Irma Schettini Caiazzo
Irma Schettini Caiazzo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she lived with her parents and paternal grandparents while attending school in the old walled city.
At the age of eight she moved with her mother to the west side of New York City, attended school at the grammar and high school on the campus of Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart, where she was graduated with honors.
She lived in New York City throughout WWII, during which her allegiance for her new country was solidified. Her mother, who worked for RKO Radio Pictures, took her to see weekly movies that promoted American values, courage and wisdom. As a result, English soon became her primary language, but her Latin heritage will always be part of who she is.
She became an executive at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in 1956, and met Robert "Bob" Caiazzo, whom she married in 1957. At that time Bob began his career with Eastern Airlines, where he became Manager of In-Flight Services at JFK and LGA. Together they explored the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada, Europe and Mexico whenever time permitted, using long weekends to explore the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida.
In 1962, Claudia, their only child, was born and became their constant travel companion. As soon as Claudia started school, Irma returned to work and eventually opened a Dale Dance Studio on East 53 St that taught ballroom dancing and hosted parties at the studio, as well as at Ballrooms that offered dancing throughout New York such as The St.Regis Roof, The Stork Club, the Waldorf Astoria, The Persian Room of the Plaza, Roseland and the Tavern on the Green, to mention a few.
Teaching dancing was her passion, which she shared with her husband, Bob, who taught at Arthur Murray prior to their marriage.
When ballroom dancing began to wane, Irma became a Commercial Real Estate Broker at Garrick Aug Assoc.in Manhattan. She retired years later as Executive Vice President of a firm that began with 8 brokers and grew to 50 over her 17 year tenure.
After working for 30 years at Eastern Airlines, Bob coaxed Irma to move with him to Las Cruces, NM. They became bona fide citizens of the Land of Enchantment.
Tennis, hiking, skiing and exploring the vast lands of the Southwest became their newest quest. They traded the canyons of New York City for the Rocky Mountains and the desert. They visited State Parks and skied the powder slopes of Utah and New Mexico under Azure Blue skies.
In 2008 Bob, the love of her life, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, so they moved closer to their family in Orlando, Fl. With Claudia, their daughter, and their two granddaughters, Bianca and Nita, their family life continued as fully as possible.
On Feb 12, 2012 Bob died having lived to the age of 85. Their 54 years of marriage were filled with adventures shared with family and friends, filled with love, laughter and loyalty for decades.
After Bob's illness and death, Irma decided to write a book to chronicle a life lived fully through an incredible period of history in two beautiful countries that she loved supported by family and friends.
She was honored as a Finalist in Non-Fiction: Multicultural Category in USA Best Book Award 2014.