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Everyone has a Fanny

Updated on December 4, 2012
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Got your attention - didn't I? Good! So let's get started. As I said "everyone has a fanny" - well of course we do. But before I get thrown off Hub Pages, let me make myself clear. This is not a story about yours and my derriere or the derriere of those we know, or might know. It is a story abut Fanny.

If you don't personally have a Fanny, quite possibly you know someone like Fanny - or at least have heard stories of such a "femme fatale". I myself, have a Fanny and this is her story.


Fanny

I guess every family has to have a little spice added to life, along with a few skeletons in the closet. My family seems to have its share, but I have decided that some stories are better left untold, for the timebeing anyway. After all there are those of us in my generation, my cousins and spouses who might be just a bit annoyed at some of the stories I might tell. Fanny, on the other hand has been gone for quite some time, as are the people in her generation, so I don't think I risk hurting anyone's feelings, or run the risk of stepping on someone's toes, with this story.

My mom and aunts often told stories about their Aunt Fanny. Fanny was not really their "aunt" she was in fact the paramour of their uncle Francesco - my great uncle Francesco.

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Francesco came from Italy along with his brother, my grandfather, Luigi. At one point they went back to Italy for my grandfather to find a wife, and my great uncle Francesco to bring his wife back with him to America. But his wife did not want to come. Now Francesco was quite a nice looking man and I don't imagine he had any trouble with the ladies. Enter Fanny!!

I'm not quite sure how Francesco came to get tied up with Fanny, but my grandmother had a story of her own. She said that Fanny left Italy herself, post haste, after whacking her husband over the head with a frying pan. Nobody ever told me whether or not this man met his demise, and maybe I really don't want to know. But this is the story I have always been told about how Fanny came to Canada, and it never changed over the years.

This is not "my Fanny" of course,  but I do not want to take a chance at someone finding their relative in one of my stories!
This is not "my Fanny" of course, but I do not want to take a chance at someone finding their relative in one of my stories! | Source

The Femme Fatale

Many stories surround Fanny and I am not sure if any of them are true, but it has always been fun to speculate, and my mom and aunts swear to their veracity. The two brothers, Luigi and Francesco, eventually joined by a third brother Antonio all went to Sydney, Nova Scotia to work in the Sydney Mines. Somewhere along the way Fanny shows up there on a 1911 census as "Francesco's wife". Well we all know that isn't true!! Really, it is quite titillating to think of such things "way back then".

Somewhere along the way they all ended up in Hoboken, New Jersey. And according to mom and my aunts, once again, they all eventually left "poste haste" because great uncle Francesco just had to get her away from the clutches of another man. I have a silly picture in my mind of them all leaving in the dead of night. I'm sure this is a figment of my imagination, but it is fun to think about how disgusted my grandmother must have been at all of this.

Rich - and - Full Bodied

"Rich and Full Bodied" this is a websters dictionary definition of robust. And robust is the best way for me to describe my great aunt Fanny!. See now I am calling her "my aunt". The photo I have of her shows a tall woman, sturdily built with ample bossoms. Am I allowed to say that? Well I don't know why not; we all have fannies and we all have bossoms. She was Robust!!

So now my grandparents found themselves in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario along with Francesco and Fanny. The men worked in the Algoma Steel Mills and the women did - well what women usually did in those days. Keeping house, raising children and cooking meals. Except that Fanny seemed to be doing what Fanny liked to do best - and after all she had no children of her own to take care of.

The story goes like this, and sometimes this is kind of hard for me to believe, but honestly this is what mom and my aunts say. One day Francesco came home early and could not find his Fanny. I think she saw him coming and she took off. Round and round he went looking for her until finally he found her - in the outhouse - hiding out with another man.

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Time to Hit The Road

It seems that it was time to hit the road again. And this time the foursome, along with my grandparents first three children headed for Hamilton, Ontario where they settled into their different routines. I did not hear any more bawdy stories about Aunt Fanny. But what I did hear along with these little tales, was just how much she was loved by her nieces - my mom and my two aunts.

They told how she made them dresses and was always on hand to do things with them and take them places. Fanny had another side to her!!

Fanny Loses The Love of Her Life

Well - one of them anyway! Francesco unfortunately passed away at the age of 41 - one day before his birthday, in 1920. Fanny, never one to be alone for long I guess, met and married a man thirteen years her junior. Way to go Fanny!!

But I mentioned the "other side of Fanny", and I will explain. Besides being the aunt that the three ladies loved, as well as a femme fatale, she was a woman of purpose. In 1936 Fanny conceived of the idea of forming a ladies lodge of the Sons of Italy in her hometown. In order to get it started, a group of ladies under her leadership literally went around door to door to build up membership. Roma Lodge #13 was born, and their meetings were held in the homes of various members. The Roma Lodge tied together with the Casa D'Italia became the focus of great social activity with dances, banquets, dinners and theatrical presentations and concerts.

