Saturday, August 29, 2020

Frankfort’s Joseph Schroff and His Star Saloon


Festooned with patriotic red, white, and blue bunting from top to bottom,  the Star Saloon appeared in a photograph bedecked for the 1911 inauguration in Frankfort of the incoming Governor of Kentucky, James McCray.  Located at 222 St. Clair Street between Main and Broadway, the Star had long since become a favorite “watering hole” for the political and business elites of the state capital. Its amiable proprietor, Joseph Schroff, was a familiar local personality.

As he embarked from Le Harve about 1879 aboard the steamship San Germain, shown below, the German-born Schroff seems to have carefully planned his future in America.  Upon arrival he wasted no time heading to Frankfort and engaging in the whisky trade.  Described in a passport form as five feet, six inches tall, with hazel eyes, brown hair, and regular features, the 26-year-old also appeared intent on marriage. It seems as if he had a premonition to move quickly.


Within weeks he had met and married Mary R. Schilmiller, born in Louisville in 1856, the daughter of Tobias and Catherine Schilmiller.  The 1880 census found the newlyweds boarding in Frankfort, with Joseph working as a bartender, likely an employee at a local saloon,  Over the next 14 years the couple would produce seven children, three boys and four girls.   With the impetus of this growing family Schroff by 1884 was listed in Frankfort business directories as proprietor of the Star Saloon.  He advertised “choice foreign and domestic liquors, wines, cigars and tobacco.”

The success of a saloon was largely dependent on the personality of the owner.  A genial proprietor with a memory for faces and names, quick with a welcoming word, a keen sense of hospitality, perhaps something of a colorful personality, and above all, a generous spirit, could be assured of attracting a clientele.  On the last point, Schroff excelled.

His tradition of gifting customers across the bar with small ceramic bottles of whiskey was not unusual for the era.  Many publicans were accustomed to handing out mini-jugs and bottles that advertised their drinking establishments, each with several swallows of liquor inside. Although he issued a traditional mini-jug, as shown here, Schroff went a step further by giving away bottles of unusual interest, particularly containers shaped like pigs.


Dating from before the Civil War American whiskey men have used the figure of the pig as a container for alcohol. Pigs long have been associated with wealth and luck. Pigs also have a historic association with whiskey.  Distillers raised swine downwind from their still-houses and fattened them on spent grain.  Schroff’s hogs are distinctive for their personality.  Note the pig bottle above, one that carries Schroff’s name, Star Saloon, and his address.  Upon further examination the porker exhibits its individuality by its flattened ears, distinctive nose and circular eyes.  Its backside, with curled tail and large drinking hole add to its distinctiveness.


That pig looks quite different from another Schroff giveaway pig, one with the leaner look of an Ozarks hog.  This ceramic bottle has well-defined ears, a long snout and wide nostrils, and most distinctive of all two splashes of cobalt for eyes. Rather than just a hole from which to quaff the contents, its tail forms a clear neck for drinking purposes.


In addition to his piggery, Schroff gifted his clientele with flat-sided miniature jugs with “scratch” labels on each side, in shades of tan and brown.   One of these jugs sold at auction recently for $400.  The first side names ”Jos. Schroff” as proprietor of the Star Saloon.  The reverse identifies him as a “Dealer in Liquors,Wines, Cigars, Tobacco,”  indicating that he had expanded beyond just selling drinks of whiskey over the bar to becoming a retail dealer in liquor, a more lucrative trade.


Schroff’s growing wealth as a 31-year-old was indicated by his being part of a six-person Frankfort syndicate that in 1884 incorporated a new brewery in Frankfort.  Called the Capital Brewing Company, this organization was chartered by the State of Kentucky: “For the business of manufacturing and selling malt liquors, malt and ice, and buying and selling ice, hops, barley and other grain, and conducting a general brewing and malting business in all its branches.” Shown above is the brewery with a wagon leaving the premises.  In 1888 when the brewery was reorganized with a new set of officers, Schroff remained among them. 

Regrettably, Joseph had not many years left at the Star Saloon.  He died in August 1996 in Frankfort, only 43 years old.  He left Mary a widow with seven children to raise, the oldest sixteen, the youngest, one.  As many in the city mourned his untimely death, the personable immigrant saloonkeeper was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery, Section F, Lot-E. Grave 3, shown here.  Mary would join him there 56 years later.

