Protagonista: Anna Maria Marcozzi Keller
I was born in Pola on 14th June 1934, in via Monte Cappelletta; my parents were “regnicoli”, (citizens of a kingdom; in this case they come from the old Italian districts), they were transferred to Pola and employed at the local Tobacco Factory. They married in Pola in 1929. My mother Consiglia found complete occupation at home, early retirement and five children.
My father Guido, born in 1899, was proud to say he was one of “the boys of the ‘99”, he actually had to abandon his studies to go to the battlefield.
He was an excellent technician and he was assigned to the sorting, preparing and tasting the various tobacco blends to make cigarettes. Avid smoker, of course, I remember his gray hair and his fingers burnt by nicotine. He was short, always serious, not inclined to the spontaneous joys of children; he had to face everyday his problems at work and the numerous brood, firmly controlled by my mother.
Until 1940 also my aunt’s Rosina family lived in Pola. She was my mother’s sister, married to Alfonso, they had two daughters: Lucia and Mariuccia, respectively twelve and ten years older than me: I was their doll. I stayed a lot with them, they lived in the arsenal of Pola (it was the tobacco and salt warehouse), in front of it there was the Admiralty that, I remember, it had on the roof a big beautiful ship with golden sails. These were massive Hapsburg buildings so they appeared to me then. I remember the great spaces of the Arsenal, the flowers, the hollyhocks and then the fig and mulberry trees.
My family lived instead in via Dante, at the corner via Carpaccio: Zanetti mansion, at the third floor of an elegant building, with masks at the windows’ external jambs, large stairs and liberty doors, I will be told later.
We have always lived in via Dante, even if my mother wanted a brighter house. Her dream was the Bancher’s home, our next-door neighbours, placed South-East and with a big balcony front street. A neverending comparison.
My childhood was brief, close to one another my brothers were born: Pio, Umberto, Luciano; Ferruccio.
Being the firstborn and the only female was not an advantage.
My school: the first two years in Pola, in different schools; I don’t remember my classmates of the first and second year, I just recall the first year teacher’s name.
By chance I recently received a wonderful picture from a beautiful lady, Ms Ornella, and it portrays me between the little girl Ornella and Mariuccia “Balonci” (she was very fat) in the photo at the end of the year, I think the second one.
It was the time of regime parades, of the Fascist Befana; my mother’s damnation was the “M” (stands for Mussolini), a big of big pin hooked to some ot the white bandoliers of my “wolf’s daughter” uniform, mandatory clothing of the time, as well as the assemblies at the stadium to attend whatever public event.I even remember my father’s boots, essential accessory of his fascist uniform, not very persuaded but often worn: it was a comedy when he was back home, tired and hot, and he had to take off those boots; I have already written that he was little and, clinging the chair, he piloted my mum’s operations, a kind of matronly both in shape and humour, who released him from that torture.