A Life Story: By The Grace Of A Vocano

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

Patricia Feager is hosting a ActiveRain Contests this month titled "ActiceRain May Contest - Life is a Story".  A popular entry seems to be telling our life story, or at least a part of it.  It has been a long time since I blogged anything about my past, so this seemed like a good time to share some of my life story with you.

I was born in Portugal on a small Island in the Azores called Santa Maria.  To the left is the house I was born in.  Back then you were born in houses not hospitals, and a mid-wife performed the delivery.

My Family came to the US in 1960 when I was eight years old.  We were able to come to the US, because the US Government made it possible for people who were born in Faial, the Island my father was born on to be able to immigrate to the US, because of a Volcano that destroyed much of that Island.  So "By The Grace Of A Volcano" I was able to come to the greatest country in the world.

My father and mother sold everything they had, and boarded a plane to Boston, MA with 4 young kids.  Except for a couple of suit cases, My parents had nothing else when they arrived in Boston.  We lived in a small apartment in Fox Point, RI which was furnished with items my aunt, who had come to the US the year before, was able to gather through donations.

My father and mother had to work all the time for minimum wage to support us.  This meant there was a period of time during the day, between the time my mother left for work and my dad arrive, that me, my brother, and two sisters were left by ourselves.  This meant at the age of 8 years old, and the oldest of my sisters who was 7 years old, had to take care of the other 2 rug rats.  My brothers and sister tell a lot of stories of what I use to them back then, but obviously none of the stories are true.  A fifth child was born two years later, exactly 10 years after I was born.  When the little runt was born everyone was excited, and no one remembered my birthday.  To this day he is still a pain in my donkey.  There is a lot I could write about my childhood, but I will leave that for another time.

On October of 1970 I joined the Navy.  While in the Navy Between 1970-74, I did three West Pac Cruses to Vietnam, and was there for 5 Campaigns.  I also got to go through the “Shell Back” initiation for crossing the Equator in 1973, that was an experience I will not forget.  In 1973 I also became a US Citizen.  The reason I became a citizen was so I could receive the rank of Third Class Petty Officer in my rating.  The rating I had required a secret clearance, and secret clearances were only given to US citizens. 

1974 is probably my most memorable year because of three major events in my live.  First I was discharged from the Navy in September.  Second I was married in October, and third, I was baptized into Christ in December.  The second and third events changed my life forever, and have been the two most positive and important events in my life.  Among the other special events in my life is the birth of my two sons, and my gorgeous granddaughter who is the love of my life.

I have been in Sales for 46 years.  No I am not referring to the length of time I have had to convince my wife to stay married to me, I am talking about my employment.  During that time I have had three different careers in sales.  The first was working for John Hancock selling Life Insurance, Casualty Insurance, and Mutual Funds (I had all three licenses).  The second was Industrial Sales selling Material Handling Equipment.  The third is what I am doing now, a Mortgage Loan Originator.

I was a Councilman in Middletown, CT for six months filling the remaining term of the Deputy Mayor when he had to fill the remaining term of the Mayor.  The people in Middletown were smart enough to not re-elect me to a full term the following election.  I have also been the President of several Boards and Service Organizations in town.  Up until 2018 I was one of two Head Elections Moderator in Middletown, CT, and oversaw, and reported the Election Returns for the 14 Voting Districts in town.

I love sports, and was a pretty good athlete at whatever sport I choose to play.  It wasn't that I was talented, it was the drive within me to succeed at whatever I do.  My dream growing up was to be a professional player in any sport, but to wear the Yankee pin stripes would have been the ultimate.

I collect sports cards, mainly baseball cards, but I have some highly sought after cards in other sports as well.  My baseball card collection consists of several thousand cards, and includes rookie cards of Hall Of Famers such as:  Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Steve Carlton, Rod Carew, Dave Palmer, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, and Mike Schmidt, as well as many of the modern day stars.  I also have Rookie Cards of Hall of Famers in other sports such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Wayne Gretzky.  My prized card though is not a rookie card, it is 1968 Mickey Mantle card, and I also have a baseball signed by him mounted on a plaque with a picture of him and me shaking hands

This is but a small part of my life story, but I think it will start to give those reading this blog an idea of who I am, and how I have arrived at the place in life I am at today.  


Posted by

George Souto
NMLS# 65149

C (860) 573-1308
CALL 7 Days/Wk
Fax (860) 760-6891

Email Me
About Me
My Blog

I am a Mortgage Loan Officer who can assist you with all your mortgage & refinancing needs in
CT, RI, MA, NH, and a FL Licensed Lender

I can assist you with your Conventional,
FHA, CHFA, VA, USDA, & 203K loan programs.

