|X-stitch family tree|
DMC floss, pearl beads, on linen
CJ Kennedy 1993
My mother was born in a little town named Grotta di Minardi [ed: Grottaminarda], Italy. My grandfather was named Euplio and was not born at this town. He came from also within the area of Naples. Siena. He was also a civil servant [ed: postmaster] and was assigned to the Grottamminarda area.
Here he met a woman and fell in love with her, married her, and she became my grandmother. As I stated previously, neither o my parents talked about their parents when we were around.
Also as we grew into school years, the community was at odd with each other. Like all [ed: Italian] immigrants they wanted us to be able to speak Italian and also give us a part of their culture, and a part of the community was the opposite. Speak English. They are Americans [ed: talking about the children of Italian immigrants born in this country] They will be taught English in school. And that is how I became bilingual.
At one time, I not only spoke Italian. I could read it and write in Italian and in junior high, I took it as one of my elective courses.
However, at this stage of life, I have forgotten a lot of the Italian language.
While I never learned my grandmother's name I did of my grandfather. [ed: His maternal grandmother's name was Gaetana Maccarone. I think Dad just forgot because according to Ma, his parents wanted Ma to name me Gaetanelle. I was able to verify my great-grandparent's names when I embroidered a family tree for my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. I sent for my grandparents' marriage licenses which had their parents' names on it.]
When I got older, I did get to see a picture of him at my mother's uncle, Zio Francisco. He appeared to be short, well-dressed with a vest pocket watch and chain. And nice and rotund.
He did come to America. Opened a restaurant. His paisan [ed: friends] attended on a regular basis and in keeping with customs did not pay for the meals. Eventually, closed the business and returned home to Italy. I learned more about him later in life.