Friday, October 01, 2004


Sure, my ancestors emigrated from Italy’s Trulli Region nearly 100 years ago. But that doesn’t mean that I’m without family there.

During our trip last month, we were thrilled to meet – for the first time – my cousin Leonardo and his family. Our family reunion is memorialized in the photo above.

The circumstances surrounding the reunion were fortuitous. During our first trip to the region in 2001, we were chatting with our then-new friend Domenico (he of Happy Pizza Point) at his bar. I mentioned that my maternal ancestors were from the area, and sketched my family tree on a bar napkin. Domenico asked if he could keep it.

Domenico noticed that my mother shares the same surname with Leonardo, and brought it to his attention. Leonardo did some research and discovered that his great grandfather was the brother of my great-great grandfather. We exchanged several e-mails over the years until – finally – we made a return visit to the region last month.

It just goes to show you…there are few things in life as useful as a good bartender.
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