Monday, November 19, 2012
My Uncle Tony (Anthony Romano, on the left) and my father, (Michele Benito on the right) are talking to their Sister Mary in New Jersey. Uncle Tony and my father are fraternal twins, and they like to mess with her. They sound so much alike that she thought she was talking only to my father. Henry and Oliver thought this was hysterical, but my mother and I just rolled our eyes.
Fun fact: My father and Uncle Tony were born the fourth and fifth children in New York City to my grandmother Josephine who was a recent immigrant from southern Italy. She could neither read nor write in Italian or English, was a devout Catholic and retained her thick accent until the day she died at nearly ninety years old. Her surprise twins (she didn't know she was carrying two until she gave birth) were named after Benito Mussolini, a hero, at the time, to southern Italian peasants. Romano was Mussolini's youngest son. Evidently, anything bad in the world was quickly called communiste in my Noni's thick Italian accent. Bad actions were all those things that went against the norm: not going to mass, late garbage pick-up, etc. I have only fond memories of my grandmother, although I'm certain I would have been called communiste if she were alive.