Ester DiPippo Salvatore
Ester’s father, Alfonso DiPippo, arrived from Italy in the USA in 1902. He settled on Washington Street where his relatives lived. Alfonso and his brothers put money aside and built homes on Morgan Street off Waverly Square. (Then the mailing address was Tuckahoe. Waverly Square and the area east of Waverly Square was an Irish neighborhood.)
Here is the list of the other brothers and sister and where they built their Eastchester homes:
1. Master Raffaele DIPippo- 44, 59, and 65 Merritt Avenue
2. John DiPippo 36 Morgan Street
3. Joseph DiPippo 21 Morgan Street
4. Christi DiPippo 43 Morgan Street
5. Angelo DiPippo 47 Morgan Street
6. Louis DiPippo 69 Morgan Street
7. Filomena Romeo 73 Morgan Street
8. Paul DiPippo 43 Morgan Street Died 1925
One brother named Nicolas remained in Italy.
Of the family members coming to America, there were eventually 8 brothers and 1 sister by the 1920’s. None went back to Italy. None of the brothers went to school. They were forced to work.
Each of the brothers had a lot on Morgan Street and raised their families on Morgan Street, sending their children to Waverly and Eastchester High School.
Today Ester DiPippo Salvatore, Fay Romeo Commisa, and Alfonso DiPippo still live in the house Alfonso DiPippo, their father, built at 43 Morgan Street. As Ester described it: “We are now the sixth generation living in Eastchester. We are proud of our ancestors for choosing such a beautiful town for us and our grandchildren and our great, great grandchildren to live in. They attended Eastchester schools. Our family survived the Depression and carried on for us to live here. We must do the same. Now we are the 6th generation living in Eastchester.”
Another apartment building was built on Columbus Avenue in Tuckahoe. They called it the DiPippo building.
Today DiPippo family members live on Morgan Street, Park Avenue, Oakridge Place, Overlook Road, Columbus Avenue, Longview Drive and in Scarsdale.
The census determined at one point that the DiPippo family was the largest Italian family living in Eastchester, outnumbering the Tavolilla family.
The section in Italy they left behind was Villanova Del Bapttista, near Naples, in the province of Avelino.
When asked why they left Italy, Ester (1928) offered these words: “America was a land of opportunity. The men went to work in the quarries and in construction. They saved money and bought property. This was the American Dream.”
Starting in 1910, the DiPippos , together along with the DiRienzos, built Assumption Church from Tuckahoe Marble.
Ester described the early days as: “Before we moved to our own homes, we lived in cold-water flats on Washington Street. There were also cold-water flats on Columbus and Maynard. People had to take a trolley to Yonkers to get a hot bath.
“At home we grew up Italian. Religion was a big deal. Friday was fish night. Saturday was steak. And, we fasted on Sunday before Mass and Holy Communion. Sunday was pasta day!
“We had 35 cousins. Everyone sat out on the front porches. The DiPippos were a musical family. I was offered a full scholarship for music, when I graduated from Eastchester High School in 1945. We played card games. We never needed baby sitters because we always had family. Kids played on the street. Play dates did not exist. We made up our own games.
“Our family got along with other groups. However, we did have trouble with the Irish. We got along with other groups and races because we were always considerate. Blacks lived next store to Italians. Grandfather would invite our black neighbors over for a glass of wine.
“Italian men worked. The women were the heart of the family and the home. For the most part they did not go out to work.
“In the schools the teachers changed our names so they would sound more American. Some people used slurs against Italians that hurt. WOP (Without papers, Deigo), meaning a day laborer.
“During the Depression grandfather lost his work. But, our house on Morgan Street was designed so he could rent it out. We were able to be more self-sufficient. Everything was homemade. We made our own clothing and shoes. We had animals, pigs, chickens, and goats. We had our gardens, made our own wine, and canned our own food.
“The movie house we went to was called the ‘Itch.’ A ticket cost ten or fifteen cents.
“During World War II there were no men — only women and children. Father was a warden. He carried a flashlight in case we were attacked. You had to dim your lights.”
After the war there were great times. Lord and Taylor’s was built in 1948, a few months too late to buy a wedding dress for Ester. She was asked if she had a sad moment or a great fear. Ester replied that she had none.