Charity begins at home

30 Things I Didn’t Know about Birmingham

I am sharing interesting tidbits I’ve recently learned about Birmingham and some of her people. These items may be new to you as well or just a reminder. 

Number SIX

If you’ve been in Birmingham for some time, the Bruno name is quite familiar.  From their once-bustling eponymous grocery stores to their numerous charitable contributions, the family’s last name was as visible to residents as Vulcan’s bottom.

But I just recently learned about Vincent and Theresa Bruno’s, the family’s patriarch and matriarch, hardscrabble start.  The Brunos were a young couple when they made their way to Birmingham from Sicily in 1908. Vincent began working at one of the local furnaces while Theresa took care of the home.  Despite the family’s struggle to make ends meet during that time, Theresa still provided help to those in need.  There’s one story from “True Tales of Birmingham” that exemplifies this: “The Bruno kitchen was always open to homeless men who arrived daily on freight trains, begging a meal. Theresa fed them at her table, usually a zesty vegetable stew and fresh Italian bread. If one of her children asked who the stranger was, she would reply: ‘Chi sa. Non fa niente. Aveva appetito.’ (Who knows. It doesn’t matter. He was hungry.”)

Photo credit: Life Magazine Walking the rails during the Great Depression.  Date and location unknown.

Photo credit: Life Magazine
Walking the rails during the Great Depression. Date and location unknown.

4 thoughts on “Charity begins at home

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