Who is my idol? Let me tell you about my idol, his name is Raimondo Partito. He is a custom tailor known as Raymond Partito. When he immigrated to America he wanted to Americanize his name so he could fit it and not stand out. Raymond Partito is my grandfather from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised by his parents Giuseppe and Vincenza Partito. Up until the age of 6, he lived in Palermo, Sicily until the war had caused him to move to a small town called Casteltermini. His father Giuseppe thought it was best to move to the small town because of the bombings that were happening at that time. He attended school until the 6th grade. He stopped going to school because there was no more schooling after the 6th grade. With the limited education he was offered the next step was to go to work. He had no choice but to find a job. My grandfather Raymond found an apprenticeship for tailoring. This is where it all began for him. At the age of seven to the age of 20 he learned, gained, and developed the skills needed for the art of tailoring. He was not paid a salary but he was learning from the best how to be a great tailor. If and when my grandfather did a satisfactory job his master would give him some small monetary tips but that was it in terms of his financial earnings. His rewards, his gains, his salary so to speak gaining the knowledge and skills to be a great tailor.
At the age of 20 he moved to Sicily with my grandmother Maria Rose Partito and began working for the best tailor in Sicily. At the age of 31, doors started to finally open for my grandfather. He won the Fondazione Maestrelli gold medal in Palermo, Sicily. This medal signifies high level talent and is recognized as a prestigious award for being the best tailor in Palermo. There was a first place, second place, and third place. He won the gold medal. After he started accomplishing many things in Palermo he decided to move to America to give his family a better life. He had one daughter, my aunt, whose name is Vincenza Partito. He knew moving to America would afford his family a lifetime of opportunities.
When my grandfather moved to America he had a job already secured for him. A friend of my grandmother had a connection with a tailoring company. When he came off the boat from Italy he had a friend named Guiermo Arici who hosted him and took care of him until he could secure a house. My grandfather had then saved up his money to purchase a home and opened up his very own tailor shop located at 1315 Walnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. When my grandfather had settled into his home and office he started focusing own how to make better high quality suits that were long lasting for clients. It takes my grandfather anywhere from 40 hours and no longer than two weeks to make one suit. He became well known for making suits that last. His handmade suits can and have lasted for 15 or 20 years. Over the years my grandfather has made a name for himself. He has been interviewed and published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and by the Philadelphia Magazine. He has made suits for prominent people such as Victor Damone– who is a well-known singer, Sylvester Stallone– who is an Oscar award-winning actor, and many other successful businessmen.
I admire Raymond Partito because he is a self-made successful businessman who has brought countless memories to my entire family through his talent and hard work. His commitment and dedication has allowed my family to enjoy our summer months at the Margate shore in New Jersey and numerous vacations abroad. The family traditions and his Italian culture bring peace and joy to me and my family whether it is at a holiday dinner or at a Sunday gathering. He is always teaching us the value of hard work, love, and that there is nothing more important in life than family.