Note:  Information about Schroff, particularly his early life, is scanty.  A principal source was ancestry.com.  Illustrations are derived from a variety of Internet sources.  














































Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Whiskey Men and Mining


Foreword:  Mining and liquor were inexorably bound together in America in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  Those who worked in the mine, many of them immigrants from Europe, were a thirsty lot for whom alcohol was a balm for the hardships of their employment.  Some mine-owning entrepreneurs were involved in the liquor trade.  This post is devoted to the men who exited the mines and having saved their money opened liquor establishments, often carving out notable local reputations for themselves and their families.

Like many Irish immigrants the Monaghan family began their American journey by working as miners in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania during turbulent times.  Then one of the clan climbed out of the mine and founded a liquor house that lasted more than a half century and established the Monaghans as a force in local business and politics.

The founding father, Bernard J. Monaghan Sr., was born in County Mayo in 1799 and emigrated to the United States in 1844, locating initially in Minersville, Pennsylvania, later moving to Ashland, — both towns within Schuylkill County, an important anthracite mining region.  Bernard was a coal miner, one of thousands of Irish engaged underground there.   Because of the wretched conditions in which the miners worked, an Irish terrorist group known as the Molly McGuires were a movement there in the 1870s, known for murder and mayhem.


The Monaghans seem to have risen above such bitter conflicts. Bernard Sr. was engaged in legitimate political life, active in the Democratic party.  Bernard’s son, John, born in Mayo in 1835, followed his father to America about 1847 and, according census data, also initially worked as a coal miner.  By 1858 he had made it out of the pit by saving his money and opening a wholesale liquor house in Ashland, operating successfully at that location for eleven years. Then John moved to Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, selling liquor. John’s sons eventually took over and continued the family’s success.  Over ensuing years John B. Monaghan's Sons continued to be an important part of the region’s commercial scene until shut down by National Prohibition.

The Monaghans, beginnings in the mines, by dint of hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit fashioned a business that survived more than 50 years and brought prosperity and recognition to family members as prominent local businessmen and political activists.  To paraphrase a tribute from one observer, the Monaghans “enjoyed the confidence of their city.”

Thomas Pepper, born in the U.S. and the son of an Irish immigrant miner, was raised at Mine Hill Gap, Pennsylvania, and went to elementary school there.  At an early age he joined his father in the mines.  Thomas started as a slate picker, subsequently becoming a driver and later a full fledged miner. In 1865, having saved some money from his underground toil, Pepper opened a store in nearby Ashland where he bottled and sold non-alcoholic  drinks.   After meeting limited success in this trade Pepper in 1872 entered into the liquor business.  He was much more successful selling whiskey, building a regional reputation for his liquor in Central Pennsylvania.  As they matured Thomas brought his three sons into the business.


His growing wealth ultimately allowed him to turn over the business to his sons who renamed it  “Thomas Moore’s Sons Co.”  This allowed Thomas to pursue other activities.   Like Bernard Monaghan and other Irish of his time, Pepper had a strong interest in politics.  A lifelong Democrat, he ran for the post of Schuykill Country treasurer twice and won.  He also served as a member of the Ashland Borough Council for two terms.   As a indication of his business acumen, he also served as a director of the Citizen’s National Bank of Ashland.

Despite Thomas Pepper having given up control of his company,  the indication is that he continued throughout the rest of his life to take an interest in the profitable business he had founded and built.  There is a curious entry in the 1890 U.S. census, just after he had yielded control to his sons.  When the census taker asked his occupation,  someone -- perhaps Thomas -- said “liquor merchant.”  That, however, is crossed out and “none” (no occupation) was substituted.

Working out of their small town the Peppers created a giant wholesale house, vigorously marketing their flagship “Old Rap Whiskey.”  Thomas Pepper’s Sons appears to have flourished during first two decades of the 20th Century, further enriching the family.  The advent of National Prohibition, however, forced the company to shut its doors. Thus ended a 48 year business success founded by Thomas Pepper, a coal miner and a coal miner’s son.

