Saturday, 22 December 2012


She is one of my many cousins. Giovanni Battista Darin & Erminia Billò my maternal grandparents had 13 children. 12 grew up to be adults and eleven of them have procreated too. Yolanda Darin, my mother, was child # 12. Beatriz Scarpetti's mother Angela Darin, born in 1904, was child # 5. 

Beatriz Scarpetti circa 1931 in Sant'Anna-SP which later would be renamed Herculândia-SP.

A little tale about Marília & Alto Cafezal in their beginning


Salvatore Scarpetti (42) and his son Jayme Scarpetti (17) arrive in Alto Cafezal. Salvatore left his wife Maria Vanucci and other children in Limeira-SP.

Soon, father & son set up a saw mill at the corner of rua Coroados & Avenida Rio Branco. A saw mill where logs were cut into boards to build wooden houses for this new settlement called Marília


In 1927, José Pereira da Silva, one of the pioneers who established themselves in this region decides to leave Marília-Alto Cafezal to set up a new settlement called Sant'Anna around the Yacri brook - near Nóbrega, Oriente, Pompéia and Quintana.

Giovanni Battista Darin and his large family arrive in Marilia-Alto Cafezal in 15 November 1927. They had come all the way from São José do Rio Pardo-SP in the northern border with Minas Geraes. Angela Darin (1904) was the oldest single daughter of Giovanni and Erminia Billò. 


Angela Darin (24) falls in love with dashing Jayme Scarpetti and they get married in 15 September 1928, less than a year after Angela had moved into the new town. 


Beatriz Scarpetti was born 13 January 1930 in Marília-SP but soon the couple will be living in Sant'Anna - the new settlement - where Beatriz is baptized having Olivia and Palmiria (?) as godparents.


This time in Sant'Anna, Salvatore & Jayme set up a general shop where they work as wheelwrights, do bicycle repairing and even make coffins for the town did not have a proper undertaking business. Beatriz told me she used to help her mother staple fabric onto the coffins when she was really young.

Betty Scarpetti was born in 30 August 1932 in Sant'Anna; second daughter of Jayme & Angela.

a heavily re-touched photo collage of Beatriz & Betty Scarpetti circa 1933... the dog's name is unknown.


Alecio Scarpetti was born in 5 May 1934 in Sant'Anna;  first male child of  Angela & Jayme. Twenty days later, 25 May 1934, Erminia Billò (56), Angela's mother, dies in Marília. Great grief over the death of such a matriarch who had 13 children; 12 reaching adulthood. 


Edson Scarpetti was born in 13 April 1937 in Sant'Anna;  Jayme & Angela's fourth child.

Jayme Scarpetti at centre holds a bycicle having Betty Scarpetti and another girl sitting on it. Jayme's father, Salvatore Scarpetti is the old man on the right.
Officina Mechanica belonging to Salvatore Scarpetti and his son Jayme (who sits on the left with an X near him). Angela Darin is the lady in black holding a child (Edson Scarpetti who was born in 1937)...
Jayme Scarpetti inside his workshop... probably the same day in 1940.


Beatriz went to elementary school at Grupo Escolar de Santana. She was taught how to read and write by Maria Bertoncini who she considered the best possible teacher. Miss Bertoncini was her teacher throughout  the 4 years of elementary school.

Beatriz wearing her High School uniform jumped on a slow-moving freight-train to go to Tupã and get a proper education. 
Beatriz on her way back from school posing with friends...


February 1944, when Beatriz is fourteen years old she gets into High School but as there was no such schooling in Sant'Anna it is arranged for her to go to Gymnasium in Tupã-SP. To make such an arrangement work Beatriz and 3 more girls in the same situation would hop on a moving freight train that would slow down its speed for the damsels to jump on! And that's what they did every single day. Unfortunately, Beatriz could attend High School for only one year because her father was unable to continue paying for the tuition. Her father's alcoholism probably played a part in that.

Even with her interrupted education, circa 1945, Beatriz managed to work as a bank-clerk at Banco Mercantil and later on she worked for City Hall substituting teachers at the elementary public school.

