Margherita Tambini Fenaroli
Photo Circa 1953
Born March 22, 1931
Died February 21, 2007
This is my wife Margherita. She was so pretty, arrived in America 1950 aboard the Conte Bianco Mano. I do not have an Ellis Island record for her because the Ellis Island record data base available on the Web ends at year 1924. I am not sure why that is. Ellis Island continued as an immigrant entry point for many years after 1924.
We were married, Jan. 10, 1953 at the Immaculate conception church in Astoria Queens. That evening we went to the Park Plaza Hotel, 59th St., off Central Park, and left the next day for our furnished apartment in Asbury New Jersey. I was working with the Ft. Monmouth Signal Corps Labs. We had a weekend honeymoon in Asbury Park in January. I remember walking on the boardwalk, it was mild for January, but we were the only folks in sight. We stayed in Asbury Park for three months. I had to leave to go into the Army and Rita ended up in the Bahamas for three months trying to get back into the country. She had to leave the USA because her student's Visa had expired. An immigration lawyer had advised her to go to Nassau and request a permanent Visa based upon being the wife of a US citizen and soldier to boot. It didn't work out well.
I went into the Army and it took three months to get the visa. Rita had to stay in The Bahamas by herself for three months. The day before I had to leave to be drafted, we were desperate, by the grace of God, while we were in a shop in Nassau, (Rita couldn't stop crying), a British Lady asked Rita what was her problem? After hearing the whole story, she gave us an address nearby. It was truly a miracle for us. The address took us to a nice one family house on a quiet street, in which lived Mrs. Peet. Mrs. Peet was the widow of the former Postmaster General of the Bahamas. Mrs. Peet immediately took a liking to Rita and offered her a nice room and a reasonable Room and Board rate of $14/week. We gratefully accepted.I left next day feeling 1000 pounds lighter. At the time we didn't have any idea how long Rita would have to stay in the Bahamas. Nevertheless I knew she was in a good situation and it made all the difference in the world. While in Basic Training, I wrote many letters and often said a quiet, Thank you Mrs. Peet.
I was inducted the day I returned to New York and soon was in Basic Training. As I completed Basic training, Rita was able to return and we took a furnished apartment in Edgewood Md. I was assigned to the Chemical Corps Labs. We enjoyed our early wedded life in Edgewood. Rita got a job in Baltimore. She always managed to find jobs no matter where we went. She was an excellent tailor of men's clothes having been trained in Switzerland. She went there at the tender age of 16 to earn money. Italy was a disaster at the time. She eventually migrated to the USA.
Margherita embodied the true spirit of the European immigrant. She was resourceful, hard working, Intelligent, optimistic and all those other qualities that made immigration such a benefit to the USA. We shouldn't forget this when we try to solve todays immigration problems.
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