Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Dear Readers,

What would you tell your children to pass the time on a long journey? Perhaps you would tell them about other journeys, journeys that took place a long time ago....

"In 1901 Leonardo Campobello, a stone mason from Palermo, set sail from Genoa for the green, brazen shore of the New World. He was headed for the wild, steaming hills of West Virginia, where he would peddle his craft. With compact body, rough hands, flinty eyes and energy to burn--this was a man who could cleave stone and carve out a life for himself. He sighted New York Harbor and a chill of anticipation raced up his spine. It was winter, bitterly cold, a gray pall obscured the famous skyline, and the fragrant lemon groves and springtime orange blossoms of his native Sicily were but a strange memory. Like so many others before and after him, he passed through the portals of Ellis Island, and was transformed. He emerged, a phoenix risen from the ashes, an almost-American, your ancestor--Leonard Campbell."

This is what I might tell mine.

My Best Regards,



  1. also my mother passed through Ellis Island coming from Ireland in 1929 (not a good year) but never talked about it. I'll be going back to the Sates to help her celebrate her 94th birthday... I did the opposite..came to Italy 46 yrs. ago...and my daughter has reversed the route, going to the states to work as a researcher in North Carolina.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Mary Jane. Wow, 46 years in Italy--you're a pro! Isn't it funny though--expats seem to breed expats, i.e. your mother, you, and now your daughter.


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