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1936. Departure for the United States.

In 1998 I took a bus leaving Turin – Italy, to go to Brighton – UK where I went to University. Amongst the most unforgettable feelings there is the reaction of relatives and friends to my choice. Somebody thought I was crazy, others were fascinated, some just couldn’t understand...
And we were at the end of the 20th century. We can barely imagine which were the feelings of the one who left and the ones who remained when the departure happened in 1936 towards the United States!
It has happened to Piero Sartorio who tells us what happened by means of the notes of his photo collection.

Pinerolo. September 1936. This is my friend Demo on the balcony of my bedroom. Today, the landscape form the same perspective would be different due to the estate development happened meanwhile.
Picture and comments form Piero Sartorio.

Here, in the same place of the preceding picture, another important member of the family: the dog Bill. What did I do in that period of time besides taking pictures of friends and dogs? Actually, I was busy preparing my departure to the United States. I took the chance of a public notice for a competitive examination aiming to select students who just completed the degree to send them to further training at the Butte University, Montana, USA. I sent to Rome to some kind of organization that I can’t remember the report I wrote about my training in some Spanish mines.
So, I was getting ready to depart, as soon as I got the authorization, and meanwhile I was learning English from Ms. Balena, the widow of my former French teacher during the high school. Useless to say that I was extremely excited by this.

Picture and comments form Piero Sartorio.

Genoa. October 14th, 1936. The day of the departure to the USA has arrived. I am extremely happy but I am dominated by anxiety. I feel I am jumping in the dark and I am not sure I will be able to tackle all of those new situations. At that time the USA are still very far away and the place where I go is completely mysterious.
But the sequence of events is very quick and I react by prompt actions. My mother and father bring me to Genoa by car. After the necessary bureaucracy I board the Rex, then one of the nicest ships in the world. It is midday. In the very moment when the ship detaches form the dock I took this picture of my parents greeting me for ground. It's an unforgettable moment.

Picture and comments form Piero Sartorio.

The ship detaches even more and there is already a bit of sea separating us. Daddy greets me with his hand. Mum is just behind him. The sadness of the departure is immediately mitigated by the perfect service of the first class. A waiter comes with a cup of broth. It is just the first of so much care dedicated to the passengers. The tugboats detach and we are in the open sea.
Picture and comments form Piero Sartorio.

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