Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Right off the boat"

Have you ever looked at an old photo and been transported right back to that day?

Tonight I was looking through some old photo's and came across one that filled me with such love and joy. Words can not even come close to describe how this picture makes me feel when I look at it.  It was captured at a time in my life when the whole world was fresh and new and I had no idea what my future would hold....and that was good!  

I remember the trip down to the dock that day.  My Grandpa was going "back to the old country" to visit.  This was the late 60's.   Grandpa had been in America for 40 some years.  This was pretty exciting for me.  He was going back  to Italy by boat, the same way he left.  We all went down to the docks to see him off that day.  I love this picture of my great Italian family. I love my Grandpa.

I think we were able to get on the boat before Grandpa left, but I don't know if it is a wishfull memory, or if it was real.  I love this rich part of my history.   What really warms my heart and fills me with such Joy, is.... Mom and I are dressed alike!   How really great is that! My Mom left us way too young.  I spend lots of time daydreaming about having as close an adult relationship as she and my Sister had.  On days when I come across something like this and see our matching outfits ~ I know we would have been very close...and it makes me happy, so very very happy.  As if this isn't enough to be dressed like my Mom, throw in the fact that she made the dresses she, my sister and I wore that day! (she and Grandma made most of our dresses ~ if not all back then).  You always can pick out my beautiful sister, she's the only redhead in the family!  I'm not sure about my cousins Sandy and Regina's dresses. ( I wouldn't be surprised if my talented cousin Sandy made them!). 

Please keep in mind that since this blog belongs to me, I am very selfish here and everyone in the photo also belong to Me!   By now you have identified me and Mom!   Grandpa is the stylish Italian Gentleman in the middle!  You've spotted Carol.   The little guy up front is my brother Andrew.  (we called him Peewee then and Ange now).  Ange was named after Grandpa.   "Andrew Gagliardo".  It was always his proudest possession.    The gentleman to the right is Mom's older brother, My Uncle Dom and his wife, my godmother and Aunt Angie.  The other girls are my cousins Sandy and Regina.   The tall young man,  my cousin Michael, who was always the coolest guy I knew.  My cousin Pauly is missing here.  I wonder where he was that day? Probably playing baseball or football or something.  My Dad was working and didn't make the picture and I don't know where Uncle Nick and Aunt Gen were.  I have no idea where Grandma was.  My neighbor, Mrs. Lambert took the photo...  another story how I remember that.

...My Gagliardo Family right "off the boat".   I really think we did get on the boat for a little bit, and then off ~ we could actually be on the boat in this photo.  They weren't the cruise ships of today back then.    I'm going to have to ask if anyone remembers...

I love that the time between when this photo was taken and today is around 40 some years, about the same amount of time that passed between when Grandpa left Italy in the early 1920's and when this picture was taken in the late 60's.  It makes me think that it is good that we don't know what the future brings.  I think about the things that happened in Grandpa's life, in the 40 some years in this country.... and I think about the things that have happened in our lives in the 40 some years since this picture was taken.  I love the feeling of love and hope and joy I have when I see this picture, and not having any idea of what would come...

It's funny how things happen.   Who knew back then that photography would play such a big part in my life?   Who knew I would live in the same town that George Eastman had so many years before?  Who knew I would spend my days taking photos?  I wonder if Grandpa did. I always thought he was a very smart man.   I have all his old photographs and I have the camera he used on his trip back to the old country...some of my proudest possessions.

I love my Grandpa.   I may be 50 something years old, but I am transformed back to the 8yr old in the photo and remember Grandpa's love for all of us.

It is also fun for me to look at this picture and see such style, the colors, our clothes... people try to create this look fun!

...but most of all I love that my Mom and I are dressed alike!

I am feeling such a sense of responsiblity to document our family for Carol's kids and grandchildren.  It's fun to find family photos like this and explain what our life was like then as best as I can remember.   That's the great thing about memories... they're mine and no one can ever take them away.

Well another late night of blogging.   Sadie and Jay are both snoring away.... time for me to join them!  


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