In September, 1919, when Charles Serasio died, the Lead (South Dakota) Daily Call newspaper hailed him as a respected and popular resident of the city.  The obituary did not mention the mining odyssey that brought Serasio to Lead and a premature death — nor addressed his success as a local saloonkeeper.

A born in Italy, Serasio immigrated to America in 1886 and almost immediately went to work in the copper mines of Calumet, Michigan.  After toiling underground for several years, he moved west to Great Falls, Montana, and the giant Anaconda Copper Mine.  As a seasoned mine worker Serasio probably had no trouble finding employment there during a period when the Anaconda was expanding rapidly.


By 1897 Serasio had left Great Falls and headed to South Dakota and the town of Lead that had been founded in 1876 after the discovery of gold in the vicinity.  Lead was the site of the Homestake Mine, shown above, the largest, deepest (8,382 feet) and most productive gold mine in the Western Hemisphere.  Serasio went to work digging for gold in the miles of tunnels that honeycombed the earth below Lead, despite the dangers of lung damage.

In 1899, Charles found a wife in Lead.  Over the next five years the couple would have four children. Whether it was family responsibilities or a growing recognition of respiratory problems, about 1909 Serasio stepped out of the mines for good.  A Lead business directory listed him as owning a saloon at No. 4 on the aptly named Gold Street.  He had discovered that rather than digging for gold in the ground, it could be made more easily by selling whiskey to thirsty miners, such as those Homestead hands shown here.

Although he proved to be highly successful as a saloonkeeper, Serasio constantly had to be looking over his shoulder for the forces of “Temperance.” 
When South Dakota went “dry,” Serasio shut down his Lead operations and with his family headed over the border to “wet” Sundance, Wyoming, about 50 miles away by road. There for a time he operated a drinking establishment. 

His many years in mining were affecting his health, however, and he moved back to Lead.  Not long after returning, Charles Serasio died.  The official cause was “acute  pulmonary tuberculosis.”  At 49 years old he left behind a widow and four minor children to mourn his passing.

Note: Longer vignettes on each of these mining “whiskey men” can be found on this blog at the following:  The Monoghans, April 11, 2017;  the Moores, November 20, 2012, and Charles Serasio, January 18, 2015.  





















Friday, August 21, 2020

The Cordes Boys and Brooklyn’s “Wild West” Saloons

     

In 1875 there were 3,500 to 4,000 licensed saloons and liquor dealers in Brooklyn, New York.  Among proprietors were German immigrants Henry and Herman H. Cordes, each of whom operated a saloon in the Red Hook section of the New York borough, a district notorious for rowdy behavior similar to the American West.  Cousins, the Cordes boys were similar in their ability to find trouble in their adopted country.

That was not difficult in Red Hook, a rough, unruly neighborhood during the middle and late 1800s. From its earliest days Red Hook was a port. Seamen from around the world thronged its docks and visited its saloons, eateries, brothels and gambling joints.  The resident population was predominantly German and Irish, both with reputations for imbibing.  Obtaining a liquor license was a canny and lucrative business move, particularly as the area population swelled to 18,000 by 1870.  As shown below, Red Hook was a jumble of ships and shanties.


Henry, born in 1824, was the first from the Bavarian Cordes family to land in New York.  The exact date of his arrival is uncertain, but his name appeared in an 1870 Brooklyn Eagle newspaper listed as a liquor dealer.  By this time he was 46, married to Mary of similar German background and had three children, with a fourth to come. An 1870 directory put his address at One Summit Street, the site of his saloon with the family living upstairs.

Herman Cordes, born in Bavaria jn 1840 does not appear in the 1870 census, but an 1872 passport application indicates he had arrived in 1866, apparently unmarried.  By 1974, he appears to have established his own saloon  in Red Hook at No. One India Wharf.  What Henry and Herman’s establishments looked like requires some conjecture.  My guess is that they had a bar tended by themselves or a hired hand and also sold liquor by the jug or bottle.  American Artist Wolf Kahn whose family ran a Brooklyn saloon has provided a canvas showing what such a place might have appeared inside. 

How close the cousins were to each other is unclear.  In 1876 a Henry Cordes and a H.H. Cordes, almost certainly our pair, are recorded jointly posting bond for a young German immigrant arrested as an illegal immigrant.  Whatever the relationship between Henry and Herman, they shared common problems as saloonkeepers in Red Hook. Those might categorized as 1.Violence, 2.Women and 3.The Authorities.

