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June 20, 2010

My Grandfather was an American




It's been many years since he lifted me into the air, threw me squealing over his shoulder, and in broken English with a mock solemn voice threatened to toss me into the branches of his apple tree and abandon me forever. I worshiped my Nonno. He was a baker. He was also the son of a baker and the grandson of a baker.

You didn't know him, so let me describe him. He was the smartest, strongest, tallest, and funniest man who ever lived. That was when I was 7.

By the age of 12, I saw him as mysterious and downright cool. One autumn Saturday morning we drove to Manhattan where he bought me a fedora almost identical to his. It was my birthday. We lunched at an neighborhood eatery where people knew him as "The Major" and cheerfully greeted him with embraces. We ate soup and bread while Puccini on the jukebox filled our corner of the room. My head swam trying to follow the conversations in Italian he shared with visitor after visitor to the table.

We walked through New York, side-by-side in overcoats and fedoras, as he told me about Ellis Island and Brooklyn in 1910. Our outing included Flower Drum Song on Broadway. It was as magic a day as I've ever experienced. Six months later, I was living in California, part of the great migration of the time, and I never saw him again.

Nonno loved America. He was proud of his Italian heritage, and he was certainly cynical about politicians, but he was patriotic without embarrassment. When he walked past the American flag, he'd crisply lift his hat.

He left Italy because, as a working-class teenager in a poor village, he wanted to avoid an arranged marriage, guaranteed servitude, and a death in his 40's like his father and grandfather before him.

America promised wealth and success for hard work. He wanted his own house with a small orchard. He wanted his own business.

He wanted to eat. He loved sausages, cheese, wine mixed with tap water, Schlitz beer, coffee, pastries, ice cream, potato pancakes, and, of course, macaroni. And the man smoked at least one cigar every day.

He wanted to buy a Ford. Nobody in his family had ever owned an automobile. He was never happier than when preparing "the machine" for a Sunday drive to Woonsockett or Fall River.

He once told me he should have been a cowboy. He loved Glenn Ford, Amos & Andy, and Jimmy Durante.

America promised education for the 6 children he would inspire and frustrate. The education he never had. There would be no more bakers. He wanted doctors and teachers and accountants. Five out of six ain't bad. My father became a baker.

Nonno wanted to marry a beautiful girl who would love him, respect him, laugh at his jokes, and grow flowers in their orchard.

He wanted to live past 60 with teeth in his mouth.

He was an American and, in America, his dreams came true.

He would weep to see us now. Contrarians, elitists, feminists, intellectuals, and political operatives have managed to belittle almost all the things he loved about America.

Eventually, his work ethic, materialism, independence, heterosexuality, diet, tobacco habit, patriotism, gruffness, generosity with DDT, upward mobility, and carbon footprint would each be mocked or outlawed.

I've been told that when my father was fighting somewhere in Italy during World War II, my grandfather (not a big fan of the Catholic faith) would go to church every evening to pray and light a candle. After the war, my father returned to Rhode Island and surprised his parents by sneaking through the kitchen and suddenly appearing as they sat in the living room.

He proudly told them that, while in Italy, he had been able to see his father's village and birthplace.

My Nonno answered, "Never mind that, you home now!"

102 comments:

Rhod said...

This isn't a post, my far-away friend, it's literature.

Thank you.

Bungalow Bill said...

I wrote a blog about my grandfathers and how they would react today to what is taking place in the United States. You are right, he wouldn't like it. It is the values our grandfathers gave us that makes us fight the change that is taking place.

By the way, I love Schlitz beer and I am glad it's back.

Opus #6 said...

Thank you for sharing this touching family story. We are all uniquely American and we come from tough, adventurous people. Our forefathers would be sad to hear of the challenges to our liberties, but undoubtedly proud of those of us who choose to fight for them.

aynzan said...

This is beautifully recounted.An excellent piece of writing!Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nick. Beautiful and touching. I can see him in you and know he is proud.

my name is mike; said...

Here´s to your Nonno and my Grandpapa. Men. American men.

CAPTAIN THURSTON said...

Awesome post! Your grandfather sounds like a great man. God rest his soul.

Red said...

