Edie has Italian genes. Her Dad’s family were sharecroppers in Calabria. Her Mom’s ancestors Immigrated from Northern Italy. Her dream—Live in Italy. As 50 approached she realized she needed to do a little “dream revision”. She bought a Vespa and searched for a place that had the landscape and spirit of Italy—enter Paso Robles. In Italy, olive trees are passed on to the next generation for good luck and livelihood…so she and Bob planted 220 to start a new family tradition.
Our kids are probably still wondering about Mom and Dad’s midlife crisis, but Paso Robles has stolen their hearts and olive trees soothe their souls. And once you’ve had great olive oil, you can’t go back to the imposters. SLO (s l o w) county is a welcome break from the traffic, stress and madness of Northern California life. The grandkids are already smitten. What is not to love about tractors, trucks, mud and running through the orchard?
Bob is Edie’s spouse of 35+ years. The calm, steady, loyal Irishman/Scot who married the wild Italian. Why would he go along with this crazy idea? Easy. Boys Toys. A Truck, Polaris, Tractor and a half hour from great surfing. Oh, and amazing wine, beer and fish tacos didn’t hurt.
The story starts in Calabria where the Filice family were peasants, sharecroppers, working in the fields and tending to farmyard animals. At age 15, speaking only Italian and with very little money and possessions, Gennaro left his family and country and headed to the new World to build a better life. New York to Canada to Gilroy. Through incredible hard work at whatever jobs he could secure, he helped bring his family to California and built a successful canning company, Filice & Perrelli, that survived prejudice, fires, the Depression, WW1 and WW2. The Molfiino family were small farmers in Strathmore, California (2 hours 1 minute due East from Paso Robles). They grew grapes and other fruits, lived in a pink house, worked very hard and lived very modestly.