It took determination for Leone and Assunata Montagna to leave their native Italy and set out for America in 1921. It took determination, once they got here, for them to work for seven years to pay for their passage. It took determination to press on after rain ruined their first raisin crop, and it took determination to continue after Leone broke his arm in an automobile accident and was laid up for a year.
No doubt about it, the Montagnas had determination, and it is a good thing. Had it not been so, their son Mario would not have had their example, and that could have cost him the love of his life, for it took real determination for this son of Italian immigrants to capture his bride.
Having been born in Madera in 1933, Mario was the baby of the family. He grew up in the Arcola District, and began school there. When Arcola burned to the ground, Mario and his classmates were transferred to the bus shed at Ripperdan School, until Arcola could be rebuilt.
Mario graduated from Arcola School and went on to Madera High, but before he did, he caught the eye of a girl three years his junior. Little did he know that Jeanette Paolinelli had as much determination as he did, and that she would chase him until he eventually caught her...