Family Stories: The Childhood of Lucy de Forcade Cannon

Villa Raoul postcardfromNonna

My paternal grandmother, Lucy de Forcade Cannon, was born in Arona, Italy on Lago Maggiore in 1923.

She attended a private school throughout her childhood, where she was required to wear a uniform -- it was a black and white checked pinafore with blouse. She was accompanied to and from school by her German governess. All of her teachers were Marcelline Sisters. She liked those who taught French and Italian (she speaks Italian, English, French and German). She disliked her math teacher (I shared this dislike of math). My grandmother was an external student in a boarding school. To discourage vanity, the internal students did not have mirrors in their rooms.


Lucy on Capri. 

At home, her father was strict, and her mother was lenient. Her favorite toy was her doll, Rosalda, who she loved to place in her baby bed. She often entertained friends on Saturdays. She loved playing store with friends.

Her favorite colors have always been green and turquoise, because they remind her of Capri. Her favorite flowers are freesia and bougainvillea, and she loves music of all kinds, especially jazz.

In 1945, she met my American grandfather on the tennis court on the Isle of Capri. They played doubles and won. They were married a short time later.

After the war, she was reunited with her father. He was an officer and had gone into hiding from the Germans.

In 1949, my grandparents welcomed my father. They named him Ernest Fred to honor her grandmother's wishes. On Halloween 1955, my aunt, Tina Jennie, was born. They named for her after her mother and my grandfather's late mother respectively.


My grandmother with my father in the 1950s.


My grandmother and father at Christmastime, 1966.