1946 - 1947 

Beatriz is not sure exactly when things got to be so bad in Herculândia that the family was about to break up. Her father's alcoholism was coming to a point that something had to be done. Out of the blue, Jayme decided to go back to Limeira-SP his home town - a place he had left more than 20 years before along with his father Salvatore.

The Scarpetti family took a train and went to live in Limeira. Angela (42), Jayme (40), Beatriz (17), Betty (14), Alecio (12) and Edson (9). 

Eduardo, one of Jayme's brother-in-law, worked as a foreman at famous millinery Prado and found employment for Jayme himself and Betty. 

Everything seemed to be going well until Jayme started drinking again and started a fight at the factory. He lost his job and the family was back at square one. As the children were mostly grown up there was a family meeting and they decided to leave Jayme and go to Marilia and try a new life circa 1950.

Sant'Anna aka Herculândia

Sant'Anna or Santana-SP followed the Cia. Paulista de Estrada de Ferro's alphabet order coming after Marília, Nobrega, Oriente, Pompeia, Quintana, R... and Santana. It had its name changed to Herculândia-SP circa 1941 taking it from Herculano de Freitas a professor at USP's Law School.

San'Anna (later Herculândia) old train station... it was used as a school after 1986 but a fire destroyed it and its roof colapsed. This is what remained in 2006.
Quintana train station in the 1960s. 


Beatriz in a pensive mood.
Beatriz, Edson & Betty.

1953 in Marília-SP; Betty Scarpetti looks on as her sister Beatriz Scarpetti holds nephew Paulo Roberto Camargo & aunt Rosa Darin look at the camera at rua Campos Salles, 350. In the background one can see Marilia's Presbyterian Church.  
Rosa Darin, Angela Darin holding Paulo Roberto Camargo (Edson Scarpetti is looking over in the background), Betty & Beatriz Scarpetti... in the backyard of house on Rua Campos Salles, 350. 
a very trim and elegant Beatriz offers flowers to some beauty queen on the stage of Marília Radio Club watched over by radio-man Ruy Garrido.
DJ Ruy Garrido, the Beauty Queen, Amélia Imamura, Beatriz Scarpetti, two unidentified young men and the female MC. This was actually something related to the graduation of 'corte-de-costura' at the end of the course in 1957. 

When  the Scarpetti family moves to Marilia circa 1950, Beatriz gets to work as a nurse-assistant at maternity Gota de Leite where she learns how to apply injections in patients and other related procedures. Beatriz was helped by Vicentina Macera, a registered nurse who was Domingo Macera's sister - married to Beatriz's aunt Nina Darin. 

Beatriz worked as a clerk for a lawyer in rua Paes Leme, just opposite Radio Club de Marilia. From there she started working for Marilia's Ford dealership on Avenida Sampaio Vidal.

Beatriz's brother Alessio Scarpetti gives his sister away to Francisco de Almeida at Saint Anthony's church in Marilia-SP in 17 December 1959.

Beatriz & Chico already married are lead away by Herminia Maria Batista their flower girl. Herminia was our baby cousin - had been born in 1953.   

Beatriz's wedding party.

José Baptista de Almeida and Maria Deolinda Leite, Francisco's parents, Chico & Beatriz and her mother Ângela Darin Scarpetti still wearing mourning for the passing of her father Giovanni Battista Da Rin earlier in August at Santo Antonio's vestry in Marília-SP.

Angela Darin Scarpetti in the 1970s.
Beatriz with her mother Angela Darin & her sister Betty Scarpetti.
Angela Darin & her daughter Betty Scarpetti.

O pai do Chico era carroceiro e vendia verduras pelos bairros de Marilia. Chico começou lavando vidros numa farmácia e foi aprendendo o ofício. Depois teve sorte de um homem ter financiado que ele comprasse a farmácia na rua Coronel Galdino, e daí ele deslanchou. 

