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It is always interesting to learn where and how your roots began.  We have a very close family and all our family even extended live very close to each other.  As I grow older I learn to appreciate the unique situation that my family has, “family.”  If there is a sporting event or a dance competition or play for anyone in my family or our cousins there is an entourage that attends.  I am very fortunate to experience this in my life and many people have commented and have only told me how lucky we are.

My mom’s first name is Donna and her maiden name is Azzolini.  Her mom was from Pennsylvania and her dad came over by boat from Bari, Italy.  My mom was born in Jersey City, but resided in Union city, New Jersey.  When she was about seven years old her family moved to the suburb of Rutherford, New Jersey a small town where she lived until she married in 1983, when she was just 21 years of age.

My dad’s mom was from Jersey City and his dad was from Nutley, New Jersey.  My dad John Bruno was born and raised in Rutherford only one block away from where my mom eventually moved to.  However, the age gap between them prevented the two of them from meeting during their school years, even though their mothers did work together at the notorious B’altmans.  My dad attended Fairleigh Dickenson College in Rutherford, New Jersey in 1972 and lived home until the completion of his four years of college.   He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  He then continued his education and attended Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey.  During the three years of Law School he moved around from Newark, Kearny, East Orange and then finally residing in West Orange until he married. He graduated Law School in 1979 earning a Juris Doctor Degree.   While my father was finishing Law school my mom was finishing high school getting ready to graduate and attend Monmouth College in Long Branch, New Jersey.  She lived on campus for one year and then moved to different apartments in the area for the next three years.

My mom graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science and a triple certification in Education.   During my mother’s junior year of college my dad called a mutual friend of both my parents and asked her if she thought my mom would go out with him.  She told him to just call and see what she would say.  Even though their parents were friends the two of them had never been out socially.  My dad then called my mom up at college and asked if he could take her out to dinner and she said, “Yes.”   Who knew what would happen next, the dinner must have been a huge success or maybe there was something in the food.  They dated for three months got engaged and my dad asked my mom to marry him nine months later.  On August 20, 1983 they were married.

There is only one problem with the story of how my parents met, my dad has a totally different version of how they met and it goes something like this; “One day your mom’s friend Joanne called me up and begged me to take out her friend Donna (aka my mom) so feeling bad I called her to go out to dinner.  After dinner I thought it was the end but she (aka my mom) was relentless calling, hanging on my leg and pleading with me to take her out on another date.  There was no way of getting rid of her and she (aka my mom) begged me (my dad) to marry her.  So being the respectable, compassionate kind person that I am I felt bad said yes when she popped the question”.   I felt it was only fair to give both sides of the story and I will let the reader be the judge.  They married on August 20, 1983 and had their first child was born on July 12, 1984.

Their first condominium, which they had purchased as a married couple, was in Woodridge New Jersey, where they resided for only one year.  With a new born the living quarters became very tight so they then purchased a home in Clifton, New Jersey where they have been living for the past 27 years.  My sister Jacqueline was born on May 20, 1987 and I was born on August 12, 1993 we were all born at Hackensack hospital and my sister and I have lived in Clifton our entire life.  My parents are in the process of building a home in Rutherford and will eventually move back to their roots sometime in September.

In September I will be moving to the dorms at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York where I will be attending school for the next four years.


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