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Theodore Buzzeo
Memoirs of an Immigrant

Theodore Buzzeo was born in 1905, came to America from Italy at sixteen, raised a family, and died at ninety-two. It was not until he was eighty-eight years old that he began to write these memoirs, and he did not finish the book until shortly before his death. What is revealed here is that Theodore was not merely a poor Italian peasant; he was an extraordinary person with a sharp mind. He had a passion for culture and the instincts of an animal. He was, above all, a survivor, a stranger in a strange land, a hunter with courage and cunning. He was a laborer, a truck driver, a boxer who weighed only 120 pounds and had a missing thumb. A gun had exploded in his hand in Italy. Later on, he was a butcher and a professional hunter who worked on a game farm in upstate New York. He knew all about opera and guns. He read Dante and he trained hunting dogs. He could talk to anyone from a homeless tramp to the Governor of New York. One of his good friends was Edward R. Murrow, the famous journalist. Even in his broken English, Theodore could entertain us with stories that were sometimes tragic, sometimes amusing, and often confessional.