Labors of love

luigi-and-liberatta Luigi Gallo and Liberata Caravetta on their wedding day

This summer’s unofficial end stirred my soul … or, at least, reminded me I needed to get off my butt and back to some serious writing. Earlier this summer, I finished SCAM, the novelized retelling of an international con artist and counterfeiter. At this time, I’m trying to gain legal clearance to publish. Robert Baudin continues to weave a tangled web, even in death. More recently, I started a third installment about my investigative reporter Nick Lanouette and his stumbles through historical events, when I decided to slow down and let my nostrils feast on the proverbial roses.

The break from this blog and a reduced writing schedule afforded an opportunity to enjoy family and, by happenstance, further connect with my Italian ancestry:

When my maternal grandfather, Luigi Gallo, left his home in Spezzano Piccolo in 1914 at the age of 17, his youngest sister, Maria, was yet to be born. He didn’t meet her until he returned to Italy for a visit in 1960. At that time, Maria had a four-year-old daughter, Tonina, with whom I have exchanged letters for several years in a loving effort to extend a long-line of correspondence she had with my mother.

This knot of connectivity frayed over the last couple of years. I wrote Tonina in January, but received no response. The apparent loss of that string of familial ties had been nagging at me. Then, last week, I was thrown a very unexpected lifeline.

I received a notice that #Susy Morrone liked my F. James Greco Facebook page. An accepted friend request revealed that Susy, who lives in Northern Italy, is Tonina’s granddaughter. Our exchange resulted in Susy contacting #Concetta Lucchetta, who lives near Tonina and considers her an “aunt.” I was pleasantly astounded when I learned from Concetta that she had composed Tonina’s letters to me all these years.

So today, I look forward to the joyful labor of renewed correspondence with Tonina … through Susy and Concetta … with the knowledge that my once tenuous connection to my grandfather’s homeland and family has been rejoined and strengthened through another generation.

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