Through these activities they raised funds to support projects such as a camp for children, Italian cultural classes and a scholarship exchange program for students. They also offered assistance to newly arrived Italian immigrants in adjusting to their new country.

When Fanny passed away just two years later in 1938, one of the most memorable events was held in her honour. Permission was granted to allow her to lie in state at the Casa D'Italia so the community could pay their respects to the lady who had worked so diligently to create a place where her peers could meet.

Quite a lady was Fanny. Her history was rich. She obviously wasn't afraid to go out into the world, live her life as she liked, while at the same time giving of herself to her community as well as to both families - of her men - well the two that we know for sure of. And today all three, Francesco, Fanny and her husband are burried together in the same local cemetery. Quite fitting I would say! I love the story of Fanny!


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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      billybuc...lol

      Just thought I'd go by and see what they are doing and if it seems interesting. I know I did What's Forever For, like a child neglect hub for that but I probably did not even do it the right way. Can't hurt to look, huh? I am working on a hub now more for HP than me, I am so sick of putting so much work in and dragging around an 83! lol But the good news is everyone I hug shoots up in the 90s.

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh I did, yes, H.O.W. Craig Kielberger - that was through Facebook, but I can't remember who instigated it. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You have one here you wrote, lol... sounds like me. I see now though yours does not say billybuc, I just assumed it was the same. I wrote one and put H.O.W on it and I still don't know what it is about so thought I would go check it out.

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I spend a fair amount of time on FB but of course I am promoting my book so that figures. What is Billbuc's HOW?

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I just mean if I replace one of your Christmas stories for say one of your cousin stories I will just change the picture too. I may can add an additional one instead of trading. Will try.

      I don't spend much time at FB but thought I might get more involved with Billybuc's HOW and other stuff there sometime soon.

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I loved writing about Fanny. And yes Rolly and I know each other from hubpages, and then also now on FB. He has read my book and I read one of his to give him a review. Mean to read more of his books. I saw Rolly on FB say he had a migraine for 3 days straight. That is not fun. Not sure what you are meaning about trading out pictures, but I am sure I will follow along. Hugs to you and have a Happy New Year. Lynda

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      What a great story! I see Rolly up there so guess he already knows about you. Think he must be under the weather lately he hasn't showed up in awhile. Big job to keep up with after awhile though. Just wanted to say after Christmas I thought I would take down some of the Christmas pictures from your hug and after reading more wonderful stories here may trade one or two out with pictures to suit them of course. Many friends are still out to the holiday but since I can't share my own hubs my writing partner Faith will and we will get you out to the ones who have missed you. Had one stop by today though who is coming to read you, he was my last hug!

      Happy New Year.

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Aw - thank you Rolly. I do think Fanny was a special lady - she certainly had two sides to her, as lots of do. I've done a lot of genealogy too - my Lanza tree goes back to the early 1700's - not as far as yours but I have a "Magnificus Joseph Lanza" - which seems to beg another Hub - who has been a bit of a mystery to us - a few more skeletons in the closet too. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs from Ontario!!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Lynda... I think I have fallen in love with Fanny. Now she sounds like a special lady and in the end doing all the good she did. "Only in Canada you say."

      I started to do the family tree several years back and discovered a missing link and ended up going all the way back to the mid 1600's. After following up on a few "Fanny's" in the process I think I could safely call it the Family Wood Pile.

      What a great story you have shared and I must admit you caught me with the title...

      Hugs from Alberta

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      LOL - yes, I am glad you got that! I wanted the play on words to catch attention. I wanted to have fun with this, and I did. Thanks for reading and commenting . Hugs.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Lynda..by the heck you didn´t half catch me with that title , I almost fell off my chair. You well know of course after being married to a Scot, that fanny means something altogether different in the UK and would never have been allowed by HP if they were a British company LOL. What a fun and interesting hub this is, it really made me smile a lot. She seemed to be what one would call a " Rough diamond " but a great gal never the less.

    • craiglyn profile image
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      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Paula for stopping and comment.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      great story...I think you are right we all have a "Fanny"

    • craiglyn profile image
      Author

      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Sis - I've been wanting to tell the story of Fanny - I have always heard so much about her. Thanks for reading and commenting. I do believe we all know someone like her. : )

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Oh, my dear -- what a marvelous story. Fanny sounds delightful to me (our family has had several "Fannys" also). Our Mom was quite a femme fatale herself -- she married 7 times and truly loved every one of 'em (actually it adds up to 7 because she married one man twice). Delightful Hub and beautifully written! Best/Sis