The Curcuruto Girls is a collection of short stories based on the lives of five Italian-American sisters from the upstate New York town of Fulton. The stories take place between the 1920’s and the 1950’s, based loosely on true stories about the sisters in their youth. Carmella, Kathryn, Anna, Nancy and Josephine were remarkable in their devotion to each other and to their families. Their stories remind us that human nature remains the same, even as the world around us has changed drastically since their time. Times may have changed, but today we can still find something in common with one or more of the sisters. Some of us are like Carmella, struggling to break through a social barrier. Some of us are like Kathryn, working through difficult self-esteem issues. Others are like Anna and have so much to say and no place to say it. We might be like Nancy, determined to find true love without compromise. Or we might be like Josephine, having alienated so many people that we can only focus on just that one person we care about deeply. These charming stories are modern folktales, revealing timeless elements of the human spirit.
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Mary Kay Bullard was born Mary Kathryn Calabro, in Lead, South Dakota. Her parents were from different parts of the country. Gregory was from Fulton, New York, and came to the Black Hills of South Dakota on a wrestling scholarship. Tricia was an ex-nun from Scott City, Kansas. Greg and Tricia raised their family in Lead, and Gregory frequently brought his daughters to Fulton to experience his family and culture. These visits "home" went on for many years until Greg’s mother, Kathryn, died and the visits became less and shorter.
Mary Kay loved the visits to Fulton and would protest profusely when it was time to leave her beloved Grandma and Great Aunts. They told her she should be a lawyer, the way she could argue!
After graduating from Lead High School, Mary Kay followed her mother’s footsteps into the convent. The convent kicked her out and she went to college in Rapid City, South Dakota, for that law degree her Grandma and Aunts wanted. At the age of twenty she married Andrew Bullard, a nice, tall boy from El Paso, Texas, and nine months later their son, Sean, was born. Sean’s arrival delayed Mary Kay's education; she graduated when Sean was three. Mary Kay then sought employment as a paralegal, receiving many lovely rejection letters. The only "yes" came from the director of the Deadwood Library in South Dakota.
Mary Kay worked many happy years at Deadwood Library as a children’s librarian/event planner/ personal assistant while raising Sean. Andrew became a union pipefitter and traveled a lot, trying to come home on weekends when working nearby.
Andrew’s closest location was the small town of Colstrip, Montana. When the Director position at the public library opened up, Andrew asked Mary Kay to apply and the family moved to Colstrip. Tia, Andrew's daughter from a previous relationship, joined them.
Mary Kay now lives in Colstrip, Montana, with her husband of seventeen years, two teenagers, and one, two year old dog. Here was not the typical path to becoming a writer. But it’s a good one, and one full of great stories.