Carrying their most valuable possession a young family traverses the continent of Europe get away and escape the
political turmoil. Hopefully to their two young children, one five years old the other barely one to a safe land. While on their journey through the Italian peninsula they are attacked by a "briganti" thieves that preyed on foreigners and who’s truck suddenly by surrounding their victims. Both husband and wife were killed and stripped of their possessions. Before the attack the mother must have sensed the danger and quickly took steps to hide both children in a secret compartment under the rear seat of the car they had been traveling in. Local town folks found the vehicle with the two young children cuddled and scared. His majesty's King Umberto's representatives unable to identify the family on account of lack of documents, and unable to communicate with the older child who spoke a foreign language, took custody and assigned both of them to the care of an orphanage. There both children were giving a Christian upbringing. When the older of the two boys was eleven years old both brothers were adopted by an American oil tanker captain by the name of Louis Thomas whose young wife of Greek descent was childless. When the older boy who had been named Salvatore was 11 years old his adopted mother died from a heart condition, so his adopted dad decided to take both boys with him and raise them on board his vessel. One day while crossing the Atlantic Ocean the tanker vessel ran into heavy winds, rain and rough seas, the captain asked this older son to take the ship's helm, and rushed out of the pilot house to assist a deck man who had become entangled. suddenly an enormous wave splashed the deck of the tanker both the captain and his deckhand who had just been freed were washed overboard Salvatore’s younger brother little Louie rushed to his father’s aid with two life rings and another wave swept him off the tanker and dew him into the ocean too. Their bodies of were never recovered. Salvatore now, not barely seventeen and with only two other helpers found himself in charge of the boat and piloted the vessel to the port of destination. Orphaned again and trying to endure the loss of the only father he ever knew and the loss of his baby brother grieved and was devastated. The pain was just too much for anyone his age to bear. His life had taken a turn for the worst and he had not done anything to deserve this. The chief engineer, tried and one other surviving member of the crew tried to console him. In this dark moment he practiced what he had learned at the orphanage, which was; no question why things happened, but to fin strength in faith and prayer. Finally back on land he contacted the only people he knew in the whole world at the orphanage, who consoled him and at advice of the mother superior he was told to follow his destiny and to continue the legacy that the captain had laid out for him. At the young of eighteen he himself became a captain with. With the vessel he had inherited and the knowledge he had learned and the help of the remaining crew he began his life on the sea. Alone, and now captain of a tanker-ship following in the footsteps of another captain before him. Within a few short years the young man decided to purchase another tanker-ship, then another and within a few short years he commanded a fleet of five tanker ships which transported petroleum needed by the growing economy of the United States. During one of these trips to the port of New York the young captain while eating at a restaurant met a young woman and fell madly in love and got married. Wanting a family of his own and no wanting his children to grow up without a father he consulted with the sages at the orphanage who directed him to leave the sea and settle on land The captain sold all his ships and gave half of all his wealth to the orphanage, he recognized the institution’s contributions and support it had provided him over the years, and having them meant stability and direction. They were his anchor in life and this was one way to say thanks and keep up the good work. Now on land Salvatore knew that there was not much difference between transporting on sea to transporting on land and with his portion of the sale of the ships’ assets he purchased a transportation company and bought a home for his family to live. To gain work for his fleet he signed contracts that guaranteed delivery which carried large fines for non performance. Salvatore’s generosity and caring for others didn’t stop once he moved on land. He continued to contribute to other orphanages here in the states who he loved to visit and talk to children there giving them hope and loved to tell them his story. In1973 suddenly after OPEC announced the oil embargo Salvatore couldn’t buy fuel for his trucks and faced a business disaster. His contracts stated that he had to provide delivery or face huge monetary claims that could bankrupt him. In a moment of reflection he called on his old contacts and learned that a tiny refueling vessel was docked in Freeport Bahamas and could be had. He chartered a small plane and asked the pilot to be ready at a moment’s notice, after picking up his older son they both flew there and closed the deal on that little rusty boat. He arranged for fueling and charted a course to the port of New York and sailing at 16 knots made land in two and one half days, where a pickup truck with four 55 gallons drums waited to refuel the trucks. It didn’t take long for his neighbors to find out that fuel was available and this was Salvatore’s start in the home heating oil. His knowledge of oil trading and transportation came to the attention of the American Property Association a Brooklyn based property owner’s organization where he was a member. The executive director there at the time was Lee Sterling who believed that the members could benefit by banning together and forming purchasing oil cooperative. The idea of a purchasing cooperative was very common in Europe but here in the U.S. it was a very novel idea. His friendship with the property owners association was so successful that it catapulted a little fuel company in one of the City largest fuel suppliers. The founder’s roots of humility and caring for others less fortunate lead it to name the company using the unassuming name of Home Heating Oil Corp. and just as when it first started the company serves mainly areas that are less affluent and delivers its fuel at cost.