Regnum Mortis

12 10 2008

Pt. I –Mis encuentros con la Niña Blanca

There are certain adventures that AG will simply take a pass on. Besides, she has her beloved college football to watch on Saturday afternoons. I had already spent my personal excursion points withher when, last week, we both went to visit my family in Hollister, which for us is really an excuse to eat at the excellent Basque restaurant in the mission town San Juan Bautista about five miles from my grandmother’s house. (Ask for the house wine.) Now that I am older and have some sort of semblance of a life, my visits to my grandmother’s are fairly official; now I sit there and we chat for a couple of hours, and I pay my respects to relatives who also happen to stop by.

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On the outside looking in…pt. II

12 10 2008

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Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!

-Hillaire Belloc

Michael P. Carroll is not a good Catholic. But he is a good sociologist. I am now reading his work, Veiled Threats: The Logic of Popular Catholicism in Italy. Though I am just a few pages into it, the author writes an interesting prelude to the book, one that at first glance is unrelated to the rest of the work. Despite his last name, Professor Carroll is of Italian ancestry, his first relatives having come to the United States for the first time in the late 1800’s. His great grand-father, Felice Demartini, had spent some time in the United States before returning to Italy to start a family. Around 1907, one of his teenage daughters, Aurelia, had a falling out with him over the amount of work he demanded from her. She was apparently a maker of the colorful sashes worn by the gentleman of the region. The sashes became one of the main sources of family income. The more she made, however, the more her father demanded from her. One day, she protested that she could not produce them any faster than she was already working. Her father in a rage then began to chase his fifteen year old around the house with a club, intent on beating her senseless. The father then turned her out of the house and proclaimed to all who would listen that he would shoot his daughter on sight if she dared return. Her extended family then helped her to flee to America, where his family’s history in this country begins.
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