As an immigrant, I will never forget the pain of being separated from my father

Jul 12, 2018 251

It was more than 60 years ago — March 27, 1956 — and my family was waiting at the Port of Palermo in Sicily to board the SS Queen Fredericka. We were emigrating to America. An official-looking man at the gate checked our papers — first those of my mother, then those of us five kids. He probably checked my papers last, since I had been crying nonstop on the train all the way from Altavilla Milicia.

My father, though, was held back, and they asked him what political affiliation he espoused. Never having had any political affiliation, my father thought about the only political person he knew — Angelo Caruso, our godfather, the godson of the King of Italy and a pioneer of Italian Eurocommunism — and answered, “Comunista.”

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