Monthly Archives: October 2009

Huge Road Block.

In an effort to get on top of my application, I finally found the time to contact the people in the Vital Records office in New Orleans.  For your recollection, the death certs for both of my great-grandparents need to be amended.  The birth dates for both of them are incorrect on the Louisiana death cert. Months back, they sent me the form to amend a birth/death certificate, but it was the wrong form and I’ve just done nothing since.

Well, this morning I called up the lovely people in New Orleans.  The woman who helped me was also named Kathleen, so I was hoping for good things.  And while she extremely nice and really wanted to help me, she couldn’t do anything for me.  Since the death certificates are over 50 years old, they are stored in archives. And once a record goes to archives, the Department of Health Vital Records Division cannot do a thing.  I would have to contact the people in archives.

So I picked up the phone and called Louisiana State Archives.  They were not helpful. They weren’t even nice.  According to the unnamed woman (she wouldn’t even tell me her name!), once a document is in archives, it is officially an historical document and she cannot make changes. There is no loophole.  It is official… even if the data is wrong!

Here I am trying to correct their error.  I’m trying to fix their account of ‘history.’ She would have nothing of it. I tried explaining that the Italians are very picky about their facts. They need everything to match–names, dates, the whole lot. The unnamed woman says to me, ‘I see it all the time.  Documents don’t always match up. But it’s okay. You just gotta roll with it. Dates are quite commonly off by a couple of days or years.’ What?! That’s crazy talk.

So I said to her, ‘But if these dates are off, couldn’t it be seen as two different people?  I mean, how many people do you know name Jim Landry or Chris Billeaud or John Smith, for that matter? They could all be born in and around the same time and you’d be willing to mix up their identities because the documents are there and you’re just gonna roll with it.  How can you accept these inaccuracies when I want to help you fix them?’

She apologized for offering me no help and wished me luck on my journey to nowhere, as my problem cannot be fixed.

So, I now ask you,

Are you personal friends with anyone at the Italian Consulate? LA, Houston, New Orleans?? Do you have a friend who has a friend with a connection at the Italian Consulate?  I need a connection.  Preferably one that can convince the Italians to accept me and my flawed records.

In the mean time, I’m going to try and get an appointment with the Consulate General in Houston during my trip back in December. Last year, they were on holiday while I was in town and couldn’t meet with me.  Hopefully this year, they decide to leave for vacation a bit later.

Current mood: Frustrated. Disappointed. Meh.

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Filed under Dual Citizenship, Records Search

An offer you can’t refuse

Disclaimer:  This is pretty much an offer you can’t refuse.  If you think you want to say no, don’t read on. Seriously. Stop now before it’s too late.

Alright fine…

A year has passed since news came out about a town in Sicily offering property for 1 euro. That’s right, ONE EURO.  And the town council is still accepting applications.  Now do you see where I’m going here??

They are still accepting applications, people.  If that’s not an offer you can’t refuse, I don’t know what is.  Seriously, 1 euro.

Salemi is about 96km southwest of Palermo,the capital of Sicily.  And it’s about 70km west of Corleone.  Wine vineyards, easy access to the Mediterranean, wonderful Italians everywhere.

So, here’s the deal: a large part of Salemi was destroyed in an earthquake and has never been rebuilt.  The town council owns all the property and in an effort to invigorate the city, they are selling each house for one euro with the requirement being that you have to refurbish and restructure the house within three years. There’s a whole application process, and they are weeding through applications, but they have 3,700 pieces of property! Thirty-seven-hundred!  One of those could be us.

Needless to say, I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking into this.  And while it won’t end up being 1 euro in the end, it’s totally worth it.  Think of the bonding time we’d have while trying to rebuild a house. Think of the dinners we’ll cook together.  Think of vacations or simply living day to day in the Sicilian countryside.

This could be the chance of a lifetime.  All I’m saying is how can you say no to this? Seriously.  Think it over and let’s come up with a plan.  A year from now we could be in Salemi rebuilding an old house on a hillside.  It’s your very own Under the Tuscan Sun… but not in Tuscany. And there won’t be a Polish work crew.

This is where we could be.  Let it marinate.  It won’t take long for you to realize you have no choice. You cannot refuse this offer.

Now, all we have to do is find money to fix it up.

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Filed under Randomness about Italy, Travels