1.Violence.  According to the Brooklyn Eagle in 1873 a patrolman on his beat found a local shoemaker named Patrick Lysacht lying in front of Henry Cordes' address with his head bashed open and bleeding copiously.  Apparently a drunken brawl in the saloon earlier had resulted when someone kicked Lysacht’s dog.  Subsequent events were unexplained. Taken to the hospital, Lysacht died, leaving a wife and five children.  Wolf Kahn in another painting caught the kind of violence that could erupt when men were drinking.

An incident at Herman’s saloon proved less fatal. The press reported that gunfire erupted in a fight between two men who were drinking in Cordes' "liquor store at the corner of the North Pier and India Wharf”.  A bullet was fired that went through the floor. No one was hurt.

2.  Women. The upper floors of Herman’s building held rooms that might have been used for any number of purposes including sexual encounters.  In April 1884, a woman of various identities, call her “Bella,” sued the purser of a steamer, claiming that she had been assaulted on an outside stairway leading to the upper rooms and accused Herman of being an accomplice.  Bella testified that she and the purser drank three glasses of beer each in Cordes' saloon, implying the owner set her up.  Defended by friends for his respectability and character, Bella’s suit against Herman apparently went nowhere.  The same year, however, Herman was reported in the press as accused of attempting to seduce “a pretty girl.”  Further details were not forthcoming.

Three years later Henry Cordes would have an incident with presumed “soiled  lilies.” He and a companion were charged with attempting “criminal assault” on two English women at a Coney Island hotel later identified as a “a disorderly house,” i.e. brothel.  What Henry may have had in mind is unclear but the press identified him as a Redhook businessman, married and a family.  Released on bond, Henry apparently later went free.

Both men faced court actions initiated by women who accused them of encouraging intoxication by their husbands.  In 1886 Henry paid a fine of $100  (equiv. $2,200 today) on a suit brought by a Mrs. Mary Wigmore who claimed Cordes had sold liquor to her husband after being warned not to do so and thus contributed to making him a drunkard.

Herman was forced to face down, a Mrs. Warner, an irate wife who claim he sold her husband a beer illegally on Sunday. Herman claimed Mr. Warner was the culprit, demanding alcohol, whom he had ejected from the premises.  Herman testified that when the husband left, Mrs. Warner was at the door and shaking her fist at him, declaring:  “I will fix you for this.” 

3.  The Authorities.  Federal and New York officials played close attention to the liquor trade and thousands of Brooklyn residents spent endless hours and effort to avoid them. Illegal distilling was rampant in the New York Borough to the extent that Federal troop were dispatched there” to ferret out illicit stills, destroy them and arrest the perpetrators.  An illustration from a national magazine caught the scene.

Although the Cordes boys apparently were not making illicit booze, they likely were buying it.  Local authorities were their scourge.  Herman seemed to be particularly harassed.  In December 1878, he was found guilty of violating the excise law.  The infraction likely related to his selling alcohol on a Sunday.  New York “blue laws” mandated that establishments that sold alcohol had to be closed between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday, an attempt to appease “moral reform” demonstrators.   Dock and factory workers, however, worked six days a week with only Sunday off. This was the only day a working man could relax and go to a bar, often accompanied by wife and family.

Herman Cordes seemed to have the most problem with authorities.  Whether the passion of Mrs. Warner prevailed or some other cause, Herman lost his license on India Wharf in 1883 and moved to the north pier of Columbia Wharf.  Although he claimed to be selling nothing but soft drinks, police had reason to believe he also was trading in beer and hard liquor as well as abetting illegal gambling.  Caught in a “sting” by undercover cops, Hermann was arrested, pled guilty and was fined only $25 by a clearly sympathetic judge.

Henry Cordes, died in March 1892 at the age of 67 and was buried in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery, Lot 9557, Section 18.  The tall monument, topped by a statue of the Christ, gives testimony to the wealth he and his family had accrued from his saloon.  A closeup of the inscription indicates that whatever was going on at that Coney Island hotel in 1887, Henry was remembered as a “beloved husband” and “dear father.”  Eight years later, in March 1900 Herman Cordes, age 59, troubled with chronic lung disease, followed in death.  He too was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. 

