Alta Club - Toasting Friendship

I membri dell’Alta House Club di Little Italy a Cleveland si sono riuniti per celebrarne il 50° anniversario della fondazione. Tra loro erano presenti anche due dei fondatori, Matt Gambatese e Tom Vitale, che hanno ricordato la prima riunione tenutasi durante le celebrazioni del Colombus Day nell’ottobre di 50 anni fa. In quell’occasione, 800 persone si radunarono nella Contea di Geauga impegnandosi a preservare la loro amicizia in omaggio al luogo dove per anni, da bambini e da giovani, si sono incontrati ed  hanno giocato dopo la scuola.           

Alta Club members, born and raised in Cleveland’s Little Italy, recently resumed their friendship gathering in a 50th year gourmet anniversary dinner at John Quagliata’s Crostatas on Bishop Rd. in Willoughby Hills.  Sadly, each passing year, the numbers get smaller.

After quiet mealtime moments, members and friends dined on antipasto, stuffed banana peppers, escarole, Tuscan beans, homemade marinara meatballs over pasta, chicken cutlets, and the renowned Crostatas’ dessert trio of cannoli, lemon napoleon and tiramisu prepared by Angelo Quagliata.

Alta Club members and their “Memories are Made of This” included originators Matt Gambatese and Tom Vitale who recollected the first gathering on a sunny, warm Columbus Day in October 50 years ago. During that 1967 gathering, 800 neighbors and pals came together in a clambake on a Geauga County picnic grounds. They pledged to keep comradeship going in tribute to their Little’s Italy’s Alta House where, for years as youngsters, they met and played after school.

“Our total social life and activities took place at the Alta House. That was our YMCA,” said Matthew Gambatese who still lives in the same East 124th two-story frame house where he was born 75 years ago, one in which his grandparents bought for $1,500. Gambatese still chums with John Vitale who he met in kindergarten at Murray Hill School those many years ago.

The club get-togethers occur at different community restaurants. Past events took place at Angelo’s Nido Italia, Primo Vino in Little Italy,Mario Fazio’s and St. Noel’s on Chardon Road in Willoughby Hills.

These events are not fundraisers though the Alta Club make nominal donations to their old-time favorite settlement center, the Alta House – presently home of the school that teaches the Maria Montessori methods.