Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Dad...age 14

My father was born to Angelina and Salvatore Renzulli on October 27, 1913, in Landisville NJ.  His birth certificate lists his name as Spartaco Diagora Renzulli, and not Spartico as it was commonly spelled, even on his passport.  fortunately for him and everyone else, he was known as Duke.  He was 8 years old when his mother died, a loss that I now believe he felt his entire life.  While all of his older siblings completed high school and went on to college or business school, he chose to leave school after the 8th grade to work the farm with his father.  He never spoke about it, but I suspect there were times he regretted leaving school when he did.  Like his father, he loved to read; his favorite subject was political history, American and European.

My father’s name reflects the passionate social and political beliefs of my grandfather.  Spartaco was to pay homage to Spartacus, who led a failed slave revolt against the Romans.  Diagaro is Italian for Diagoras, the 5th century Greek atheist, philosopher, and poet. 

Dad (far right) with his older brothers Bruno Ferrar (left) and Commudardo Leinido (center) in front of the farm house that was to be home for the first 18 years of my life.

The names selected by my grandfather for all of his children is worthy of a post of its own.

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