By Cullen M.
Grade 5, Ohio
Country of Origin: Italy

Mr. Corte was born north of Naples in the small town of Coreno, Italy. Recently we have found that it even has a one-page web site. The town has less than one thousand people even today. Mr. Corte came over from Italy at the age of 14. He came through Ellis Island, New York, and nearly died from pnuemonia that he caught aboard the ship. His older brother Michael had already come over. His brother was a WW I veteran who served in the Middle East and North Africa in the cavalry. Together they worked many jobs after locating in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland is the home of many different ethnic groups. Here there was a very large Italian population that took care of ''their own.'' Mr. Corte said life was very hard and you had to want to work long hours. He started in the building trades and later opened his own small cement contracting company. Over the years he brought over three more brothers and they all worked for him. After many years they had sons, grandsons and others from Coreno working for him.

The people of Coreno and other small villages continue to stay very close. Mr. Corte remembers tending the sheep, goats and other farm animals they had in the mountains where he grew up. As a boy his job was also to make the bread at home. He enjoyed cooking very much.

When asked why he came over to America he answered the following. ''I knew things were better in America and that a person could make a good living and escape the poverty at home.'' Today there is plaque with his name on it at Ellis Island. His family is very proud of what his hard work accomplished.

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