God bless your Nonno. Good man. Reminds me in many ways of my Granddad. Men from those days had a different set of values that just isn't appreciated today. Those values are vilified today and that is a downright shame.

Red said...

I reposted your post over at my page. I hope that's alright. If not, let me know. http://qwertyaltofuori.blogspot.com/2009/08/tribute-to-nickies-grandfather.html

Anonymous said...

Rhod, that's high praise, especially from as skilled a wordsmith as you.

Anonymous said...

Bill, both you and Opie mention "fighting" for what we believe. In fact, we write, petition, and organize on behalf of Liberty.

I pray the day never comes when we must fight and die to reacquire our birthright.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ayn, and thank you for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

DC, we all knew guys like that. I remember neighborhoods full of mature veterans and proud immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I know you understand. Grazie.

Anonymous said...

Red, I'm honored. Thanks!!

Yeah, the values thing is big. Many kids today can't choose those "old" values because they rarely see them.

Middle Finger Politics said...

Nickie - One of the most amazing things I have ever read. I am going to share the link with friends and family! The perfect American Dream.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Digit. That is very flattering.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Ahh Mr Gumba, if wit was shit, you dear sir would be suffering from acute constipation. I can only assume that you look so devastatingly handsome that a mere cartoon would cause womenfolk reading this blog to swoon.

Excuse my slightly crabby tone, but I am somewhat exhausted from pushing my wheel barrow of social security money home. I also have a busy evening. I will be eating a macrobiotic evening meal with my disabled, trades unionist gay lover, who is also black, here in our European socialist paradise. We then proceed to make our own yoghurt before going on an anti-war protest. We shall do all this whilst wearing sandals.

Opus #6 said...

The pen is mightier than the sword. With a sword, you may kill one man or more, including all of the ideas and memories therein, not already committed onto paper or the electronic media.

This is a war of words, and Obama and his minions have ratcheted up the stakes. Fine. They are showing their true colors, and that is what the America People need to see.

The last time a hotline was established to report suspicious activity was after 9/11/01. We were asked as citizens to call an FBI phone number to report anything we thought might be terrorist activity. To lump concerned Americans who disagree with the administrations goals and policies into a "reportable" group is reprehensible and grotesque. Obama fits himself more and more into the "joker" stereotype pictured on top of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Catbox, thanks so much for visiting, and please comment often. Your smokescreen idiocy and unfortunate tone give perfect evidence as to why serious discussion between politically diverse camps are doomed to failure.

Après Moi, le Deluge!

Rhod said...

Dazzling stuff, Rhinestone. Did you go to Creative Writing class today? Do you have a mirror? You aren't Kingsley Amis, are you? More like King George in the grip of senility.

I've seen better humor writing from semi-literate freshmen trying to be serious.

It's very hard to be funny with polysyllables alone, Rhiney. And if you deliver them like a public school drone in the last stages of BSE...well, you get the point.

Rhod said...

I couldn't resist, Nickie, even though were challenging the challenged.

Rhinestone is an adversary in the sense that a mechanical rabbit is a quarry.

Wetzy said...

"Crabby tone" today will

1. Wait at the Post Office for his monthly cheque from some disappointed relative.

2. Glare resentfully through the smudged windows of his local Job Centre.

3. Pray for unpaid female companionship.

4. Postpone his homework.

5. Glare resentfully at the four mates sharing his bedsitter.

6. Pray for a government job.

Anonymous said...

Rhod, he's like my Aunt Etta's corgie. Irritating, demanding, yet strangely amusing until he pisses on the carpet.

This young fellow is far from gruntled.

Anonymous said...

Wow, one would think that a poignant family remembrance would provoke some semblance of class and humanity from Catwoman. But alas, he is a but a cat ...

What the dour left doesn't understand is that good humor usually is linked to truth, which they have little grasp of. Catty, to say that Goomba is without wit is itself a joke, but not the funny kind. Plus, you people can't even try to be funny without curse words or mentioning excrement.

Cease at once, Caddy, treating this blog as your litterbox.

Rhod said...

Wetzy's "Six Rules for European Losers"...were they signed off by New Labor?

