By Carmine Santa Maria
I thought the e-mail and photos I got from my nephew Anthony were worth sharing, because it really is a unique situation. These communications are only possible today because of the Internet and in this instance my nephews’ job, he travels a lot for American Express, he also has the ability to speak four languages, Here we have communication not only transcending the Ocean, but time, with third, fourth, fifth and six degree cousins learning about each other. “Hi everybody…(Christina, Uncle Carmine, Cousin Annemarie, Barbara, Nicole) Just catching up on some personal stuff late Sunday night, now actually early Monday AM, like a little after midnight…and am waiting for the snow to start to fall…I don't think it's ever gonna materialize here in NYC this year.. keeps staying rain…and never changes to snow… that's cause cousin Annemarie out in Cincinnati, Ohio is “glomming” all the snow there…hey Annemarie…send some “big snow” to Brooklyn. Anyway…I thought I'd share this email with some of my favorite people. It's our distant cousin, actually our 2nd. or 3rd. cousin Fabiola Di Mare who is just 16 years old and has been sending me news and pictures from our ancestral home town of Porto Empedocle, Agrigento, Sicily. Fabiola, as a reminder is the granddaughter of Grandma Grazia's niece (Gina Di Mare. who is now gone (as in “passed away”) for many years…but whom I met and actually stayed with twice and who Uncle Carmine and Aunt Sue also met before me… I have pictures when I was in Sicily for the first time in '73 and again in '83 with her grandmother and her whole family before she was even born including her father Franco who now works on those big ferries that go across the straits of Italy to up North, Genoa, Savona, Sardinia..Etc. Don't have time to decipher and tell you who all the people are…all you need to know is that they're from this past Christmas when she and her family went from Sicily up north to Savona near Genoa where her uncle (Toto… Franco's brother) and her aunt (Giuseppina – her father Franco's Sister) and her grandfather 'Tano Di Mare (the old guy with the mustache) all now live except the ones that still live in Porto Empedocle. Just a bunch of nice family Christmas pictures that I thought you'd all enjoy just looking at them and see how nice they celebrate too…although “Uncle Toto” (who is her dad Franco's younger brother) dressed up like Babbo Natale (Santa Claus)…kinda “pitiful” and if I must say so myself there's no real Santa like the real Santa…Uncle Carmine “Santa” Maria of course…he even has the real name.!!! They dress pretty nice too…and wait till you check out the “giant calamare” (giant squid) that was part of their Christmas dinner…just like us. Anyway…print out or just look at an enjoy and appreciate Me for keeping our ancestry and heritage alive. We all should go back soon!!! Especially you Annemarie. since you never went. OK gotta go…hope you all enjoy. Father, Favorite Nephew, Favorite Cousin, Favorite Brother and Favorite Father in Law…. the one and only Anthony!!! Ciao tutti! Let me go look out the window and see if the rain changed to snow – yippee – lol (Lots of luck) My nephew Anthony is a rare gem and I really do appreciate his efforts in keeping us in touch with our relatives in Sicily. He and I have a long standing joke with his fixation with snow. He asked me to send Fabiola some pictures I had of this Christmas (since we always spend Christmas Eve with him,) which I did and responded to my fourth cousin Fabiola in a letter written in Italian, …or my version of Italian which really needs no interpretations except the obvious first line…which reads “I speak and write Italian very terrible.” Now my grandchildren are cousins, 6 times removed with Fabiola and I’ll ask my 8 year old granddaughter Alexa who knows how to e-mail to communicate with her. Who would have thought that in 1965, the last time I saw my cousin Gina that our grandchildren would be communicating with each other through the internet? Cara Fabiola, Io parlo e scrivo Italiano molto terribbile. Io e zio di Anthony Vento e primo cuisino lei nonna Gina. Mi nome e Carmine Santa Maria, figlio di Grazia Costantino e Calogero Santa Maria. Qui ci sonno photografie della mia familglia. Ciao, Carmine I sent Fabiola 19 photos, the one of my six grandchildren and my son dressed for Halloween and the one of me as Santa Claus with three of my grandchildren, (shown here). I’ve also shown the giant squid Christmas Eve dinner and my cousin the Sicilian Santa. Hope you enjoyed these photos and e-mails. Screech at you next week!