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Ralph Grasso Interview


Saratoga Springs (N.Y.)
Saratoga County (N.Y.)
Grasso, Ralph


Grasso, Ralph


Saratoga Springs Office of the City Historian


Saratoga Springs Public Library




Signor, Leona


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West Side Oral Narrative Project






Oral History



All Available Item Data


Fitzgerald, Mary Ann Cardillo


Grasso, Ralph


10 Oak St.
Saratoga Springs, NY


MARY ANN: Now in school, who taught you in St. Peter’s in those days?

RALPH: In those days, it was all nuns. And in those days—it’s funny, when you did get corrected, whether they spanked you or hit you on the hand, you didn’t run home to Mama and Daddy and let them know about it ’cause you’d probably get more. Because they do believe that, you know, you were corrected and, true, you should be so reprimanded. But, so we would keep it mum because we didn’t want to get it again. We know we got we [laughs]—you know, that we, uh, probably, undoubtedly got corrected for something we shouldn’t have done, and we have to accept the punishment.

MARY ANN: And your parents would reinforce it when you got home.


RALPH: Oh, would they. You can bet on that.

MARY ANN: So you didn’t complain?

RALPH: We did not complain ’cause we knew we were wrong, and we didn’t say it’s our civil rights and all this stuff. [others laugh]

MARY ANN: You just took it.

RALPH: We just took it. That’s the only thing you could do, and it was the proper thing.

MARY ANN: Yeah. Now, do you remember the names of any of your sister—the nuns that taught you or the priests that were in the parish, or even just one name?


RALPH: Ee . . . Well, there was—well there was Father Carroll, Father Sheeran, um, Monsignor Burn—Burns. Um . . . those are the ones I remember, mainly. In those days, because I was an altar boy—

MARY ANN: Oh, you were an altar boy?

RALPH: Oh yeah.

MARY ANN: What did you do as an altar boy?

RALPH: Well, we—well, we did everything. We served Mass. Of course, part of it was in Latin. And, uh, uh, we were altar boys for weddings, funerals—in fact, uh, I was the altar boy for, uh, Carl Mangona and his wife. He always reminds me of it. [others laugh] Yeah.

Original Format

Cassette tape



Time Summary

Part 1
00:02:10 Earliest memories of Saratoga
00:04:35 Best buddy growing up was Richard Comfort
00:06:25 St. Peter’s School
00:06:30 Walking to school from Beekman Street
00:09:25 Father Carol, Father Sharon
00:09:40 Being an Alter boy
00:16:20 Neighborhood then compared to now
00:17:50 Fusco’s, DeGregory’s, Mullie’s/Mully’s Blue Room, DeRossi’s,
00:19:35 Bart’s shoe shop
00:19:45 Colamaria’s, Ma DeMartino’s, Cottone’s Bakery,
00:22:30 Bocce Ball
00:23:20 Wine making
00:27:25 Gardening, 62 Beekman
00:28:20 Canning food
00:29:40 Christmas
00:31:00 Homemade baked goods
00:31:20 Weddings
00:32:40 Music
00:35:25 Movies, Congress and Community theatres
00:37:55 Lemon Ice
00:38:00 Swimming

Part 2
00:45:50 Oak Street
00:46:10 Princepessa Elena Society
00:46:15 “The Hub of Dublin”
00:46:45 Feast of St. Michael parade
00:49:40 Greasy Pole
00:50:15 Spaghetti eating contest
00:51:00 August vs. September
00:54:20 Marching in the parade
00:54:45 Men marching in parade, Mr. Banjo, Mr. Agosta, Frank Cardillo
00:56:15 The statue
00:57:15 Bocce ball
00:58:00 Boss and Underboss game
01:01:00 Compares then to now
01:01:05 No handouts then
01:01:06:00 Went to GE
01:07:00 Joined service from 1954 to 1957
01:10:50 Wishes for today’s technology with the dignity of the past

Physical Format

Oral histories


No tags recorded for this item.


Grasso, Ralph, “Ralph Grasso Interview,” Saratoga Room Digital Exhibits, accessed August 5, 2020,

Output Formats


Grasso, Pt. 1.mp3
Grasso, Pt. 2.mp3

Interactive Version