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  • Writer's picturePam Newton

Fiorentino “Tino” Di Grappa – Mill Town Interview

by Pam Newton

Fiorentino "Tino" Di Grappa lived in Maynard all of his life, and he told wonderful stories of how his life unfolded in this small town. Tino died on March 18, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. I shall miss him very much.

Here is a passage from my interview with Tino for The Mill Town Project.

Fiorentino Di Grappa

Hello out there, my name is Tino, short for Fiorentino, Fiorentino Di Grappa, and I have lived in Maynard all my life.

There were seven of us kids, and we grew up at 47 Glendale at the edge of a Russian farmer’s land.

Who am I, you ask me, now that I have walked out of my four walls?

Nobody recognizes me now, downtown, anywhere. They all moved away after World War II.

I lived through the hurricane of ’38 when St. Bridget’s steeple flew off in the middle of our confirmation class and the trees on the larger mill pond than now snapped off each and every one leaving an empty shore.

I am a Marine who landed in Guam in 1944, two days after my 20thbirthday – went in a boy and left an old, old man.

Author's note: Tino earned his BA in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was employed as a civil engineer for 30 years by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works until his retirement.

I was a member of the Maynard Planning Board for eight years when somebody said hello to you when you went into Town Hall. A simple hello and a handshake doesn’t cost you anything, you know.

I sit here and stare at the four walls, wondering where it all went, the wife, the friends, the jobs, the sense of worth, my beautiful garden here on Lincoln St. that is now only a memory, because my foot may never heal.

But my nephew Steve, Ricky next door, and the neighbors who walk their dogs and visit every day have not forgotten me. I have people right here who still recognize me, Tino.

To read Tino's obituary click here.

To read more about The Mill Town Project click here.

Tino Di Grappa and Pam Newton during one of the MILL TOWN PROJECT interview sessions in 2018. (Photos by Rick Maida)

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