Thus ended the saga of the Cordes cousins, saloonkeepers in a section of Brooklyn in its heyday was as “wild and woolly” as many Western towns, a neighborhood where saloons abounded, violence was frequent, prostitution flourished, and armed troops were required to capture outlaw distillers.  Red Hook in that era rightfully can take its place in history alongside Deadwood, Tombstone, and Dodge City — and Henry and Herman Cordes were an integral part of it all.


Note:  This post would have been impossible without the Internet site of Maggie Land Blanck on the saloons and liquor stores of Red Hook during the 1870s, 1880s, and later.  She has tracked many of the saloonkeepers, including the Cordeses. I have tried to enhance the information using ancestry.com and other websites to fill in details.  For those interested I recommend her site.  If you have other materials on Red Hook she invites contacts at maggie@maggieblanck,com.







































Monday, August 17, 2020

Frisco’s Eduardo Cerruti: Willing to Plunge

        

Arriving in the United States in 1892 with $1.25 in his pocket and little English, Eduardo Cerruti, despite frequent setbacks, continued throughout his life to plunge into new challenges that made him a living legend in San Francisco. With liquor sales as his mainstay, Cerruti, shown here, founded cigar companies, ran a popular nightclub, and as a final plunge, built a large indoor salt-fed swimming pool that that operated until the 1950s.   

Born in Genoa, Italy, in 1875  Eduardo “Edward” Cerruti was the son of Ambrogio Cerruti who was in his 50’s when he married the much younger Adelaide Sivori.  The couple would have four other sons, all of whom would play a role in Eduardo’s career.  At the age of 17, the youth took his first plunge, scraping together the money for passage to America that left him little cash for the voyage.  Although the record is silent my surmise is that Cerruti went “Round the Horn” making his first American landing in San Francisco.

At the edge of going hungry, Cerruti quickly accepted employment in a local restaurant washing dishes for $15 a month.  He had been on the job only eighteen days, however, when the establishment was shuttered by the sheriff for indebtedness.  Back on the street he then went to work in a cannery at $1.25 a day, followed by several months selling flowers from an outdoor stand.  Late on the year of his arrival, Cerruti found decent-paying employment in a sausage factory, staying two years and, by living frugally, saved $400.

Then Cerruti took his second plunge.  Now 19, with a partner, he opened his own sausage company and store but soon switched to groceries.  Although the store was relatively profitable, the national financial panic of 1907 combined with his falling seriously ill, led to the failure of the enterprise and saddled Eduardo with significant debt.  He sought and received a loan from C. B. Levaggi and paid his creditors in full, thus preserving his reputation. [See my post on the Levaggis, Aug. 18, 2014.]


Forced again to working for others, Cerruti became a bartender in an Italian all-night restaurant in San Francisco, working the 4 A.M. to 2 P.M. shift.  In the afternoons, he worked as a sales representative for a local macaroni firm, leaving in 1897 for a similar role with the Italian Swiss Wine Company, founded at Asti, California in 1881.  Shown above is an artist’s concept of Cerruti’s activities, part of a 1914 San Francisco Chronicle illustrated story of his life. 

During this period,  Cerruti told the Chronicle, he ate “five cent lunches” and saved his money for a chance strike out on his own once more.  That opportunity arrived in 1899 when with a partner, he organized the Lichenstein-Cerruti 
Cigar Company in San Francisco, serving as vice president.

Wanting sole ownership of a business, Eduardo then took another plunge.  In 1903 he opened a general merchandise store he called Cerruti Mercantile Company at 1419 Stockton Street.  Counting up his previous jobs at twelve, the entrepreneur told the Chronicle that this move was his lucky thirteenth.  His new company sold a range of merchandise, including Italian Swiss Colony wines, olive oil, and liquors imported from Italy and France. A photo of the store shows the barrels and cases ready for delivery.  That may be Eduardo himself second from left.  No one seems to notice the missing “C” in the sign.