And by the way, is the ravishing Glenda Jackson still in Commons?

Rhod said...

DC is right. When a leftard is funny, it's unintentional.

They're also speechless without the tu quoque fallacy, scatology and large-print dictionaries.

Anonymous said...

Catbox, I suspect, is a tad jealous that this country's Conservatives will successfully break free from the soft caressing arms of nanny Socialism.

When he protests about American military presence in Europe and the UK, I hope he takes a moment to ask himself why we're there. And why Harold Wilson and Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair and Gordo never seriously demanded that we leave.

Has he figured it out yet?

innominatus said...

Great post. When my dad's side of the family came over from Denmark, they couldn't Americanize fast enough. Anders became Andy and Johann became John. Learned English as fast as possible.

When my mom's side came over, mostly from Sicily (cool, huh?) it was the same deal, but they kept a lot of the neat old-worldy kind of traditions - the respect for elders and such. It was a BIG DEAL to a young man in the family when he was finally old enough to play cards at the same table with the grandpas and uncles.

Nowadays half the kids don't even know their own dad. Sad.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Wow, one would think that a poignant family remembrance would provoke some semblance of class and humanity from Catwoman. But alas, he is a but a cat ...

--------------------
I still haven't wholly given up on the idea that this whole blog is a sophisticated satire. I mean who uses the term 'intellectual' and 'liberal' as terms of abuse?

We can all weave homely folk tales from our family tree and there's nothing wrong with that per se. On one level of course Goomba is right, of course our grandparents' generation would feel confused and alienated by modern society, as we would be if we shuttled 60 or 70 years to the future.

Except this wasn't posted up solely as a family yarn, it is was put up as a political fable, as evidence of the myth gaining credence on the right that white, heterosexuals are somehow an endangered breed. Which they aren't!

Ps. Wetzy you did cause me to laugh, have you been following me around? I thought I saw a telephoto lens when I put the milk bottle out this morning (soya of course) How dare you suggest I am unemployed though, I am on disability allowance as I suffer from Sensitive Persons Syndrome. ;-)

powdergirl said...

What a lovely story, I had a wonderful Grandfather as well. He was a Russian farmer, but other than that they could have been the same guy.
Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Catty,

Goomba didn't say anything about being white. He's a goomba. You read that in there because of your leftist lenses that see all as defined by their race, class, etc.

And leave the ol' Eye-talian alone, just because he liked women. The point is ... why can't they just live their lives and not be evangelized by people telling them they have to accept lifestyles they don't like. If your lifestyle choices spontenously combust, you would not need to treat them as if they were a religion. People will figure it out. We don't need govt. or 'nadless Euro leftists to lecture us.

I am sure, being an "intellectual liberal" you understand the U.S. perfectly from your Euro perch. Yet, our servicemen are stationed in Europe and elsewhere around the globe in such alarming numbers to the left precisely because you don't.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Mr Goomba, I think you'll find the Conservative Party if they win the next election (and this is by no means certain) have promised to match new Labour spending on the NHS and schools. I have no doubt they'd love to cut the NHS and schools to ribbons, but the funny thing is, when people get healthcare provided as a right not a privilege, they really quite like it, so it would be electoral suicide to seriously attempt to dismantle the NHS.

Not exactly the slash and burn approach to public services, I'm sure you're probably praying for, is it?

Yes, yes, yes we were very grateful for the Marshall Aid and Lease Lend and providing a bulwark against the Kremlin etc. etc. etc. but it was hardly an act if altruism, it was done in the interests of US Foreign policy (nothing wrong with that, but don't try and dress it up as an act of munificence)

Oh yeah, please don't try the 'You'd be speaking German Limey if it wasn't for us saving your ass in World War 2' because it is utter nonsense.

Rhod said...

Paul Johnson, a man for whom the description "intellectual" certainly applies, defines an intellectual as "someone for whom ideas matter more than people".

A little derision from Johnson is worth more than a silly rhetorical question from the non-intellectual Rhinestone.

As for the word "liberal" as a pejorative, it differs little from the classifying sarcasm in Rhiney's first comment...attributing his cartoon life to the imagination of "conservatives". You just can't hide it, Rhinestone.

