My father’s Italian legacy

Jul 12, 2018 920

I’ve had more than a few good cries since my father passed away in early May. He lived a long life and he was busy and robust until the end, and I’m grateful for that. But in some ways, it makes the loss even harder to bear. Tears still flow over the smallest of things, like driving to Joseph’s Finest Meats for the first time without my dad’s sausage order in hand; or giving his last bay leaf plant a new home in my backyard; or sorting through old photos of him with his parents, or of his parents in the midst of a boisterous family gathering in the basement of their Far Northwest Side home.

If you’d like to learn more about my dad’s charmed life and why my family and I miss him so much, please scroll down to his eulogy and obituary. Here, though, I’d like to focus on the pivotal role he played in shaping my sense of Italian identity. In some ways, the torch was passed despite my dad’s best efforts to the contrary. For starters, he was part of that great generation of immigrant sons who swore off their Italian roots as they signed up to fight against their ancestral home during World War II.

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