To assist in this enterprise Eduardo recruited his siblings.  August, his closest brother in age, apparently had come to America earlier and was working for him.  As Cerruti Mercantile grew “large and successful,” Eduardo put out a call for  other brothers to join him.  Peter, Victor, and Mario answered and emigrated.  Apparently delighted to have family members around him Cerruti in late 1905 gave notice to the Trade:  “It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have associated with me my four brothers and have incorporated the Cerruti Mercantile Co.”  Under the articles of incorporation, Eduardo owned 255 shares of the stock with the remaining 245 shares divided among his four brothers.  The Cerrutis are shown here in a card celebrating the incorporation.

This period of Cerruti prosperity was followed by another setback:  The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.  When the fire seemed to threaten the Cerruti building, the brothers with friends removed all the merchandise they could carry and stowed it at a nearby intersection.  As the Chronicle told it:  “By a strange freak of fate the building from which the merchandise was removed was not damaged to any extent while the merchandise that had been carried away was destroyed by the fire, depleting the company savings nearly 90 percent.”

The brothers were undeterred by the fire losses.  They began again with even greater vigor to rebuild the stock.  Meanwhile, Eduardo, still a bachelor at age 33, had met a daughter from a well-known California Italian-American family, Norma Cassinelli. At 23 years old she was ten years his  junior.  They married in August 1908 at the farm of the bride’s grandfather.  The couple is shown here on their wedding day posed in the common tableau of the time — bride standing, groom sitting regally in a chair. Over the next eight years they would have three children,  a girl and two boys.


Meanwhile at the Mercantile, the Cerrutis were operating as “rectifiers,” that is, blending whiskeys obtained from distillers to achieve a desired color, taste and smoothness.  The liquor would have been aged in barrels on the premises, shown above, then decanted into bottles, labelled and sold to saloons, restaurants and hotels.  Shown here is an amber whiskey quart with the Cerruti monogram embossed in the glass.  The company flagship brand was “Old Promotion,” a label Eduardo never bothered to trademark.

The reference was to a fully owned subsidiary of Cerruti Mercantile Co. called “The Promotion Wine and Liquor Company,”  the entity engaged in the wine and liquor business.  Shown here is a silver-plated serving tray that would have been given to saloons and other establishments using Cerruti products. It notes both companies and carries the Cerruti logo.  The company warehouse is shown above. According to court records, the status of the Promotion spin-off was changed in 1916 when it was dissolved and all its assets transferred to Eduardo. He ran it as a single proprietor until July 1918 when he merged with a second firm and the name changed.



During the mid-1910s Eduardo, perhaps drawing on his earlier restaurant experience, opened an eating and drinking establishment on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco.  Called the Club Lido, it was advertised as the “Leading Cafe on the Pacific Coast.”  A postcard indicates that it was, indeed, a fancy restaurant with a spacious dance floor and elegant decorations.  Liquor sales at both Cerruti Mercantile and the Club Lido, however,  came to screeching halt in 1920 with the imposition of National Prohibition.

Denied the revenues from wine and liquor sales that had fueled his enterprises, Eduardo plunged again — this time into the water.  He opened a saltwater natatorium he called “The Crystal Palace Baths,” and later renamed the “Crystal Plunge.”  Opened in 1924 located at 775 Lombard Street, the pool held some 300,000 gallons of salt water that was pumped in from a pier near Fisherman's Wharf.   The complex included a dance floor and served snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.  The Crystal Plunge apparently never made a profit in spite of Cerruti’s efforts.  Those included managing the operation personally, with wife Norma as a cashier and youngest son, Romolo, as the pool engineer.

Even so, Eduardo had sufficient resources to buy his family a spacious home at 3627 Webster Street, shown here, valued today at more than $2 million.  It was there that his health declined as he entered his 76th year.  A bout of pneumonia led to a heart attack. He lingered for several days before dying at the age of 76 in Notre Dame Hospital on January 23, 1951.  He was buried in Cyprus Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, outside San Francisco.

A fitting closing thought on this immigrant San Francisco entrepreneur was provided by the author of the Chronicle article:  “Edward Cerruti is the living embodiment of what a foreign boy can make of himself in this country, even if, as he did, at the start the capital is only a dollar and a half.”

Note:  Much of the information for this post and three illustrations came from the 1914 San Francisco Chronicle article.  Special insights came from a short piece that Courtney Cerruti, a great granddaughter, contributed to the pre-pro.com website of Robin Preston. She ended by saying she is “so proud to be a Cerruti.”  And well she should be.