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Leona Law, St. James Cathedral Parishioner

LISTEN to this  interview with longtime Orlando resident Leona Law at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando, December 7th 2010.

 

Ms. Law’s father, Orie Buzzelli, came to Orlando in 1925. After working successfully as a tailor for two years he invited his family to Orlando to live. Leona Buzzelli Law recalls coming to Orlando from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania by train because in those days not many people had cars. One of her earliest memories of the area was when she was in the third grade and Father Fox from St. James came to their house. He told her parents a new school had been built and he wanted the children to go to St. James School as pupils. Her father said he didn’t think he could afford books and tuition for five kids. Fr. Fox said, “That’s okay. We can fix that, since you’re a tailor you can make all the clothes.” Ms. Law says her father was a wonderful tailor. He got his training in Rome and made everything by hand. He worked at Ferran’s Fine Tailoring on Orange Avenue right near the church in downtown Orlando for many years. Ms. Law and her siblings, Flora Buzzelli, Reynold Buzzelli, Yolanda Buzzelli, and Gina Buzzelli all attended St. James School.

In the early days of the school they didn’t have recreation equipment and just sat down at lunch. Father Bishop stopped by one day and saw them just sitting. He went off and got them some balls and a net so they could play volleyball. Leona says, “That was really great!” She also shares how Father Bishop helped a lot of people during the Depression. “He was a blessing to have around.”

Ms. Law is very proud of the fact that she graduated from St. James School. She didn’t have to go to finishing school. Instead she took a test and got a job with the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. She later returned to Orlando where she worked as a supervisor at McCoy Air Base and as a secretary for 14 engineers at the new Naval Base.

Ms. Law met her husband in Orlando and they were married 60 years. They got married in the old wooden St. James Church on December 28th, 1946.  She remembers Frank Cilento sang at their wedding as he did at many St. James affairs. She says, “He had a beautiful voice.”

She recalls they wanted to be married in the old church and made it just before they started building the new one. The old church was made of wood and had wooden shingles. In this interview she tells the humorous story of the time Fr. Fox was “preaching a sermon and a woodpecker got onto the shingles and was pecking so loud that they couldn’t hear the priest. He had to stop until the woodpecker finished.”

Listen to this firsthand account of Orlando history.

 

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Leona Law, St. James Parishioner

Interview with longtime Orlando resident Leona Law at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando, December 7th 2010. Ms. Law's father, Orie Buzzelli,...

Saint James School, Class of 1932

Photo of Saint James School Graduates, class of 1932. From left: Mary Mickler, Alice Shore, Flora Buzzelli, Rita Girouard, Kathleen O'Connor, Margaret...

Leona Law, St. James Parishioner

Interview with longtime Orlando resident Leona Law at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando, December 7th 2010.

Ms. Law's father, Orie Buzzelli, came to Orlando in 1925. After working successfully as a tailor for two years he invited his family to Orlando to live. Leona Buzzelli Law recalls coming to Orlando from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania by train because in those days not many people had cars. One of her earliest memories of the area was when she was in the third grade and Father Fox from St. James came to their house. He told her parents a new school had been built and he wanted the children to go to St. James School as pupils. Her father said he didn't think he could afford books and tuition for five kids. Fr. Fox said, "That's okay. We can fix that, since you're a tailor you can make all the clothes." Ms. Law says her father was a wonderful tailor. He got his training in Rome and made everything by hand. He worked at Ferran's Fine Tailoring on Orange Avenue right near the church in downtown Orlando. Ms. Law and her siblings, Flora Buzzelli, Reynold Buzzelli, Yolanda Buzzelli, and Gina Buzzelli all attended St. James School. (See photo: St. James School, Class of 1932.)

In the early days of the school they didn't have recreation equipment and just sat down at lunch. Father Bishop stopped by one day and saw them just siiting. He went off and got them so balls and a net so they could play volleyball. Leona says, "That was really great!" She also shares how Father Bishop helped a lot of people during the Depression. "He was a blessing to have around."

Ms. Law is very proud of the fact that she graduated from St. James School. She didn't have to go to finishing school. Instead she took a test and got a job with the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. She later returned to Orlando where she worked as a supervisor at McCoy Air Base and at the new Naval Base.

Ms. Law met her husband in Orlando and they were married 60 years. They got married in the old wooden St. James Church on December 28th, 1946.  She remembers Frank Cilento sang at their wedding as he did at many St. James affairs. She says, "He had a beautiful voice."

She recalls they wanted to be married in the old church and made it just before they started building the new one. The old church was made of wood and had wooden shingles. In this interview she tells the humorous story of the time Fr. Fox was "preaching a sermon and a woodpecker got onto the shingles and was pecking so loud that they couldn't hear the priest. He had to stop until the woodpecker finished."

Listen to this firsthand account of Orlando history.




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St. James School Gala Event of the Year!

 

Commemorative Booklet for the St. James School Gala Event of the Year! Scholarship Dinner - Dance, Friday November 5, 1976 at the Carlton House Resort Hotel, 6515 International Drive. Includes letter from the Pastor of St. James Church, Father David Page, outlining the purpose of the event is to provide scholarships funds for students, an "investment in the youth" of our community. A history of St. James School, "St. James School: The Past" begins on page 8. Jack Hardin, General Manager of the Carlton House Resort Hotel gave all the facilities of the hotel for the event at no cost. Arline Benedetti did the banquet decorating. Scholarship donors and patrons are listed by name including many area businesses such as the George Stuart Foundation, Southern Fruit Distributors, Inc. Blue Bird Brand Citrus Products. Last page of the booklet gives a history of George Stuart, Inc. with a photo of George L. Stuart, Sr. September 4, 1905 - January 11, 1976. Photos of school staff and scholarship committee begins on page 10.     

 


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