The Rose Garden – A Documentary on the Roseto Effect

RosetoI had the unique opportunity to be interviewed for a documentary about Roseto Pennsylvania and its historical significance related to heart disease research.  My great grandfather, Nicola Rosato, was the founder of Roseto in 1887.  The documentary was produced by Gabriella Flamini, a digital media student at Ryder University in Lawrenceville, NJ.  The documentary chronicles the “Roseto Effect” and the almost inexplicable absence of heart disease in Roseto, the first 100% Italian borough in the United States.  The vast majority of residents were immigrants from Roseto Valfortore located in the Southern Italian province of Foggia in the region of Puglia.  Of note, the background music accompanying the documentary is the harmonica playing of my 86-year old father, Pete Stampone – - not only a strong heart, but a big heart.

Well known author, Malcolm Gladwell, writes about the “Roseto Mystery” in the introduction to his book, Outliers: The Story of SuccessOutliers debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and held that position for 11 consecutive weeks.  Gladwell is also known for The Tipping Point and Blink, both of which sold over $2.5 million copies.

Although the focus of the documentary is the medical significance of Roseto, be sure to check out a post I wrote a few years ago called The Roseto Effect – The Valley of the Roses.  In the post, I provide a historical review of the founding of Roseto, along with the medical significance of the town.  Hope you enjoy it.

Uncle Joe Foster

Joe with family members including brothers Bill and Bob

Joe with family members including brothers Bill and Bob

We were so lucky to have Uncle Joe in our lives for so many years. Sadly he passed away yesterday at the age of 87. Joe was the younger brother of Julia Stampone’s father, Bill.

Joe was an icon in the Philadelphia legal community. He began his career at White and Williams in 1958 and continued to work every day until his passing. He had served as the firm’s Litigation Department Chairman and was a member of its Executive Committee. He was a veteran trial lawyer who became Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 1981. He also served as President of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute; President of the Lawyers Club of Philadelphia; and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates. He was also former Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Committee.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

But beyond his many legal accomplishments he was “Uncle Joe.” A gregarious role model, who inspired many family members to go on to the practice of law. He always showed interest in what his many nephews and nieces were doing in their lives and was truly just a nice man.

No one was more respected in the family and legal community than Uncle Joe. For me, he was a mentor and friend. He personally moved me for Admission by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to the Bar of the Courts of Pennsylvania on May 5, 1981. He will be missed but fondly remembered.

-JPS