people who lived in them, and on Bob's formative years and experiences. Starting with his close relationship with his parents and grandparents as a child, I Didn't Always Like Calamari looks back on the poignant memories and touchstones of this time that were so significant and impressionable, Bob easily recalls them in vivid detail decades later. Beginning with regular family dinners and gatherings, always featuring his grandmother's favorite Italian recipes that are described in mouth-watering detail, moving through his early school years, Bob re-counts the dedicated work ethic demonstrated by all of the adults in his life – another formative value he inherited. Moving up through middle school and then Catholic high school in Brooklyn, readers are taken through a mind's reel of unique, and often endearingly funny, coming-of-age experiences, but many of which may have a ring of familiarity to readers who grew up in a similar time and place. Stickball in the city streets, a first dance party, running afoul of the teaching Franciscan brothers, and other vignettes at once both commonplace and profound, this is a vivid recollection of the times, the values, and the changes Bob lived through and up to his high school years. The dawn of that most tumultuous decade, the '60s, brings more life-altering challenges and experiences to Bob as well. Starting with his college years at St. John's University in Queens, NY, and there meeting his wife-to-be, Bob takes readers on a tour of a time in his life that is at once joyous and heart-wrenching. Faced with choices that will define the rest of his life, Bob opens his heart and his mind, parsing out what it means to understand and navigate the difference between living your own life while trying to understand and respect the feelings of those who have sacrificed a great deal to give you the opportunity to make that life. In the course of that struggle, drawing on the values instilled him by his family and upbringing, Bob shows how he came to terms with the evolving reality of altered relationships with his family and the joy he found daily in the promise of his own new family and professional career. From there, Bob shares his family's growth, personal challenges, triumphs, tragedies, and joys all the way through the present day, including the wide network of friends whose company he and his wife have enjoyed for many years. I Didn't Always Like Calamari is one man's clear-eyed account of a life well-lived and a recollection of the experiences that shaped him.

Read more

Book details

Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Subgenre:Personal Memoirs

Language:English

Pages:174

eBook ISBN:9781098333607


Overview


New York City in the 1950s - I was a product of America's economic and societal transformations. My grandparents were Italian immigrants. I proudly anticipated being the first in line to attend college. My family created a pedestal of achievement for me - but after 18 years of being perched atop this pinnacle as the "favored son," I was no longer supported by them. Relationships were severed and seemingly unbreakable ties now delineated my past life from the one I was about to create. This is the account of my personal journey to survive and to thrive without my relatives. I discovered that as long as I was in a position to "Make just one someone happy...," then indeed, I could be happy, too. And I was. And I am.

Read more

Description


Bob Farina's life journey began in New York City in the 1940s. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bob was raised in the burgeoning and fast-changing neighborhoods of the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs. America's post-war economic and societal transformations had a significant role in shaping the city, these neighborhoods, the people who lived in them, and on Bob's formative years and experiences. Starting with his close relationship with his parents and grandparents as a child, I Didn't Always Like Calamari looks back on the poignant memories and touchstones of this time that were so significant and impressionable, Bob easily recalls them in vivid detail decades later. Beginning with regular family dinners and gatherings, always featuring his grandmother's favorite Italian recipes that are described in mouth-watering detail, moving through his early school years, Bob re-counts the dedicated work ethic demonstrated by all of the adults in his life – another formative value he inherited. Moving up through middle school and then Catholic high school in Brooklyn, readers are taken through a mind's reel of unique, and often endearingly funny, coming-of-age experiences, but many of which may have a ring of familiarity to readers who grew up in a similar time and place. Stickball in the city streets, a first dance party, running afoul of the teaching Franciscan brothers, and other vignettes at once both commonplace and profound, this is a vivid recollection of the times, the values, and the changes Bob lived through and up to his high school years. The dawn of that most tumultuous decade, the '60s, brings more life-altering challenges and experiences to Bob as well. Starting with his college years at St. John's University in Queens, NY, and there meeting his wife-to-be, Bob takes readers on a tour of a time in his life that is at once joyous and heart-wrenching. Faced with choices that will define the rest of his life, Bob opens his heart and his mind, parsing out what it means to understand and navigate the difference between living your own life while trying to understand and respect the feelings of those who have sacrificed a great deal to give you the opportunity to make that life. In the course of that struggle, drawing on the values instilled him by his family and upbringing, Bob shows how he came to terms with the evolving reality of altered relationships with his family and the joy he found daily in the promise of his own new family and professional career. From there, Bob shares his family's growth, personal challenges, triumphs, tragedies, and joys all the way through the present day, including the wide network of friends whose company he and his wife have enjoyed for many years. I Didn't Always Like Calamari is one man's clear-eyed account of a life well-lived and a recollection of the experiences that shaped him.

Read more

About the author


Bob Farina was born and raised in New York City, growing up in the boroughs of both Brooklyn and Queens. The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bob lived and worked in New York City until 2006, when he and his family moved to Charleston, SC. I Didn't Always Like Calamari is Bob's memoir of growing up in New York during the '40s, 50s, and 60s, as well as the growth of his own family and career all the way through the turn of the new millennium. It is also the story of determining how to survive and grow in the face of everyday challenges, personal tragedy, and family conflict. Bob graduated from St. John's Prep in Brooklyn and St. John's University in Queens, NY. He enjoyed a 30-year career with Bloomingdale's department store, where he held the position Vice President of Operations for the world-renowned flagship store on Lexington Avenue in NYC. Eventually he earned the title Vice President of Customer Service for the entire company. Following his career at Bloomingdales, Bob was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Hart Systems, a bar code scanner rental company. Presently, Bob is a real estate professional with Dunes Properties, a firm that serves the Charleston area. Bob and his wife, Mary Ann, reside on Daniel Island in Charleston. His daughter, Allison, and grandson live locally, and his daughter, Carolyn, resides in Charlotte, NC, with her family. An avid golfer, Bob has enjoyed many of Charleston's magnificent courses. …and he absolutely loves calamari – a lot!

Read more

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