1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Pezzanite Family
Geraldine "Diddle" Pezzanite 09

Mrs. Pezzanite had great ancestors, but it was not know in Alderson Circles. Her father was Reverend S. V.. Elkins. Mr. Pezzanites' mother was an Italian Countess , who lost her title when she married a commoner, As children we used to laugh at him when he would say; " My mother was a Countess but my father was no Count. In my fathers' time if you married outside Royalty, you were disowned.

My mother was a music teacher and also played the 12 string guitar on many 4th of July parades held in Alderson. One of her students was James Harrah, who later became radio star in Beckley.

There are some well known children of the Pezzanite girls, one has a son who perfected the MRI, and another had PhD from Cornell. So he would not get the "BIG HEAD", we told him PhD meant "POSTHOLE DIGGER". My son is a Lt Colonel having served at West Point and NATO, with 4 college degrees. I was Cheer Leader at Alderson High School in 1937.

Leaving Alderson in 1940, I have had a great life, riding on floats, working for an air cargo carrier, flying freight to Central and South America, Aero Vias and Sudamericana. We had a landing strip in the jungles of Leticia, Columbia and brought back wild animals for Silver Springs and Tarpon Springs zoos. The natives made the cages out of wood. One time, flying at 30,000 feet, the pilot felt a hot breath on the back of his neck and right away he knew it was not a woman. A jaguar had chewed it's way out of the cage and the crew barricaded themselves in the cockpit of the plane and wired a Tama vet to meet them at the Airport. The jaguar was tranquilized and all ended well.

My life has been a great one from being on the Corporate Board of a major Corporation, to selling Real Estate and raising money for Worthwhile Organizations.

Junior Pezzanite developed the heat resistant shield for the space vehicle when he was engineer with Union Carbide. Few knew it but my father belonged to the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department, and also he was a detective.

The old Shoe shop was formerly beside Homer Ayres Restaurant and near the new city building. The town of Alderson told Mr. Pezzanite if he would move it, he could have it. So he had it jacked up and it was rolled up to the lot by what was then, Copeland's Garage.

You will not believe the things all of the girls got into, we played music and at one time the three of us Maxine, Blue and Diddle, went to Savannah, Georgia and played at a Night Club. We also play for in contests around Alderson. Blue won Miss Repulsive in Alderson Beauty Contest, when she slipped out on the stage with the beauty contestants , dress like a hobo.

The pictures I am sending you are of me at age 21, taken by a Movie Talent Scout in Baltimore, Maryland in 1942. He wanted me to go to South America and be in the movies, but since I could only speak "si si" I refused as I knew that would get me in trouble.  The other picture is of Mrs. Pezzanite at age 18 and of her sisters.



Geraldine "Diddle" Pezzanite, age 21



Mrs. Pezzanite at age 18 and of her sisters.

Pezzanite kids - Pauline, Maxine, Melba (Blue) Geraldine (Diddle) Theda, Lillian, Natalie and brother L. V. Junior. The flowing Pezzanite girls are dead  Pauline Theda, Lillian and one brother L. V. Jr.

Comments on the Article

One thing I will always remember about the Pezzanite shoe shop as it's sign. I don't know if it was done on purpose but it said "Shoes hop". The space was in the wrong location but maybe it was to catch everyone's eye as it did mine for all of my school years.
 - Jim Thurmond

Extremely interesting! I'm glad to hear about the Pezzanites. At our first reunion Junior and I exchanged addresses and planned to keep in touch but Junior died shortly thereafter (I believe from a brain tumor). I didn't know the family was so talented. Junior had a pretty sister either one year behind or one year ahead of him at AHS, What happened to her? I don't remember her name, but I remember her face and figure. - One more thing (as Colombo would say) I was told of a legal dispute Mr. Pezzanite had over the mineral rights to his property. He is alleged to have told the claimant:" This is MY property, from here (pointing to the ground) straight down to HELL!" Herman King