Rhiney is moderately bright -trained in dorm repartee, banalities, stereotyping and the final self-referential thrust with his little quill pen. Sensitive Person's Syndrome?

Rhod said...

Discounting all the other prattle, explain the "utter nonsense" part, Rhiney.

Anonymous said...

And oh how the mighty have fallen. I doubt the cat is really British b/c American commenters are running circles around him in English.

On the other hand, the SPS must come from having his kilt lifted whilst men giggle at his tighty whities.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Rhod - I wouldn't describe myself as an intellectual, I don't flatter myself that I have that level of critical capacity.

You misunderstand me, Rhod my 'cartoon life' was an attempt to puncture the sanctimonious lefty stereotype and show I don't take myself or this overly seriously. I know people who do live (less extreme versions) of this sanctimonious 'holier than thou' middle class, knit your own yoghurt brigade and they are normally crashing bores. 'Sensitive Persons Syndrome' is the kind of psychosomatic faux conditions that 'ethically aware' new age strain of lefties have.

That said, Paul Johnson is a second rate mind, whose ideas are shaped and some would say stuck in the events of the late 70s, he's principally lionised by sections of the right in the US as they see him as a former lefty who had 'seen the light.' Very few if anyone takes him seriously in the UK. In later years Given that the Daily Mail was the vehicle for most of his later output tells you a lot about how he was regarded.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Unless I am very much mistaken, the US didn't enter the War until Pearl Harbor (again it went to War to protect its' own national interest, nothing wrong with that, Britain and France did the same in 1939)

By the time the US entered the War, Britain had repelled the only realistic threat of invasion - Operation Sealion had been repelled some 18 months earlier. By the time the US entered the war German troops were tied up on the Russian Front and Africa, an invasion of Britain simply wasn't a realistic option. When it came to 'liberating Europe' more British and Commonwealth troops than American that took part in the D-Day landings

Rhod said...

Johnson's politics don't matter to me; his tomes on art and other issues do. That he's regardedd as a lightweight polemicist by the chattering classes in the UK (which I already know) is prima facie evidence that he was at least something more than that; probably a great deal more considering his critics.

That you also describe him as a "second rate mind", within eyeshot of your own droppings is something else again.

Good thing you don't flatter yourself with the critical capacity of the intellectual, because what remains is only the oblique, inside joke, nudge-nudge of the common room clown trying to sound like one by satirizing the stylistic crap of the breed.

Your second paragraph as a claim to pretense-puncturing and sel f-mockery isn't convincing. Everything with you shifts when you're challenged.

Now, why is the "utter nonsense" utter nonsense?

Rhod said...

So American troops and materiel for a European land invasion were unneccesary?

rhinestonecatboy said...

That he's regardedd as a lightweight polemicist by the chattering classes in the UK (which I already know) is prima facie evidence that he was at least something more than that; probably a great deal more considering his critics
----------------------------

That's a fairly perverse argument, if ever I heard one. By that logic 'Jerry's Final thought' is the apex of critical comment. Forgive me if I find myself unable to maintain the requisite degree of earnestness or spittle drenched fury, that other posters here manage, whilst we are talking about relatively serious issues,Obviously I think I'm right and you think you're right and I doubt either of us is going to cause radical shifts in the other's view point, so I can see no point being utterly po-faced about it. It's that famed sophisticated British humour that you Americans don't get - Benny Hill chasing Bikini clad girls around at double speed and Miss Slocombe's damp pussy, that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Great story.
Thanks for sharing this great story with us.

Rhod said...

Oh dear, pull the mask off the preening, class-proud, middle-class-loathing lefty and he goes batshit crazy.

You see, Rhiney, it's just too easy to smoke you guys out. Now go back to your memoirs.

rhinestonecatboy said...

So American troops and materiel for a European land invasion were unneccesary?

--------------------

Of course they were necessary and played a vital part in the land invasion of Europe, but in the attempts to prevent the only realistic chance the Germans had to invade Britain - no. Although it is equally short sighted to think the US won the second world war alone.

