Friday, October 11, 2013

The Big Book of Records in Fallo!

After some lively conversation between the man we found in the court house and Vincenzo, of which we could understand not really one single word, the gentleman went to find the County Clerk. She came back all smiles! My mom and her got along as if they were separated at birth. However, neither could understand a word the other said! Not one word! As I stood there it was as if I was watching a movie – we walked into the room with these big books and boxes of records….

As I look back at this picture, I have to wonder just what was going on here!  G-pop took the picture and that's Vincenzo there in the hallway behind us.  Remember, he's our translator!  Now, you see Mimi is obviously talking to our County Clerk friend, and Megan and I are deep in thought trying to figure out just what is being said, because I know the only words my mom knows in Italian are words for food!  Think pepperoni, prosciutto, ricotta!  It's such a serious picture!

So at some point, Vincenzo came back into the room and it was very exciting! We had our paper printout from, words were being spoken a mile a minute – in English and Italian and Vincenzo was translating all the while! 

There was laughing and hands were going as only the Italians do! My mom was waving her hands, the clerk waving hers...The town Sheriff came in and joined in the conversation, his hands started going too. My mom talking to them both as if they could understand each other and they talking to her as if she could understand them! I stood there watching this exchange and my mom was just so at home here! I kept thinking how much she has loved Italy! 

Only there was a problem, they kept looking and they couldn’t find Patrizio DiVito! It’s not that we were in the wrong place, of course he was born here – we know that. But their records don’t go back far enough. When they built this City Hall, they didn’t bring the oldest records here. Did we have time to go to the main hall of records? It’s in another town? That would give us more information. We could find HIS card there they said. Vincenzo was pointing at his watch and telling them we’re only here for one day and we’d need an appointment if we went to the other town. Oh my!  Mind you, all of this exchange was in Italian, translated to English and back to Italian.

But wait – that’s ok because they can still show us the house that was the DiVito house! With a town this small, when a family owns property, they really only have one home and it’s passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately the “last” of the DiVitos passed away this past March, but we can see the house and see the town! 

It wasn’t surprising that there wouldn’t have been any other DiVitos because my great grandfather, his father, and his sister all came to America. As a matter of fact, it’s a mystery as to who that last DiVito is a decedent from! We’ve got to do some research on that - maybe even a trip back to ask? 

Hugs were exchanged between my mom and the County Clerk. She was so upset she couldn’t find my great grandfather’s information. She must have searched every box and book for it! However, she was very pleased that we could see the house that he likely grew up in! And to see the town itself! Honestly, being here was like visiting with old friends!

Next up.....the American Family Tours Fallo!  As escorted by the town sheriff!

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