Thursday, August 23, 2007

Somethin' pretty cool

So, I forgot to mention this before.

My Aunt has been doing some research into our family tree and going through old documents and stuff. She found some really cool pictures and documents that I can't wait to get framed. There's this great picture--in the middle, are a man and a woman who are my great-grandparents. They are each holding little baby girls. Sitting in front of them, with an impish little grin, is my grandfather when he was about 3 or so. And behind them, are three tall dark and handsome young men.

Upon further review, the three boys in the back are my great-grandfather's sons from a previous marriage. Very unheard of for the 1920s, but pretty cool. They were a very early, 1920s Brady Bunch.

We also found my great-grandfather's naturalization papers from 1921. They are really cool to see. It's so interesting, and tragically funny, how classifications were made back then, and how much things have changed. For instance, on the papers there's a spot for "Color" and it says, "White," but then under the next spot for "Complexion" it says, "Dark." A little tongue in cheek how funny it is that they felt, in 1921, they needed to make that distinction.

His name that he wrote on the papers was John, and it says, "Country of Origin: Italy." So of course, I was like, ain't no WAY his name was JOHN if he was originally from Italy. Sure enough, on another paper, my suspicions were confirmed: John was originally Giovanni. He must have changed his name to sound more American. Again, a little sad that it had to be done, but this was the decade of extreme nativism, of Sacco and Vanzetti, and of NOT wanting to be seen as anything other than a hard-working American. So that's exactly what he did, and he made his new life here.

So, where am I going with this?

One of the boys in the back--my grandfather's half-brothers--I can't remember which one, had a son named Tom.

Yeah, so?

Okay, here's where it gets really bizarre.

Tom is a professor at Elon College in NC...of Sociology. Cool--another social sciences Arcaro, like me.

And now it gets REALLY CRAZY.

He teaches a CLASS ON TRIATHLON AND IS AN IRONMAN FINISHER and BOSTON MARATHON FINISHER.

A CLASS. On TRIATHLONS. A Sociology ELECTIVE. Looking at the course requirements...20% of your grade is your race report! All of us bloggers would get A pluses! ha ha

If you don't believe me, here it is.

Now THAT'S what I call some family ties!

10 comments:

21stCenturyMom said...

That is really amazing - and not so random.

So do you know him? Now that you have this history will you propose doing an event together after Baby Z is born? That would be awesome!

Steve S. said...

I'm "White," but "Pale"

and "hairless"

Chad said...

"Sitting in front of them, with an impish little grin, is my grandfather when he was about 3 or so. And behind them, are three tall dark and handsome young men.

Upon further review, the three boys in the back are my grandfather's sons from a previous marriage."

Your grandfaterh had three boys by the time he was 3 years old?

TriSaraTops said...

Whoops! Um, yeah, that's GREAT grandfather. :)

TriShannon said...

How crazy! Must be something in the family blood. :)

Run for Chocolate said...

Makes u wonder about fate, huh? Or is it genetics?

Kurt said...

I just found out and was given our family bible from my Grandfather's side of the family. I didn't even know we had one til last week.

Time to sign baby Z up for the class. I expect baby Z to do its first Tri within a few years now.

Cara said...

Wow, that's awesome! Somewhat coincidental, but maybe not -- maybe triathlon really IS in your blood.
I would love to take that class! Hell, I'd love to teach that class! Now you've got me thinking about all the ethnographic studies that you could do on triathletes. Dang. There's TONS of material there for a sociologist.

Cara said...

Forgot to ask, have you contacted him? Wouldn't it be funny if he turned out to be a regular blog reader and had no idea that you were related to him?

Lana said...

That is too cool - Girl, you've got Ironman in your genes!!!