My Uncle Frank sent me a link to this wonderful video called “Our Contributions: The Italians in America”. It is narrated by the actor Robert Loggia and it sums up the memories of growing up as an Italian-American in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, a time when families were much tighter, when neighborhoods were our world, and when the parish church was the center of that world.
I came at the tail-end of that time, but I still remember my grandparents’ garden and Sundays at their home (and later my aunts’ and uncles’ homes) and the amazing food and the weird melange of Sicilian and English that they all spoke and all the rest.
If you’re over about 35 years old have an Italian background, you may recognize your own family in this video. And we can all be wistful about a lost time. Nostalgia smoothes over the rough bits, but it also highlights what’s been lost.