click to read all the italy – 2019 posts


In the image on the right, the foreground piece is a Medieval angel hanging from a nail on the fence-slat. What I like best about the sculpture is the wings.

And there are two elements in the photographs that I really like:

– the fade from the super-focused angel, to the grey Sprite, to the out-of-focus, white structure in the far back, and

– the delicate, almost-open, tiny, cerise flower-stem in the bottom left corner.

I said to my sister, who left for Toronto this morning, that we are taking our youngest sister’s kids to the land of their Nonno and Nonna; to the land where their uncle and aunt were born; to the land that is part of their DNA; that is part of their heritage. We leave for Italy Saturday. (Our youngest sister died of breast cancer on June 30, 2001.)

As we get ready for the trip, let me add a piece of serendipity that I’ll probably came back to throughout the posts.

When my family came from Italy in May, 1957, we landed in Halifax and then traveled by train, with our fellow immigrants – relatives and neighbors – to Montreal.

The Montreal rail-yard and the park across the street from the station are images that I can still see in my mind’s eye – I stick my head out the train window and see a young priest in his black cassock and wide cloth belt, crossing the tracks; in the park, in the shade, our group from Aprigliano is sitting and eating panini americani – Wonder Bread sandwiches – as we wait to transfer out.

It was in Montreal, that the group from Aprigliano, after crossing an ocean together, split up. My family got on a train and headed north-west to Sault Ste Marie; my cousin – the young man sitting on the far-left – got on a different train and headed south-west to St. Catherines.

It’s 2019 and on the outbound leg, we have a layover in Montreal. And once again, after 62 years, Connie and I will transfer out of Montreal, but this time we’re going east. This is her first time back to Italy. (In the sepia print, my sister is the small child between my mom and dad.)