A case could be made that the sheer manpower and casualties suffered by the Red Army on the Eastern front, played an equally decisive part in the course of the war (and yes Stalin was a homicidal scum-bag and Stalinism is an horrifically bad idea)

Rhod said...

Uh, seems to me we were addressing your declaration, as utter nonsense, the proposition (in argot) that the Germans could have occupied Britain without American participation in the war.

Now you've slipped into your normal peevish state and turned it into an issue of American boasting. The prejudices always squeeze to the surface with you, don't they.

You've proven one thing. The meritocracy in Britain - of which I assume you are a part - is just as arrogant and insufferable as the hereditary aristocracy.

rhinestonecatboy said...

Oh dear, pull the mask off the preening, class-proud, middle-class-loathing lefty

------------------------------

Bit of a Non sequitur, but never mind.

You accuse me of preening, yet produce the most flowery vapid sentences, that wouldn't disgrace a Regency coffee shop. During the course of this exchange you have told me nothing of what you stand for and have merely strung together a lazy empty clichés and personal barbs. If you can present an articulate a case that presents a case for the right then fine, I'd be delighted to hear it, but I suspect you're all hot air and self regard.

Rhod said...

Oh yes, thank you for deriding Stalinism, in anticipation of my losing my head, spittle-flecking everything in sight and calling you a comm-symp.

You know, if you hadn't done that, I'd have soiled my bermuda shorts, spilled beer on my assault rifle, and patted my portrait of Princess Di.

Me, Myself, And I said...

This makes me think about my Grandpop also. The same stuff applied at my house.

Thanks for the memories

rhinestonecatboy said...

You know, if you hadn't done that, I'd have soiled my bermuda shorts, spilled beer on my assault rifle, and patted my portrait of Princess Di.

-------------------------
Better, a bit of sarcasm and bite!

And if Britain is a meritocracy, I'll show my arse in Macy's Window.

Rhod said...

Well, Rhiney, is the non-sequitur the class references? With your loathing for the middle class, that would suggest you belong to another. This isn't too difficult.

This isn't about me, nor do I have to present a case for the right. You presented yourself here with a flurry of fatuities about class, pop-culture, the NHS, yourself and war matters. I was simply asking you to clarify yourself - a burdensome task apparently.

Frankly I couldn't care less what happens to Britain, or whether Labor, New or old, or the Conservatives keep or attain power there. I'm a recovering Anglophile, and your island is your business, good or bad.

BBC America is the billboard for Cool Brittania over here now, and having made American popular culture even worse, I sometimes wonder just what you are.

I'd like to believe you're something more than a shabby theme park, nationally on your uppers and getting worse. Americans seem to bother you a lot, while I don't care much about you at all.

Rhod said...

Keep your arse out of Macy's Window, Nigel. You might excite the window dressers.

Anonymous said...

Catty, when in a hole ...

It's unwise to lock horns, swords, or pens with Sir Rhoderick, even when arguing in one's native tongue. It's embarrassing to see a Brit get his ass whipped in a debate by a Yank like that. For God's sake, Catty, don't challenge Rhod to a spelling bee. Next thing you know, he'll be kissing the queen. Film at 11.

You know, Cat, you just show up here in this happy place with your antique lefty shotgun and start blasting bromides like, "the U.S. didn't save our kilts in WWII" and "All Goomba likes is white heterosexuals" ... then you are challenged, and of course, get all meek, passive-agressive, and try to play intellectual. C'mon. I thought you were going to be a gennuine Euro article, but you're just a lefty. We've got tons of 'em here in Goomba's state. We herd them out there.

Rhod said...

DC, he seems to like the cut and thrust stuff; in spite of his catalogue of lefty bromides and the reactionary Yank-scorn, maybe we can work with him as time goes on.

He's sort of interesting, kind of like PW/Charley.

WomanHonorThyself said...

aw what a sweet post..thank so much for sharing!
Italians are da bomb..heh:)

Anonymous said...

Rhod, that's crazy that you mentioned that. I was just thinking that PW might have moved to Britain. After about these many gunbursts the f-bombs usually come rolling out of the bombay. It's a glorious declaration of surrender.

You've been hanging around young idealists too long to believe you can sun dry the rot caused by leftist thought. Only a transplant, transfusion, or the like will save Catty ...

