My grandfather once asked me a question while we were sitting at the kitchen table and the answer I gave him was “I’m not American I am a Italian”. I lived close to my Grandparents and I spent a lot of time at there house. At the age of 11 or 12 I started going to their house after school from 6th grade to my Freshman year in High School. I have written a few posts about my Grandparents and growing up with all my cousins. My cousins Henry, Tim and I though spent the most time at their house growing up and hearing about how things were done in the Chambersburg area of Trenton while they grew up. I still hear stories from my dad’s aunts and uncles about growing up in the “Burg”..and being “Italian” back in the days of no internet, and no color television.
I have written a lot about growing up with Rose and Lou and how things suddenly changed when Lou passed away in ‘83 on this site and in articles for my family newspaper La Vigna. A lot changed on that day in June, the big holiday dinners stopped, the getting together for meals at 90 Eggerts Crossing Road (the family home) on the weekends and in the summer seemed to pitter out. It was as though the gravity that was holding us all together as a family stopped and we slowly moved away to different corners of the United States. My family moved to Bath, NY in the fall of ‘83 and a few years later my uncle Fran’s family moved to Kalamazoo, MI. It of course became harder to all get together and be the big Italian family that I grew up with, and that is one of the biggest things I miss the most.
Scrolling through Facebook today I came across the following video and it made me think how the times have changed and how I have not followed through with my Italian up bringing. Every year I say I am going to plant a garden, going to start having Sunday dinner at my house with all the family, learn to speak Italian, and every year I don’t . I have been good about having the big holiday dinners at my house, but I have Americanized them, no antipasti, no pasta course, no soup course and all the other things that made our holiday dinners “Italian”. Am I living in the past or was the answer I gave my grandfather when I was a kid wrong and I am more American then Italian?
Let me know what you think of the video, some things I know were the way my family was and some I am not so sure. I want to hear from you my Italian family what you think of this video and how you have kept the “Italian” in your life.