Monthly Archives: November 2008

21 November 1909

Today would have been my grandfather’s 99th birthday. I never got to meet him. Though I sometimes feel like I have from all the stories I’ve been told and all the photos and old home movies I’ve seen. I know he was a remarkable man and it does truly make me sad sometimes that I never got to hold his hand or hear him say cute grandfatherly things.

But venturing from that sad thought brings me to the wonder that is today. Ninety-nine years ago today my grandfather was born to two immigrant parents in DeRidder, Louisiana. Two immigrant parents who on this day had yet to make any formal declaration of becoming US citizens, giving that cute little baby boy Italian citizenship without any of them realizing it. How do I know this?

Well, two days ago I received a package from the US Immigration and Citizenship Office. My request for research on Liborio Mancuso Marcello has been completed. I have copies of all of his naturalization paperwork. Granted the lovely researchers ignored my request for certified copies, so I have to go back to these people and request that they actually do that. Which, on the time line they’ve been working, will most likely take another six months.

Apart from that development, I’ve been to one Italian language meetup where I was less than satisfactory in my Italian speaking. BUT practice is practice. There are a couple more Italian get togethers in the area before Christmas. So if I get myself off to those, there you have it, more practice.

Plus, my younger brother has just recently started studying Italian as well! That’s right, we’re getting the train moving. Soon everyone will be speaking Italian with me!

Io so che volete a parlare italiano con me… don’t lie to yourself, i know it’s true!

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Filed under Dual Citizenship, Family History, Records Search

Le sigh… France.

Eight days, two plane and four train rides, two bus adventures, and a handful of metro trips. An unknown number of croissants, chocolates, glasses of wine, hours of sleep, random songs and dancing, and wonderful memories. I can state quite frankly, I already want to go back.

We wreaked what some may call havoc on the south of France and parts of Paris. Quick rundown for you from where last we left:

Traveled to adorable town north of Antibes called Biot. Ate pain au chocolate, got criticized by boulangerie cashier for not paying together. Met cute little French artisans and an Italian expat living in Biot.

Went out dancing in Antibes two consecutive nights with way two many requests for dances. We are such hot commodities on the French dance market that we’ve decided to bring back dance cards.

Visited Cannes for a ridiculous day of island hopping and a five hour happy hour involving a Russian song about a horse, an old Scottish man, and a fun restaurant owner who in the end simply wanted to look out for the cute American girls who had to make their way back to the train (cute American girls would be us, by the way).

Snuck into first class coach on the train from Antibes to Paris. Camouflaging yourself with the seats is a good idea and not difficult to do.

Wandered Paris for a day and a half, saw a lot, ate a lot, drank a fair amount and then the geniuses that we are couldn’t figure out the change in time and didn’t really sleep the night before our flight…which I will blame for the sickness that still plagues me.

Here’s a brief story in photos of our fun… (you should check out Gill’s version as well… they kind of go hand in hand)

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Good times in Antibes. This was still early in the night.

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Heated discussion with old Scottish man in Cannes.

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I’m going to say wandering Paris in the cold rain did not help our efforts at staying healthy.

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You could say it was a love-hate relationship…

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Traveling together and staying in small quarters can pay its toll on any travel buddies.

I obviously had way too much fun. Plus, with the extremely basic French I learned before hand, I got by just fine for several reasons. (1) French people are amazingly nice, (2) most of them speak some English, (3) those that don’t could speak with Gill, the fluent Frenchie, and (4) quite a few people actually speak Italian!

That’s right… I went to France to embrace other cultures, which I did and quite well I might say. But I believe I spoke Italian pretty much everyday. And what’s better, a random Italian dude walking down the street stopped to say hello to me… in Italian and continued a very brief Italian conversation. I kid you not, he looked at me and I apparently exuded Italian. And he just knew, he knew the way you know about a good melon.

Well, that’s France in a nutshell. Now I continue on my journey to Italian citizenship…

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Filed under Travels