>Die Ahnen

>On the left is my maternal great-grandmother, who died of illness when my grandmother was still a young girl. Next to her is her own mother, and her father is in the back, sitting against the wall. The parents were both Carpatho-Russian immigrants from eastern Slovakia, who met in America. I’ve heard it said that my great-great-grandmother had “second sight”, which is intriguing, although I have no examples to relate.
My Sicilian great-grandparents with six of their seven children (the youngest hadn’t been born yet.) I am fairly certain that the boy sitting closest to my great-grandfather is my own grandfather, from his face and his expression. I can only remember meeting my great-grandparents a couple of times, even though we all lived in the same town. A family reunion or two, and then a funeral (hers.) By all accounts they were kind and lovely people. He was a professional barber with an interest in show business — he staged operas and plays in town. I never saw any of this love of the stage passed down in the family It may indeed have been there, only dormant, or there and gone before I came into the world. But somehow my great-grandfather’s operatic tendencies and the music-and-art-gene in my mother’s family combined to make an opera singer.

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