After finding a charming two-story house with a desirable carriage house below, she decorously prepared it for her flowering family. Content in her decision, Mama saw that her decisions were fit, considering her children made fond memories in a safe, sanitary neighborhood with cordial residents. Mama was arguably strategic in regards to choosing homes. Upon this most contemporary, she seemed to have based her decision off theses three cardinal locations most significant to her desires; the sea, the Virgil School (for her children to attend), and the Mass at the Star of the Sea Catholic Church. It was in this very home that Charles, Frank, and Lucille were born.
On the wrathful morning of April 18, 1906, an ardent quake uprooted San Francisco from its foundations and tossed her about. Rose remembered how “…fire was shooting high into the heavens and water from the broken mains shot into the sky like geysers.” By virtue of the pervading aftershocks, their home was condemned. Forced from their once congenial home, Mama and Papa relocated their family to Santa Monica. There, Papa established a fish and poultry market, housing himself with family in a bijou cottage by the bay. Considering the size of his growing family, he felt far too constricted living in such a compact home. Therefore, he traded his business for yet another house too small for the family demands.
In time, Papa was able to expand their quaint living space with lumber he acquired from the destruction of the North Beach Bath House in Santa Monica. Not only was the house teeming with children, but so was their barn and aviary! The Teresis had a pig, a goat, a cow, various rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, dogs, German Roller Canaries, and horses as well. Billy, (who was perhaps Papa’s favorite horse) genuinely earned his respect in the family. There were times when Papa’s nervous trauma from the fishing accident in Alaska would paralyze him with unconceivable chills whilst at the reins and Billy would safely and consistently pull him home every time that he was physically incompetent of dictating Billy’s speed and direction.
Turning the clock forward a handful of years, the Teresi children were by then, well-matured and nurtured by the staunch love and fair discipline of their parents. They too, embarked on their own voyages of romance, as once did Mama and Papa. The order of their children’s marriage proceeds as the following:
- Pauline Mary to Harry Heaney (my Irish-American double great grandfather) in October of 1916
- Phyllis to Joe Smario in October of 1918
- Rosalie to Joe Aiello in February of 1919
- Joseph III to Mildred McHenry in September of 1919
- Josephine to William (no record of the last name) in February of 1921
- Frank to Grace (no record of the last name) in September of 1924
- Frances to Don Trembley in June of 1934
- Charles to Gertrudes Farias in 1936 (month of marriage not recorded)
- Lucille to Roger Mason in March of 1941
In the duration of World War I, Papa fell ill and his health plunged rapidly. He was hospitalized in Santa Monica for various tests and treatments. It was in the cold and ominous month of November, 1919, that Papa’s endurant soul left this earth.
After recovering from her husband’s heart-wrenching death, Mama studied Real Estate and Insurance, establishing herself as the first female Real Estate and Insurance Broker in Santa Monica, California. Since she had become a businesswoman, her urban occupation required the purchase of a car. She invested in her first car- a Model T Ford on the same day in which she took her first, last, and only driving lesson. Her lack of driving education was transparently demonstrated through some of the unintended stunts she managed to pull at the wheel. She was said to have sometimes taken corners on four wheels, “but more often on two” and “executed many other hair-raising performances that would have turned a stuntman green with envy.”
Over time, Mama chronically began to age and her health began to decline by age eighty-three. On March 30, 1960, Mama’s also endurant soul left this earth.
Reflecting on the repetitively tedious hardships in which Mama and Papa had undergone whilst raising a family in a land that was relatively foreign to them, the twosome of entrepreneurs both embody the essence of perseverance in even the direst or aggravating of tribulations. Through their willingness of mind and steadfast content of character, they managed to raise nine thriving children in a loving home; two crucial elements of rearing a family which is often denied from spouse to spouse, parent to child, or vise versa in times of old and present.
As a proud descendant of Joseph Teresi II and Frances Freschi Teresi, I’m immensely grateful to them for their monumental efforts in constructing the ever-growing tiers of the Teresi family, swooping back to the foundations of the first line of Teresis, and skyrocketing up to the interspersing of descendants such as myself. If it weren’t for them, I might not be here where I am here today as a liberated American with the freedom of choice to pursue my dreams and most importantly, to live a godly life for Jesus’ glory.
Source: Teresi-Freschi Family Memoir
Photo Credits: Teresi-Freschi Family Memoir