Julianna is the youngest of the six Smaldone sisters and two brothers, the family baby who came along long after momma and poppa thought they were done growing their already large family.
She represents another generation from most of her siblings, having been only a child during the Great Depression and a young teenager during the war years that followed.
Even at her young age, she already is achieving firsts:
- The first in the family to go to what had been an exclusively Irish Catholic grade school in the neighborhood (the others went to public school), she mingles with non-Italians from a young age.
- The first to talk about wanting to work and having a career.
- The first to have a wide circle of non-family friends, something not done by older siblings.
- The first of the sisters to drive a car and own a car
She met Bill while he worked in a bowling alley and is bringing him home to meet the family, and to ask momma a very important question.