Beatriz visits Limeira-SP in the 1950s. Here she's sitting on the steps that lead to Cine Vitória the main movie-theatre in that lovely town. Her daddy Jayme Scarpetti had been born in Limeira and they still had relatives living there. 
Mariinha, Beatriz's sister-in-law accompanies her on her trip to Limeira-SP in the 1956. Maria Puerta is seen at the Gruta at the Square in downtown Limeira.
Mariinha cuts a fine figure against the cobble stones in Limeira street.
Fernando, Sandra, Yolanda, Maria Lucia, Rute Maria & Beatriz circa 2004.
Maria Lucia, Yolanda Darin, Fernando, Sandra, Beatriz & Luiz Carlos Amorim.
tia Yolanda & Beatriz circa 2004.
Beatriz, Lucas & Yolanda Darin circa 2002.
Beatriz Scarpetti & her beloved aunt Yolanda Darin circa 2002.
Beatriz Scarpetti at her flat at Central Park condominum in Lapa in September 2012, just a few weeks before she fell ill after Christmas 2012.
a very fuzzy photo of Beatriz sitting at the step of the causeway that led to our grandfather's house at Rua Campos Salles, 350 in Marília in the mid-1950s.
a selfie with my cousin Beatriz Scarpetti on 15 March 2012, when I visited her in the morning on my way to Bairro do Limão.
Bia and her lovely face... her eyes were sort of greenish-brown.
Beatriz knitted baby itens for her Church charities... look at her little shrine on the right!
Bia was proud of her labour... look at it!!!

Beatriz's death 

Beatriz Scarpetti de Almeida died in 21 January 2014, at a nursing home on the corner of Avenida Mercedes and Rua Saldanha da Gama at Alto da Lapa where she had been confined since she had a series of small strokes in late December 2012.

It is eerie that I began this post a few days before Christmas 2012, exactly the time when Beatriz's health started to show signs of weakness.

As I must have said before, I fondly remember my cousin Beatriz since I was a kid of 8 or 9, circa 1958, when she used to come and visit her aunt Yolanda Darin (my Mother), at Rua Mato Grosso, 393 in Marília-SP. Beatriz used to work for the Ford dealer in town and would show up for a few minutes during her lunch break.

Then, I remember her wedding so well in 17 December 1959. This had been very busy year for the Darin Family because our grand-father João Baptista Darin had died in 28 August. Beatriz & Chico had already set the wedding date when Grandpa died. Beatriz thought she should postpone it but the aunts had a 'council' and decided Beatriz should press ahead with her plans and the wedding took place a week before Christmas 1959.

A year later, in December 1960, my immediate family moved from Marilia to São Paulo and we sort of lost contact with the Family who remained back there. Then, circa 1967, Beatriz & Chico moved to São Paulo too and went to live at Lapa where they raised 2 boys. Even though we lived in the same mega-city, we didn't have much contact.

From 2000 on, Beatriz already a widow and living by herself, started visiting my Mother more often and those old bonds became strong again. Beatriz would come visiting on Sunday morning, had lunch with us and went back to her flat in Lapa in the afternoon.

After Mother died in February 2006, Beatriz never showed up at Rio Pequeno anymore.

Then, I started paying short visits to Beatriz. I've got a friend who lives at Bairro do Limão, and every time I went to visit her I would stop at Lapa and paid a quick visit to my cousin Beatriz, who still lived in the same 3-bedroom flat in a condominium called Central Park - that she had raised Francisco José and Julio Cesar. They both had married and moved elsewhere.

Beatriz had a regular life. She had high-blood-pressure but kept it under control even though she used a lot of salt in her food. In the last few years Beatriz had a problem with her bladder that became 'unstuck' and 'fell'. She obviously needed surgery but that never happened. She told me she had talked to her sons about the need of a surgery but nothing ever came out of it. Her sister Betty Scarpetti had had the same problem, but had the surgery done privately and was rid of the problem. Beatriz sort of got used to her problem but that was always in the back of her mind because it was uncomfortable having the bladder 'coming out'; sometimes she had rashes and had to use creams to soothe it.

She led a very sedate life, keeping mostly indoors, knitting wool socks for poor infants as part of a task-force organized by the Catholic church she belonged to. Every time I went there she would proudly show me her production of wooly things. One particular time she had knitted more than a 100 pairs of children's stocks. I had the chance to take photos of some of that but unfortunately I lost them when my computer went bust.

