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From The Publisher's Desk

From the publisher's desk: My Fourth of July memories

Note: This column originally appeared June 30, 2007.

As a kid, I spent every Fourth of July celebrating with my dad’s family. That clan included several cousins with one common thread: Our fathers stow­ed away on a ship together.

In 1936, my father and several of his cousins brought wine to the docks near their home on the Adriatic Coast. When it was dark, they approached a sailor guard­ing the gangplank to a large steamer. The cousins shared their wine until the guard passed out. Then they snuck on the ship and a great adventure began.

My father was 25, married and the father of two. He, his wife Anna, and their son and daughter lived with his parents in a fishing village of 600 people. My father was a furniture maker and Anna a seamstress who worked from home.

Like others during this time between two world wars when poverty, oppression and despair were closing in on them, they dreamed about America. It was the land of opportunity, where the streets, if not literally paved with gold, at least offered promise. And if a man worked hard, the possibilities were limitless. If you could get to America certainly it would not take long to save enough money to bring your family there.

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