But his offerings are instructive, particularly when he is trying to fire-and-maneuver through your Q&A.

When is the spelling bee, BTW?

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious to watch these nice, congratulatory comments come into Goomba ("Oh, Nick that was beautiful." Which it was) while the Catty firefight is just raging all around.

Rhod said...

There was no collateral damage, was there, DC?

My spelling is also getting much worse. Spelling is something that residents of the place formerly called the UK, take seriously.

Rhiney would be good at it.

Frances Davis said...

Your Italian baker grandfather, my Greek cook grandfather...both came from distant shores to a land of hope looking for something more.

My grandfather was escaping a land torn by civil war. At twenty, I'm sure he had no desire to give his life when there was another country promising freedom for all the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

I wonder, do those who feel oppression in other countries still hear that call in their hearts from our land?

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

If you have noticed, most of we "conservatives" of our age with parents in WWII and the depression, have the same story to tell. I'm one of those "saps" the liberals mock for getting teary-eyed at the flag at times. Thank you for your story.

Opus #6 said...

How did I miss this action today? DC? Rhod? You did admirably. It was amusing to read along and see the various congratulatory messages popping up. It was good to see that Catty didn't get his way and put a stop to the nice thing that Nickie put in motion here. Sorry, Catty. You failed. Nickie goes on. Flanked by his brothers at arms.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I come back from the hardware store and the Safeway and I discover I'm in a 2-hour one-sided debate with catbox, and I'm still winning!

Let me tell you folks something. I enjoyed the level of discourse on his siye (lotsa energy and wit) so I signed on to follow it.

Having read that our young friend is searching for employment, I commented that I wished him well in his job search and his continued studies. He chose to remove my comment.

Now he comes here and acts like the corgie I mentioned earlier. He's sniffing about, peeing on the carpets and empowered by the fact that he now has a forum on which to practice his rhetoric. And he hasn't been censored... yet.

I know a pusillanimous wanker when I hear one. 'Bye Catbox. Go bore your pals in the Plumber's Arms.

Anonymous said...

Rhod, DC, Stand down. Let your muskets cool.

Thank you, my friends. This exchange has certainly forced the old juices to flow freely. The youngsters have surely benefited from witnessing your wit, whips, and pinpoint accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Me, Myself, and I... Thanks to all of you for stopping by with your touching comment.

Anonymous said...

Inno, I know what you mean about the card games. They seemed to be exotic events spiced with shouts, taunting, smoking, table-slapping and even flatulence.

A mysterious world, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Powdergirl, so many of them seemed to have been cut from the same heavy wool cloth. Passionate men who could not afford the luxury of expressing their passion. They had responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, FuzzyDad. It was fun writing for you.

Anonymous said...

Woman, as always, I pledge my love! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Frances, your comment shook me a bit. I've never been able to imagine an immigrant feeling anything but that sentiment. It's time for Nickie to have a reality check.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I felt it important to report CatBox to the Obama Truth Commission for his fishy statements.

Anonymous said...

Opie, too bad LL wasn't around. I know he would have had a few spirited words to add to the debate.

Gosh, I love this bloggin' stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am just cheering Rhod on here. We had interlocking fields of fire goin', and then my gun jammed. Rhod low crawled out to meet Catty. I thought it was going to get ugly and then ... it did.

I see Catty with a turbo-wedgie hanging from a tree by his plaid tighties. A fate worse than debating Rhod. And oh look ... Rhod is at the base of the tree lecturing the lad in the Queen's English.

Nick, sorry to have shot up the place. I will stand down. Send Rhod the bill, if you would, though. Funny how you get carried away making merry ... esp. when you are a snuffy commenter. You overuse the system, kind of like some one in a free health care deal or something.

I will stand down, sir.

But I remain ready to defend the honor of America and my brother Goomba.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hi Nikkie..added u to my 'esteemed' blogroll as well..heh thanks!!!:)

Anonymous said...

DC, all you guys make my day!! Thank you so much.

Maria said...

I love this post and will read it to my 85 year old father who emigrated from Sicily.
Thank you for the tribute to people who came here with a dream... I hope my family will always honor the hard work of the past. ~Maria

Anonymous said...

