Among the most interesting people I have met from Philadelphia residing here in the Phoenix area are Anthony and Louisa Trifiletti. A happy and active couple, they moved to Phoenix in 1989. For 25 years they owned and operated a jewelry store on the Main Line and resided in Wallingford, Pa. Louisa retired in 2008 from work as a paralegal and Tony is a roving management consultant. They have three daughters, one son, and 10 grandchildren,
The reasons for their move are familiar. Their three daughters attended Arizona State University and found jobs in the area. Tony and Louisa visited them often, missed them, and of course the liked the Arizona climate. “Particularly as we got older” Louisa said “those northeastern snowstorms and the biting cold really bothered us. We got tired digging out of the snow and planning our activities around the weather forecast.” As I have mentioned, the heat, though tiresome in Arizona, is not really all that bad ; and a drive 150 miles north brings you to the high country with air conditioning not required and using a blanket at night.
Whenever anyone moves, their allegiance to their hometown sports team remains intact. Tony and Louisa never miss an Eagles game either on cable or local television. As a sidebar, I have been reluctant to invite them to my house to watch the Birds. Visiting my house during an Eagles’ game is like taking a sweatbath.
This is not to imply that the Trifilletis do not miss Philadelphia. They generally make two or three trips to Philadelphia each year to visit friends and relatives. They have taken their grandchildren along and gone to Independence Mall. Louisa told me that both she and Tony “… want to tickle their grandchildren’s curiosity. Visiting Philadelphia’s sites makes American History tangible and easier to understand. We want to help them get a good learning foundation.” After returning to Phoenix, both are glad to be back.
Nevertheless, their pace only rarely slows down here. Amazingly hyperactive, Louisa told me she is now busier than before retirement. An enthusiastic and beautiful Grandmother, she has taken all 10 grand children to various places in Arizona and New Mexico and to shore resorts in Mexico. The kids stay active by swimming, hiking, and learning about geography. Louisa helps them to bed at night with relief. Everybody, including Tony and Louisa, goes into a deep sleep.
After getting home, Louisa said to me “Leonard, these trips are mostly chaos. Looking after these kids is naturally allot of work. But I’ll you tell, it’s the nicest work you can find. The greatest satisfaction I have gotten out of life is my four children and ten grandkids.” Louisa says this knowing full well the problems and speed bumps in the experience. Louisa maintains the interest in her grandchildren at home but she said something we all know. “This can be a touchy area. We have to keep our distance sometimes. ” Louisa and Tony are with their kids for all birthdays, holidays, and school activities. If I, Leonard, here can put my tidbit in ” There really isn’t much romance to life. You have to make the most of the situation as is.”
Maintaining her interest in children beyond her immediate family, Louisa is active with her local school and church groups and is the President of her local Women’s Club. Overall Child Health and Protection has always been a top priority for both Tony and Louisa. Louisa believes that, to the proper extent, every child is our child. Very gregarious, Louisa is a member of a few other clubs that do everything from playing cards, dining out, exercising, or going to the live theater. Louisa mentioned “I think it’s important to involve yourself is something beyond your immediate family.”
I personally can attest to one point-Louisa is a fantastic dancer that can do everything from a fox trot to a samba. She follows my lead expertly and instinctively knows when to restrict or be more showy on the dance floor. Dancing with her is an effortless experience.
The Trifilettis have a busy and happy life. They have added a wider perspective to my own. I will write about more Philadelphians in Arizona later.