It had two hearts made out of rhinestones.

From Not So Long Ago: Oral Histories of Older Bostonians, by Lawrence Elle, 1980

Angela Dicharia recalls her first love:

When I was fourteen years old (1909) I went to work in a stocking factory in South Boston. I had to work five and a half days a week for the big pay of three dollars a week and I had to turn over every cent to my father. I could not even open my pay envelope. So one morning on my way to work, I met my next door neighbor. He was eighteen and had been in this country a short time and couldn’t speak very good English. It seemed I would run into him alsmost every morning going to work and I took a liking to him. So one morning he said to me, “I like you very much. I would like to marry you someday.” I did not know what to say to him because that was the first time a boy ever noticed me. I  didn’t answer him one way or the other. After a few weeks of seeing him while going to work he said to me “I bought you a ring and I want you to have it.” He showed me the ring and it was so beautiful. It had two hearts made out of rhinestones. I loved the ring very much but I was afraid to take it. I said “I can’t take that ring. My father would kill me for it. He will think all kinds of things.” So he said to take it and don’t let him see it. I dook it but I did not dare leave it around the house.

One morning I was going to the store and it had been raining all night. I got an idea. I rubbed the ring in the mud and when I went home I said to my father, “Look, Pa. I found a pretty ring this morning.” With that he said “Let me see it,” and he washed it and said, “I think it’s a gold one. I’ll pawn it and see how much I can get for it.” I asked, “Why Can’t I keep it? I found it,” and he said, “Don’t be foolish,” and that was the end of the ring. “I did not want to tell the boy that got me the ring what happened so I said I lost it and that was the end of my romance. I didn’t talk to him no more.


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