When Lucy Bruno got a call from her daughter suggesting that she move to San Antonio to be closer to her family, she put everything in storage, and left all of her belongings in Florida. She told her daughter, “I’ll stay—- if I like it. And you know what the answer to that was!” Now comfortably settled into her home, she nests between her daughter Rosalie and son-in-law Charles’ home on one side and granddaughter Luci, with her husband, Kyri, and two great-granddaughters on the other side. And just to keep things cozy, Kyri’s parents reside in a home built at the back of the property. “Neighbors say, ‘Oh, we know you. You live between your daughter and granddaughter,’” says the exuberant nonagenarian. The compound is constantly abuzz with family gatherings, parties with neighbors and visits from relatives who still call the East Coast home.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, where she lived for 50 years, Lucy was taught to cook comforting Italian dishes by her mother. By age 12, she was cooking for her family, a tradition that continues today. Recently, she prepared a full Italian meal for 10 family members and served it in her home. “I love to cook,” says Lucy. “When I moved into this house and came into the kitchen, I looked at the stove and it said, use me.” The house had been a duplex and needed a great deal of renovation before Lucy moved into the dwelling. Noted Alamo Heights builder Troy Jessee worked on the project, creating a four-bedroom enclave within the family enclave. The first floor has a master bedroom with large kitchen, dining room and living area for entertaining. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a small dining and sitting area with a service kitchen that is a family retreat for grandson Charles; his wife, Elizabeth; and their three children, who visit frequently from the East Coast. Toys are at the ready in each bedroom furnished for the great-grandchildren. A new arrival to the family this past December, a great-granddaughter will be paying her extended family a visit this March.
“They named her Lucy, after me,” Lucy says. “When I see my great-granddaughter, I am going to say, ‘Lucy, make me proud.’” Each morning as her two great-granddaughters leave for school, Lucy is there to greet them. “I am at the door and I have to give them the queen wave everyday,” Lucy proudly says. She humorously demonstrates the stately hand movement of the royals as they greet crowds of subjects. Lucy’s home is always filled with arrangements of fresh flowers. “I love fresh flowers,” she says. “In Florida, every Friday I would go to the store and get fresh flowers. Now my daughter Rosalie brings me flowers every week.” As Lucy sat enjoying a cup of coffee in her breakfast room, looking out onto her family’s combined properties, she surmised, “This is the right time in my life. I am very happy.”
By John Bloodsworth
Photography by Al Rendon