Happy Birthday Mom
Here’s a little story about my Mom, Rose Marie Campagna Keidel
It’s her birthday today and I miss he sorely.
My Mom was the greatest. A real yin yang person.
My Mom was raised in corn and pig country in Monmouth, IL by Italian immigrants, Anthony & Dorothy Campagna. They had a fruit/candy/tobacco wholesale business that started with a fruit cart. She told the story about getting oranges for Christmas, I now believe that to be true.She had two brothers, Nick and Tony-great guys with thick black hair now mostly silver.There was three aunts, Mimi Rogers JoJo Whiteleather & Ann Pusatere. The aunts ate toast every morning, as I do today. I fondly remember visiting Monmouth every summer, big spaghetti dinners, pork tenderloins, made rights, trips tho the Farm store. We put state tax stamps on cigarettes and went on deliveries to bars and restaurants around Monmouth. We used to take the train to Chicago and changed stations to the California Zephyr to Mommouth. We got to pick a box of candy to bring home.
I think she couldn’t wait to get out of Monmouth’s small Midwestern townness.
She went to University of Cincinnati Nursing school, met my dad there. Upon graduating she went to NYC, lived and worked in Greenwich Village. The story is that Dad went to NYC to bring her back to Cleves as his wife. Tough negotiations, must have been true love.
They set up house right next to Grandma & Grandpa Keidel’s house on Porter St. Had a 3 boys, built a house and moved to Cliff Road just outside of North Bend. A fabulous Mid Century Modern house designed by our family friend, JD King. Awesome view, lots of Catholic kids to grow up with. A great place to live.
That’s pretty much where my memories start.
My Mom was a fantastic award winning cook. She experimented a lot. I will miss her pies and cakes at every holiday.
She had flair.
Her house was an eclectic mix of old and new, art and craft, heirlooms & tchotchkes. In the sixties, she was kind of a hippy, not a free love, pot smoking kind, just a free spirit. Very creative and quick witted.
Kind of a hot head, too.
She was a great Mom, always there for me. She had a way of zinging me to keep me in line. No jewish mother had anything on my mom in the guilt department. I think, I’m a lot like my Mom in many ways, that’s good and bad. I miss her today.
Today she’d want to go get ribs and have a Manhattan with extra cherries. If I can find the vermouth, I’ll have that Manhattan in your honor.
Just know that we are all thinking about you.