I reside in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Haddam. E. Haddam, Higganum, Chester, Essex, Deep River.


Comments (19)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello George - thanks for the visit in the "wayback" machine.  Over the years, I seem to have picked up pieces of this story but definitely not all of them.  There is a much filling-in-the-blanks in this post and it was as entertaining to read as it is informative.  Nicely told.  

May 31, 2021 05:02 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George Souto - I am so proud you entered the ActiveRain May Contest - Life is a Story

I must admit, I wasn't expecting to learn so much about you but with a joyful heart, I am so thankful. George you and your family are incredible. Other than knowing you were a man of deep faith and family oriented, thankfully, "By the Grace of a Volcano," you are here in America today! That phrase, look what the wind blew in takes on a completely new meaning!

I hope Kat Palmiotti reads your post. I believe the two of you have roots from the same place, Azores, I'll let Kat fill in the details that I don't know. If so, it's pretty remarkable that there could be two people here on AR with a connection to a very tiny island. We never really know the people we know, unless they share pieces of their heart. George, I am humbled and grateful you shared your life story.

Eight year old kids are very impressionable. I'm guessing you couldn't even speak English??? Your parents were very brave to take that leap of faith. I can't imagine what was going in their adult brains or yours with all the tumultuous U.S. events that followed shortly after your family arrived with practically nothing. Then there was US news, i.e, JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy, the moon landing, rioting, segregation, integration, the hippy movement and all other U.S. historical events. You survived it all just because of the many sacrifices by your parents. I have chills! Well, now I know, there is a lot more to George Souto than ZOOM! A million thanks for sharing your life story. I am humbled. 

May 31, 2021 05:07 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi George:

You area a great story-teller! I really enjoyed learning more about your personal life!


May 31, 2021 05:21 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

George I so enjoyed reading the story from where you were born to where you are now and all the inbetween adventures.  You were very determined and I've know that part of you for many years.  PS You must have been an interesting big brother!!

May 31, 2021 05:59 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

George my friend I knew a little bit about your story but not this much, WOW is all I can say, no wonder we connected way back when:)) so with that said you  have seven years of America time on me we came   here in 1967:))Endre

May 31, 2021 07:25 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Morning George.

What a wonderful story, never knew that about you before, thanks for sharing

Jun 01, 2021 01:07 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning George. Wow, what a story about your formative years. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your day!

Jun 01, 2021 05:24 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I loved learning more about you and your personal life and it just reinforces what I have learned from interacting with you in the Rain, You are a Good Man!!!

Jun 01, 2021 05:30 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You are a natural storyteller George Souto! Thankfully your family was able to come to the United States of America, I also think it is the greatest country in the world. Excelling in sports or business takes commitment and self-motivation plus passion to succeed, you have those traits. Thank you sincerely for your service in the military and for the entry to ActiveRain May Contest - Life is a Story.

Jun 01, 2021 06:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, George... loved this post... and while I knew many broad brushstrokes about your background, you filled in some information I didn't know about.

As a fellow immigrant, I can relate to much of what you wrote about your early life and how families had to survive their first years in a new country. I was born in a hospital... an RAF hospital in the British zone of Germany... but it no longer is standing... it's a park now.

Jun 01, 2021 06:17 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning George! Thank you for sharing a piece of your life story with us

Jun 01, 2021 08:39 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi George - very wonderful story and you and my wife would have plenty in common with baseball cards and love of the Yankees!

Jun 01, 2021 05:44 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. And yes, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP is correct! My maternal great grandmother and great grandfather were born in the Azores. Specifically, Sao Miguel.


Jun 01, 2021 05:46 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I have a son-in-law whose parents are also from the Azores.  And, I also had a longterm relationship with a guy, whose father was from there.  They were from Sao Miguel.

Jun 02, 2021 02:55 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

George, we may have crossed paths back in the early 80's as I worked for a company that incorporated a lot of Material handling in their machine designs right there in Berlin CT

Jun 02, 2021 05:41 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

George.  A very interesting read.  I am sure more than myself were disappointed to see the post come to an end.  Mark

Jun 06, 2021 10:24 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I did not know any of this about you George. I must say I read it all and enjoyed the trip way back when. What a nice story to tell and get to know more about you!

Jun 08, 2021 04:35 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Oh my goodness, George Souto - I never knew this about you. What a wonderful life story you've shared with us. Like you, my grandchildren are the loves of my life. 

Jun 12, 2021 01:52 PM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

George, I'm catching up on posts and what I've missed in ActiveRain...I couldn't have picked a better first post to read! 

Jun 22, 2021 02:12 PM