Born in Palermo, Sicily.
He states his first memory is of when his paternal grandmother died, at a year and a half.
Jasper started watching the citrus grove at nights when he was 5 with his father to make sure that nobody stole the family's fruit. He started going street to street selling fruit from age 7. When his father got sick at age 9 he spent nearly all of his time on the grove. He would pick fruit for as long as the sun was out and then sell it to the townspeople. He worked on the grove until he joined the military
School was impacted by World War II big time. Classrooms were occupied by soldiers because they needed somewhere to live. Mussolini called all men from 17-45. There were very few classrooms growing up. Each student had 2 ½ hours of school, 6 days a week. The students had to take turns for when they would get the class room. Jasper attended school 1st grade – 5th grade. War was over by the end of 5th grade. 3rd -5th grade had to wear uniform once a week every Wednesday because Mussolini requested it.
Service in Italy is obligatory for any man. Jasper decided to join the Infantry as it required him to be in the military for the least amount of time.
He decided to become part of the Merchant Marines which was where they traveled around the world with cargo and rich people. He worked with a Dutch company. At the time he was making 96,000 liras a month 579 liras = $1 back then. He worked for 26 months on the ship.
He came to America June 1960 and took a boat from Italy to New York. He was asked to change his name from Gaspare to Jasper. His mother’s brother (Uncle Frank) lived in Carlyle Illinois and knew that Jasper was coming. One of Jasper’s Aunts picked him up once he arrived in New York and got him on the train which he took from New York to Illinois where he met up with his uncle Frank.
Jasper and Rosalie met in 1961 and resided in Ferguson, Missouri. They then moved to South St. Louis because it was closer to where Jasper was working (a spaghetti factory).
Initially he worked for University of San Diego as a gardener. In his free time he would work on other people’s gardens to gain a little extra cash. Soon his gardening route made him more money than working at USD. He quit his job at USD in 1967.
Once he quit working at USD he started his own gardening service. He saved up his money and eventually bought 3 apartment complexes which he still owns
Jasper was absolutely devastated the day his best friend and partner of 55 years passed away in the hospital.
Mussolini, who had been rescued from prison by Germans, is captured and executed by Italian partisans.
There was oil found in Ragusa, but it only provided a few thousand jobs and did not greatly help the economy.
East Germans raise Berlin Wall