A mother is the heart of a home-after she’s gone, she’s at home in your heart.
No matter how challenging it was to raise six children single-handedly, my mother, Mary Marie, filled our home with an abundance of love, delicious food, and fun. Today, she lives on through the legacy of wonderful memories she left for all who knew her.
To those who never had the good fortune to meet her, I’d like you to spend some time here, where the past and present pay tribute to a truly remarkable woman. Seated amid some of her furnishings, surrounded by family memorabilia, and sampling some of her favorite recipes, we invite you to learn a little bit more about the lady who was the inspiration for this business.
Born Louise Barguin, the little, dark-eyed girl of Spanish descent, and her brother Julian were orphaned at a very young age. Eventually, the two were adopted by Antonio and Vienna Felicetti of Ramsaytown who changed their names to Mary and Louis. The years of childhood passed. In time, Mom married and moved first to Niagara Falls and then to Punxsutawney. Over the years, she became the mother of eight children, two of whom died as infants.
With four active boys and two lively girls, Mom poured all her energy into providing the best life she could for her sons and daughters. Undaunted by the humbleness of family circumstances and meager resources, our home was always open to relatives, friends, and playmates whom she happily fed at her table.
When she wasn’t cooking tasty meals or baking bread for us or the neighbors or turning out scrumptious desserts, she took time to have a little fun. A music lover who favored old-time radio, Mom filled the house with the songs she enjoyed. Occasionally, we’d all dance around the rooms-and nobody did a “meaner” Twist than she did!
Frequently, she cleared the table and joined us in doing jigsaw puzzles or playing nearly endless rounds of Monopoly or card games with pretzels or M&Ms for “loot.” Even now, it is impossible to see the dining room table without recalling the big milk jug that my mother had transformed into a vase so she could float stems of lilacs, her favorite flower and color.
Since that big, old, round table played a major role in our lives, I wanted it to be part of this restaurant, so other folks could create their own memories of special times with family or friends. It seemed only natural to add some of the chairs from my childhood home. The oft-painted buffet, where Mom once stored tablecloths, games, and household “junk,” now makes an appropriate serving station. Upstairs, in the “Country Corner” room, you’ll notice more reminders of the past-Mother’s old sewing machine and mismatched dishes. Across the upper hall is the Vienna Room, named in honor of my grandmother.
But, furniture tells only a small part of a family’s story. Some of our fondest recollections of Mother have an aroma and a taste all their own. Pizza or platters of spaghetti and meatballs, or “Milkleys” (our family’s name for the mounds of gnocci Mom made for special occasions) or slices of apple pie help to bring back the past for us. More importantly, for you, our customers, we hope these “tastes of home” are the beginning of a long and happy relationship that you’ll renew each time you visit Mary’s Place.
“Make yourself right at home”- just the way Mom would want you to.