(This article originally appeared in the Ocala Star, September 7, 2014.)
By Marian Rizzo, Columnist
“Valley Memories: A Nostalgic Look at Growing Up in the Lower Naugatuck Valley”: Small-town living, Polish parents, featherbeds and historic houses all are part of Marion Marchetto’s childhood memories. They also are the basis for several books set in Marchetto’s hometown in Connecticut.
Now a resident of On Top of the World in Ocala, Marchetto and her husband, Donald, moved to Pensacola 10 years ago and relocated to Ocala last year. In August, Marchetto released “Valley Memories,” a collection of memoirs from her life in 1950s and ’60s in Derby and Shelton, Connecticut.
“It deals with 20 to 25 years of my growing up there,” Marchetto said. “Our valley was settled in the 1800s by different Europeans, predominantly Polish, Irish, Italian and German. Our parents all spoke their native languages, but they all learned English, eventually. I cannot speak Polish to save my life, except to swear.”
Many of the chapters in Marchetto’s book came from a monthly column she wrote for a small newspaper that is no longer in operation. One of her favorite chapters, she said, is based on a John Denver hit, “The Old Featherbed.”
“Growing up, we used to make featherbeds,” she said. “After a certain period of time, the feathers would get musty, so my mother would redo the filling. We’d have to sew channels and fill each channel with feathers. It took 40 pounds of feathers. My job was to hold all that up while my mother did it on the machine. My first time, I was about 8 years old, and that was heavy. You ended up wearing more feathers than went in the featherbed.”
Prior to releasing “Valley Memories,” Marchetto wrote several novels based on historic houses she had seen as a child. Among them was “201 Atwater,” “Honeysuckle Hill” and, with a darker mood, “Oak Cliff,” which stood across the street from an actual cemetery by the same name.
“The unique thing about those three is that the narrator of the story is the house,” Marchetto said.
Marchetto also is the author of The Bridgewater Chronicles, a series of family sagas set in a fictional town in Connecticut. Marchetto said a Kindle version of the first book, “Stairway to My Heart” was included in celebrity gift bags at the 2013 Emmy Awards. The second book in the series, “Jaded Heart,” was released in April. She is currently working on the third installment, “Catch a Falling Star,” based on the Perry Como hit.
“That was the song my dad used to sing to me when I was a little girl,” she said.
Marchetto’s books are available on Amazon.com, Creatspace.com and other online booksellers. For more information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Source: http://www.ocala.com/article/20140907/COLUMNISTS/140909853/-1/living?Title=Local-books-revel-in-diverse-memories&tc=ar
Photo By: Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer