October 9, 2013 | 721 views
100 years young
Baldwin resident Ida Genna Scaduto hits the century mark
Baldwin’s newest member of the century club, Ida Genna Scaduto, celebrated her 100th birthday on Sept. 22 at the Pompeii restaurant in West Hempstead. According to Scaduto’s daughter, Jo Miller, “Ida has had a full life,” and her family has always been the centerpiece. Miller said that her mother is a wonderful cook and still makes meals and bakes cookies for her loved ones.
The Scaturros were a tightly knit family. Charles and his sons eventually turned a horse-and-wagon fruit operation into a chain of supermarkets called Charles Scaturro and Sons. This process wasn’t easy. According to Miller, in the early days the family store could only stock two or three cans of each item because there wasn’t enough cash on hand to purchase more. The family, which lived behind the shop, would collect their customers’ money at the end of each week, when workers were paid.
Although Ida was a high-ranking seamstress for her employer, she was attracted to the idea of unions early on. According to Miller, although Ida was among the best-paid employees at her factory, she agreed to take a $2 pay cut in order to support her coworkers. Ida also walked on picket lines, demonstrating for better working conditions.
Ida met her first husband, Gasper Genna, when he arrived from Sicily at age 15. The pair married in 1939, and honeymooned at the New York World’s Fair. In 1943 they welcomed their first child, Josephine, just before Gasper went to fight in World War II. In 1947, soon after he returned home with a Bronze Star for heroism, the couple’s second child, Thomas, was born.