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Posts Tagged ‘Mirrabello’

Joel decided he would like to visit his great-grandfather’s ancestral home so we set off for Molise.  Molise is the smallest and youngest of the regions in Italy and lucky for me it isn’t too far from where we are in Campania.

Peter and I made the same trek last week because when we went there last year in my quest to find my roots, we met the most delightful woman, Tina di Giglio, who,was raised in Syracuse NY and then as a teenager, her family returned to Mirabello and now she works in the registry department in the Municipio in the village. Tina greeted us with a warm hug and a huge caciocavallo, which is an excellent cheese, also known as horse cheese.

5FB744B3-C221-4260-BF14-1825A23C54DA.jpegWe spent a couple of hours poring over ledgers from the 1890’s through the early 1900’s.  I was trying to determine which brother was the older, my grandfather, Luciano or his brother, Antonio -a great debate had ensued over the winter between cousins. It’s amazing what can get so-call lost in translation  or just misinformation! Anyway to set the record straight, Grandpa Louie was the elder.

We were also looking for death certificates of 3 siblings, who,we never knew about until my cousin Kathi unearthed records through the Mormons.  I found those; very, very sad, a girl child named Giovanna died at 11months old. A few years later, a baby boy was born and named Giovanni and died 7 days later.  More years passed and a girl child was born and named Giovanna- she died at 18 months.  It was heartbreaking to think of what our ancestors suffered through.

Joel and I stopped for gas on our way and naturally no one spoke Englishand it was a self service station. Well I was a little familiar with how it worked having experienced it with Peter. So I took out 20€ and was slowly deciphering the Italian instructions when an attendant popped over. I indicated I wanted to put the diesel fuel in. OK, he went ahead and took the 20€ put it in his pocket, pulled out some card which he swiped over the pump and proceeded to pump in the fuel. DONE! No change and I can’t see the pump to see what registered.  I’m pretty sure we were taken!

Ten feet out of the station two lights on the dashboard go on !! Now you know that the manual is completely in Italian and at this time I didn’t know how to photograph text and get it translated. So I did what I do best.  Out of the car with cane and manual in hand I walk into a cafe, “do you speak English?” NO. He says the word Tabacchi and points down the parking lot.  We go in, the man speaks a little. I show him the manual with the icons of the lights that are on and he somehow gets it across to us that the pressure is low and he says oil (I think) but I point to the oil can icon so we soon learn it is a tire.  Joel says probably because of the rocks ( more about that later) and the other light – he makes the motion of pulling up the emergency brake and again Joel says it might not have been down all the way. Mille grazie and out we go.  Our luck, there is a small tire shop 2 doors down, unbelievable ! I walk over and stand in the doorway of the garage.  There are two cute men who, are obviously brothers and another very good looking man working on a car 🚗. They look at me, I look at them.  A few more moments pass, one of the men approaches me and I say, “I need help” and I point to the tire which looks a little soft.  He, in turn, tells the other 2 of my problem and they all come over. Si, they look at the tire, it needs air. The main guy gets the air pump and proceeds to check each tire and fill with air. I say, “I hate this car” . They laugh, and it is a Renault. 9E9CFBC2-7ADF-47B9-898E-9AEC45511752.jpeg

My response is “Yes and that is the problem, it is a French car”. That sends them all laughing. Of course the French can’t make a good car.  Joel asks them what do they think the best car is. All together now, “Mercedes and Volkswagon”.

I offered to pay and of course the answer was no.  We are so happy to have our problem fixed but when we get in the car the light is still on 😳.  We sit and I wave at them and we explain that the Luce rossa is still on. Good looking Italian gets into the car next to me, looks at the dashboard, touches something and the light goes off.  Really I did want to kiss him!”Grazie  grazie Italian genius “, we say and off we go.

To be continued…

 

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