Maria, I hope the very same thing. Kiss your father for me!

The Conservative Lady said...

My grandparents came from Italy, too. Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute to your grandfather.

Anonymous said...

You are more than welcome, Lady.

Amo scrivere per quelli l'amore da leggere.

Rhod said...

Aw, DC, it was easy. Rhiney had his magazines loaded with taunts, had only two fragmentation sneers, and his night-vision Oakleys were broken.

With firepower that small and the weather turning, he had to withdraw and fortify his previous position with good taste and snobbery.

It was an honor, DC.

USA_Admiral said...

Wow Nickie, this great stuff.

JGregg said...

Really, very touching. I love the prose, and the sentiments regarding your grandfather are so heartfelt. Wonderfully written, sir. What a great legacy to pass on to your own brood. -- Jg.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Admiral. The great stuff is what he did for my family.

Anonymous said...

JGregg,

That compliment, coming from you, means more than you can imagine!

The_Kid said...

What a beautiful story.

I hadn't read it until now because I just wasn't able to absorb a longer story properly until now.

This describes exactly how I feel about my country. The sadness of seeing [most of] my nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews growing up in a country so different from the one I grew up in.

Fortunately for them, they probably won't know the difference. Unfortunately for me, I will.

Teresa said...

That was a very interesting and inspiring family story. Yes that was more than a story-really literature. I think your grandfather would probably join us in the town hall meetings as we stand up for our freedom.

Anonymous said...

Kid, it was a great gift for us to have such people as examples.

Now, we have to be those people.

Anonymous said...

Terri, you are right. But he wouldn't have been polite. I can imagine him spitting in some politician's face.

The_Kid said...

I'm workin it Nickie.

JihadGene said...

BeaUteefull!!! Thank you for sharing!

ninnuh said...

Thanks for this interesting read about your grandpa. I absolutely love your blog, Nickie. It's one of my favorites on the internet.

Z said...

Holy mackeral...change your Italian Nonna to my Armenian Grandpa and they might have been separated at birth and put in two different families. SO much in common.
Thanks for this, it was wonderful to read. TRUE AMERICANS came from OTHER COUNTRIES...that's why I laugh the most when I hear the left accuse conservatives of 'hating immigration!'
Today's it's oftentimes NEW Americans who've lived through socialism or worse elsewhere who love this country more than those who take America for granted.
God bless those great people who made America what it is today.
Thanks for the terrific post...
Z

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Gene, for the kind words. Someday, I'd like to read about other people's parents, grandparents, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nin...

Keep posting on your blog. You have a lot to say!

Anonymous said...

Z, I'm overwhelmed by your generosity.

We were certainly lucky to have had those guys, even for a short while.

Subvet said...

Thanks for the read Nickie, the memory of men like your grandfather demands we take back our country. You're doing a good job of that with this blog.

Anonymous said...

I never knew him and yet I miss him too.

Wetzy said...

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings to be fruitful."

C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

I remember that wonderful post. Happy Father's Day, my friend.

sig94 said...

Dang, always late to the dance.

Enjoyed the everloving daylights out of your post Nickie and the cat drubbing too.

Your dear Noona reminds me of my wife's family. I could barely understand her Dad's parents and I could never catch anything her mom's dad said.

They lived on whatever God provided them through the skills of their own hands and hard labor. They never complained - just rejoiced in their families.

But that was the Ellis Island bound immigration of the 1920's. Today is so different.

I got the best card evah from my lovely wife this beautiful Sunday morning. Happy Father's Day to you Nickie and all the Goomba Dads out there.

Teresa said...

Happy Father's Day, Nickie!

Opus #6 said...

Nickie, I still think you look a lot like him. Great post and worthy of a nice bump for father's day. Happy Father's Day to you.

lovely story said...

Lovely story. Will pop round my dads grave tomorrow and plant some flowers.
Nice tune here to remember those who have gone..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr6ajtA5Otg&feature=related

michaela said...

Thank you for being willing to share your talent in all things written. Your Grandfathers legacy has now touched all of us that are lucky enough to read his story.