The Canatella Family
 I'm very grateful to Ray Canatella for sharing these wonderful family photos and
stories with us.  The pictures on this page were salvaged after the flood and we're
fortunate to have them.
 Each family's history is so valuable, not only to the family itself, but, to the
community as a whole.  Every family's story adds to and enriches the story of New
 To me, all New Orleans stories are interesting.  But, even I have to admit that some
are more interesting than others.  Such is the case with Ray's family history.
~ Canatella, Revon, Cusimano, Dupas ~
Ray's g-grandfather, Nicola (or Cola) Revon.  Mr. Revon was a
well-known duelist, who killed several men in duels in the days when
duels were legal.  Ray sent a copy of the 1904 article printed in
New Orleans Item
at the time of Mr. Revon's death.  It was titled, "Life
History of Cola Revon" and sub-titled, "Desperate 'Bad Man' of
Plaquemines Parish - Alleged He Killed Seven Men in His Day."
Louise Revon, Cola Revon's daughter,
Ray's grandmother; age 15, 1883.
                 Ray's grandfather, Frank Cannatella, 1896.  Note from Ray:
  "My grandfather and a friend of his founded "Horse Shoe Pickle Works" and my
grandfather was the creator of Louisiana Hot Sauce (it was bought out long ago by Rex
Seasoning Company and then by another company).  After they mixed the sauce, the
only bottles they could afford were obsolete, skinny tonic bottles, which cost five for
one penny.  In later years, the skinny bottles became the standard for all hot sauce
made in Louisiana.
 "As the story was told to me, Grandpa Frank Cannatella came over from Sicily with his
brother and a cousin.  The brother was a blacksmith and went to Texas because he felt
there might be more horses there.  The brother sent a horse shoe to my grandfather for
good luck in his new business, hence the name, "Horse Shoe Pickle Works.
 "My grandfather was told that a lot of Texans loved hot food, so he went to Texas to
sell his hot sauce at county fairs and groceries.  When they asked him what he called his
sauce, he told them it was Louisiana Hot Sauce, because that's where it was made."
Left, wedding photo of Sara
Cusimano and Frank Cannatella,
1896;  above, Sara Cusimano's
mother, abt. 1890.
Note from Ray:  "My G-Grandfather, Rocco Cusimano, started the Cusimano
Fruit Peddling business.  They were from Milan, Italy.  The Cusimano's and
Cannatella's met in this country.  When my grandfather first saw Sara, he wanted
to marry her, so he had to go see my g-grandfather, Rocco Cusimano, and ask for
permission.  In those days, the young men who were interested in any Italian girl,
couldn't court her unless the father approved.  My grandfather had to prove he
had enough money to take care of my grandmother or it was no deal."
Uncle Leon Cannatella and bride, Margaret, 1923.
Left, Ray's parents, Rocco and Thelma
Dupas Canatella, with Ray and sisters
(note that Ray's dad dropped an 'n'
from Cannatella)
, Mardi Gras, 1940;
above, Ray, older brother, Frank, and
two sisters, Joyce and Lois.
Ray's grandfather, Frank
Cannatella, and his daughter,
Ray's Aunt Theresa,
Jackson Square, 1926.
Ray's mom, sitting on the
steps of her house on
Chartres Street, 1923.
Left, Cola Revon's grandnieces and one granddaughter (Ray's mom, in dark dress); right, Cola Revon's
grandnieces; both photos were taken at the airport in Chalmette, just off St. Bernard Hwy., 1923.
Ray's uncle, Ross Cannatella
Above, Ray's Aunt Tina (on right) and friend in City
Park, 1926;  right, Cola Revon's son, Joe, and 3
granddaughters of Cola Revon (Ray's mother on
right); Montegut Street, 1940.
Left, friends of Frank Cannatella, 1926;
above, Ray's uncle and his cab, 1930.
Ray's mother, Thelma Dupas Canatella's baptismal certificate, 1906.  CLICK
to see a larger version (depending on your computer, you may need to
click imagine once more when it opens to see maximum size).