Without knowing a single word of English, Azzarelli’s grandfather boarded a steamship headed for America in 1906. He secured a job working as a laborer on a railroad, managing the dangerous situation as best as possible. After stabilizing his life in the new country, he went back to Sicily to bring his wife back to America, eventually settling in Kankakee, Illinois.
In Illinois the couple began their new, America life, raising vegetables in Illinois Central Railroad property and living in two boxcars he convinced the company to link together. Eventually their family grew to five sons and one daughter, spending their days toiling in the rail yard and taking care of household chores.
After surviving the Great Depression, the Azzarelli boys went to work in Roper Stove Company, later serving in World War II. Upon returning safely home from war, the brothers decided they needed to band together to find sustainable work as a family; this tight-knit bond led to the eventual formation of Azzarelli Construction Company in 1946.
“One Way Out” author Jim Azzarelli can remember growing up in the company – sometimes quite literally – and felt his career choice was already pre-determined; he’d one day take over the company like the generation before. Yet when he reached his twenties, Jim realized working in the family business wasn’t enough to make him happy. In a leap of faith with his future wife, Jim moved to Tampa, Florida, and started Precision Paving of Tampa in 1983. But running his own business away from his family was hard; among other challenges, Jim faced a bout of severe depression in 2003.
In “One Way Out,” Jim tells the story of his Sicilian roots, his personal challenges and eventual success.
Approximately 208 pages, 58
About the Author
Jim Azzarelli, born in Kankakee, Illinois, currently resides in Odessa, Florida, where he owns Precision Paving. In his spare time, he enjoys blogging, playing golf, writing and enjoying the beach. He has been happily married for 32 years and is the father of three.
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