The last time I saw Beatriz before she became sick was on 2012 Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve I usually went to the Midnight Mass at a church in Morro Grande with my friend Lutch who arrived from Sydney to spend  year's end with his mother. At around 2:00 PM in 24 December 2012, I knocked at Beatriz's door on the 2nd floor and she opened the door gladly as she used to do. I remember it was a hot December day. She told me she just had been out at Lapa's commercial center searching for a particular micro-wave crockery that her son Julio Cesar had especifically asked her to buy for him because he had to give it to a 'secret friend' as a gift. I thought it was a bit unfair of Julio Cesar to have asked his 80-plus-mother to go out in that kind of heat in search a gift he had to give someone at his work.

I didn't stay long on that day but I did notice that Beatriz was maybe a little more fragile than she used to be. When I embraced her goodbye I noticed that she had a peculiar smell like that of someone who had skipped a shower. Now, looking retrospectively I realize that Beatriz was not really well then. She was on the pre-stage of a stroke due to her high-blood pressure status. Even though Beatriz 'talked sense' I tyhink she must have been a little 'confused'. Maybe she forgot to take her high-blood-pressure medication. I remember she said she was getting ready herself because Julio Cesar was going to pick her up at 5:00 PM for they were going to spend Christmas eve and Christmas day at his wife's parents home in Diadema-SP.

Well, the truth is, Beatriz had a series of small strokes before the end of December. I don't know exactly the date because Julio Cesar was not forthcoming with the information. Actually, I only found out Beatriz was seriously sick after phoning her on her 83rd birthday 13 January 2013 - and had no answer. At first I thought she might have gone out with Julio Cesar to celebrate her birthday so I rang her up again on the following day - 14th of January. When there was still no answer I rang up Julio Cesar's number (thank God I had his number) and he told me his mother was in a nursing home in Alto da Lapa.

I was flabbergasted by the whole thing. He didn't even tell me the exact date when Beatriz had the stroke. Apparently, she had a series of small strokes while alone at home and fell unconscious on the floor. She struck her head lightly and ended up picking up the phone to ring her son for help. After having been taken to a hospital and given the first help the sons decided to have their mother put in a nursing home because she could not fend for herself anymore.

I went to visit Beatriz at this particular nursing-home. She had problems with mobility. Her right leg would not move freely but she could get up and walk with some difficulty having someone to support her. I noticed also that she made sense in the first few minutes but soon after Beatriz would ramble away in a conversation that had not the slightest touch with reality.

The fact is that Beatriz never got better. She only got worse with the passing time. By mid 2013, she was stuck in a wheel-chair. She couldn't walk anymore, not even assisted. Things got even worse when summer arrived. That old problem, namely her bladder exposed to the elements, was her undoing. Beatriz caught a major urinary infection that would not go away no matter what.

When I went to see Beatriz in 13 January 2014, her 84th birthday, I saw a shadow of the person that had been so dear to us. The urinary tract infection had pratically destroyed her. I stayed with her for a few minutes but she was mostly incoherent and feeling very uncomfortable. I know she recognized me because she mumbled something about 'Tia Yolanda' (my Mother). After the stroke she had lost the notion that my Mother was already dead. Sometimes she'd ask me how 'Tia Yolanda was doing!' I would smile and answer, 'She's all right!'.

Eight days later, 21 January 2014, a Tuesday, Beatriz died. So sad!

The following Tuesday, 28 January 2014, there was a 7th Day Mass in memoriam of Beatriz Scarpetti de Almeida at Saint Peter's Church near Central Park at Lapa. It was a emotive service because one could clearly see that Padre Edson was really sincere when he talked about Beatriz's and how much everyone in the religious community loved her. Beatriz used to help with the Mass collecting money during Ofertório and other little services and charity.

Cemitério do Araçá, in São Paulo, on a hot Wednesday, 22 January 2014. 
The grave where Beatriz's remaining was buried belongs to Familia Palmieri and Familia Di Virgilio. Palmieri is the family in which Lucia, Julio Cesar's wife belongs.