Matt Weinstock

July 26, 1957

This is to report that the Swiss family Caserini has held its annual
picnic at Steckel Park near Santa Paula and it is now OK for things to
get back to normal.

Caserini is a generic term for a bunch of people of that name, also
Giacomazzi, Falcinela, Montemaro, Cavaletti, Guidotti, Confaglia,
Murphy, Fitzgerald, Christianson, Brown, Lucas, Rupp, Clement and
Weinstock–all more or less remote descendants of Juan Batista Caserini
and his wife, Marian, who came to Southern California from Switzerland
in the last century.

Present, accounted for and looking fine were the three surviving
daughters of old Juan Batista–Caroline Giacomazzi, 86, Apolonia
Falcinela and Ava Caserini. Caroline and Ava live in Gardena. Apolonia
in Culver City.

You don’t do much at these things except gorge on fried chicken, potato
salad and cake and make the rounds, chatting with members of the family
you haven’t seen since last year’s picnic and trying to identify the

Celestino Giacomazzi of Gardena, son of Caroline, observing some fifth-generation sprouts racing around, remarked:

“Pretty soon these things will be only for the youngsters.”

Henry Confaglia of Los Alamos was asked about the grasshoppers which
recently swarmed into his territory. His farm was spared but he knows
others which were badly hit. He watched the locusts devastate a
beanfield and he said it was awful. You can always expect grasshoppers,
he said, when there is no rain in March.

Pete Cavaletti of San Marcos Pass generously distributed some of the
most delicious oranges ever tasted by those present, all experts But
his crop wasn’t worth picking this year, he said.

The stream that runs through Steckel Park is quite full this year and I
made my customary safari in quest of frogs and tadpoles, demonstrating
to small children how fearless I was of red and blue dragonflies.

We didn’t see any frogs or polliwogs but in several pools about 2 feet
deep we stirred up some trout, several about 7 inches. They resent the
intrusion but were apparently resigned to it.

As for my horseshoe pitching, my game was off badly. Furthermore, I
suspect some of the farm boys have been practicing all year. I was shut
out in the preliminaries.

Picnics in our many-splendored Southern California parks, with or
without five generations, are herewith highly recommended. They bring
out the best in people.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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