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This book is a collection of personal accounts of growing up in an Italian-American home in an inter-city (Erie, PA) neighborhood of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Accompanying the text are 52 pictures of an historical era many Americans hold close to their hearts and consider the most precious of their lives. The book fondly enlivens themes of America’s melting pot.

The author, a gifted storyteller, writes about topics that range from his parents’ roots in Italy to life in Catholic schools; from how teenagers dressed when he was a boy to how U.S. military personnel are honored in American cemeteries throughout the world. The love of family, regard for old friends and classmates, and the importance of “roots” are threads that are woven throughout the book. The stories recounted here were originally published as separate articles in a local newspaper over a period of seven years in a series entitled “Flashbacks,” thus the title of this book. The reference to “the other side of the tracks” in the book’s title refers to the where the author’s home was located in relation to his hometown’s “Little Italy”.

The “Flashback” series was recently recognized with an award from the local Historical Society, in no small part because of the literary efforts of Gino Carlotti. This is a book for the young, so they can learn. And for the old, so they can remember.


About the Author: Gino Carlotti is a retired educator who lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. He spends his retirement days doing the things he likes best - writing, lecturing, traveling, and volunteering on a number of projects for his church, his community, and the welfare of school retirees. Proceeds from his writings and honorariums are donated to his two favorite charities: the parish church his parents belonged to in Erie's "Little Italy", and the scholarship fund of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees.

Flashbacks from the Other Side of the Tracks (Growing Up Italian-American)

  • 6 x 9 inch paperback, 109 pages, 52 illustrations.

  • Introduction by Jeff Pinski


    • Growing Up Ethnic: A Wonderfully Rich Experience 
    • The Making of An American: My Mother’s Story
    • “God Bless America”: My Father’s Favorite Prayer
    • The Sounds and Smells of West 20th Street
    • Porches: Box Seats for Life’s Parade
    • La Zia: My German-American Aunt
    • Triggering Holiday Memories
    • Unpaved Streets
    • “State Street University”: Friends, Fashions, Fun
    • Nuns: “Black Bears Don’t Go to Heaven”
    • “We’ll Always Be Loyal and True”: My High School Reunion
    • Gannon College: Our Window on the World
    • London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral & the Erie Connection
    • Armed Forces Day Tribute
    • When We Dressed for the Occasion
    • Gaining a Family, It’s History and Traditions
    • 43 Years of Picnics
    • Back To Our Roots
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