BOONVILLE- Another month ends and that means yet another featured edition of Growing Up in the North Country.
This time, we had the pleasure of speaking with Jeanne Cerro, of Boonville, NY.
Born in January of 1927, Mrs. Cerro spent her childhood growing up in Oxford, PA. Much like the select others who have told their stories of what life was like before our modern times, Mrs. Cerro said she loved listening to the radio, while also playing cards with her family and working on puzzles for entertainment.
It was when she turned 17 that Mrs. Cerro's family acquired their first television set. "It was a tiny little viewing space, but we enjoyed it," she told us.
During family get together's and times of holiday celebration, Cerro recalls some of her favorite memories of gathering around what she called a 'player piano' and singing along. "All of us, my family loved to sing." She further recalled how her father was a baker and often worked nights, while her mother generally stayed home to mind the rest of the family.
After graduating high school, Cerro says she went after her first job as a typist at Aberdeen, MD Proving Ground. During the Second World War, this was the time when Jeanne met her husband to be, Domenic, who happened to be from Boonville.
After tying the knot in 1946, the pair ended up in Boonville, where Mrs. Cerro has since lived for all of these years. Domenic is now passed away.
The two had sons Richard, who lives in Syracuse and Jeffrey, who lives in Virginia. Cerro has her two grandchildren, Matthew, who resides in New Hampshire and Joanna, who is down towards Ithaca. Dominic and William are her two great-grand children.
Growing up in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, moving to Boonville was a treat at first for Cerro because she had never witnessed such snow in her life. "I though it was wonderful. It's still nice, but, ya know."
She recalls the bandstand always being here in the Village Park Gazebo and of course the Hulbert House. But, when asked about what has changed over the years in Boonville, Cerro gave us a recollection of something no one else has given answers for: the tornado in early May, 1983.
"A piece of tin came through from over on Charles Street and hit my telephone pole out here on Main Street, wrapped itself right around the pole. It probably came from a roof somewhere." She further remembered how the storm ended up wiping out many of the trees in Erwin Park.
In terms of a day-to-day life, Cerro has been a retired book keeper for the past several years and loves the company of her two cats, Nikki and Mitzy. She remembers how her marriage with Domenic influenced her Italian cooking skills, but they also shared many American style meals together as well.
Be sure to listen to our full-featured segment with Jeanne Cerro here:
Photo courtesy of the Cerro family.