In addition to his professional pursuits, Larry is and has always been devoted to his family, first with his mother, father, and sister, and then carrying over to his wife of close to 25 years, two sons, and one daughter, as well as his extended nephews, nieces, and cousins. That devotion can be best represented in an excerpt from Larry’s Chronicles.
As Yul Brynner told Richard Widmark in the 1964 classic, Flight From Ashiya, “These things run deep;” and for Larry, family runs deep.
For as early as I can remember, I have been driven by three overriding themes: family, business, and intellectual contribution.
I come from an Italian family with very strong roots, not only in America but also in Italy. The American roots started when my Grandfather, Sebastiano Pino, came to America in the early 1900’s and went through the Ellis Island experience, at the mature age of 13 years old, having left a small hillside town in Sicily called Saponara.
Traveling from New York City after being released from Ellis Island, “Grandpop” ended up in South Philadelphia, doing odd jobs on the streets to make enough money to send back to Sicily. One by one, his brothers and his sisters came over on the boat, settling in this land of fortune.
Some of the Pinos ended up in Brooklyn. Others migrated down to Philly and South Jersey, where the farmland gave them the opportunity to do what they had done in Italy for centuries – grow tomatoes.
Grandpop eventually fought for our country in World War 1, traipsing through French Villages with a rifle in hand. After the war, before coming home, he stopped over in Sicily and brought home a Sicilian wife who bore the Pino children, including my father who was born in 1922.
My mother’s story was significantly different.
Born and raised of Aristocratic lineage, she was the daughter of a Buddenbrooks type merchant family who traded furs worldwide. G.A. Giordano & Company had been founded in 1788 in Naples and eventually relocated to Bari, where my mother was born in 1922. Living a comfortable life in what was known as II Placio Giordano – a 16-bedroom edifice that housed the extended Giordano Family – her cultivated life was upended after the Sicilian Invasion in World War II when allied forces selected II Placio Giordano as Allied Headquarters for Southern Italy, bringing in American and British officers and some servicemen. While most of the family was sent off to La Massaria, their almond farm in the country, Mom, and the other family members were treated very well and even permitted to live in the midst if they preferred.
To make a long story short though, Mom was sighted by a young South Philly one-striper who saw a photo of my mother on the fireplace mantel and told Mom’s brother, Mario, that he was going to marry that woman someday. Indeed he did. My mother, much to the chagrin of the Giordano family, fell in love with my father and ultimately came to America in 1945 as the first Italian war bride.