Thursday, March 1, 2007


Here is a picture of my Father's family. You can see my grandma Sarafina and grandpa Cataldo in the middle left. My father is farthest to the right. This picture is about 60 years old. Seven of my father's brothers and sisters are shown, four more are missing because they died (a brother in WWII, two brothers in infancy, and a sister to tuberculosis when she was 18). I'm proud to be one half Sicilian (not Italian, as such, although Sicily is part of Italy, the two cultures are distinct. By the way, if you must call me Italian, it's not "Eye-Talian" -Woe to those who say “Eye-Talian”). Perhaps this will help you to understand us Sicilians better:

Why do Sicilians dislike Jehovah's Witnesses? Sicilians dislike all witnesses.

Do you know why most men from Sicily are named Tony? On the boat over to America they put a sticker on them that said TO NY.

You know you're Sicilian when . . . .

You can bench press 325 pounds, shave twice a day and still cry when your mother yells at you.

You carry your lunch in a produce bag because you can't fit two cappicola sandwiches, 4 oranges, 2 bananas and pizzelles into a regular lunch bag.

Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant, travel agent and lawyer are all your cousins.

You have at least 5 cousins living in the same town or street. All five of those cousins are named after your grandfather or grandmother.

You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.

You only get one good shave from a disposable razor.

If someone in your family grows beyond 5' 9", it is presumed his Mother had an affair.

There are more than 28 people in your bridal party.

You netted more than $50,000 on your first communion.

And you REALLY, REALLY know you're Sicilian when . . . .

Your grandfather had a fig tree.

You eat Sunday dinner at 2:00.

Christmas Eve . . . only fish.

Your mom's meatballs are the best.

You've been hit with a wooden spoon or had a shoe thrown at you.

Plastic on the furniture is normal.

You know how to pronounce "manicotti" and "mozzarella."

You fight over whether it's called "sauce" or "gravy."

You've called someone a "mamaluke."

You understand "bada bing".

You would not be caught dead going to Olive Garden


Kampfgruppe Hoppa said...

Pastor T,
It's nice to have another perspective on your "Eye-Talian-0" oops, I mean Sicilian heritage. After all, everything I ever learned about Italians or Sicilians I learned from mob movies...My Cousin Vinnie, Goodfellas, The Godfather, etc.

Frontier Forest said...

Tony, your amazing humor and wit, leaves me speechless! Listening to Tony Sr. in our small group Bible studies, and constantly laughing at his wit, one can easily glean where you got it! Sorry for all the time I have referred to you as "EYE-TALIAN". And I don't know what “boda-bing” means? Heard it said one time at a Royals game though, does that count? So, treating you and Shari to all the gummy bread sticks and tasteless salad at the “Olive Garden would be a no-no HUH?

Eric Adams said...

Dude, I was with you until the last one. You've gone over to the dark side.

M. Jay Bennett said...

Mamaluke! I was planning on inviting you out to Olive Garden some Sunday after the service when we come to visit. Oh well.

This post is histerical!

And, nice bird! My Dad is a turkey hunting fanatic. He hunts in Georgia and Florida.

That looks like an eastern. Is that right? I understand that there are some Merriams in Kansas too. Have you ever bagged a Merriam?

AJF said...

The turkey pictured is indeed a pure Eastern. Kansas doesn't have Merriam's Turkeys that I'm aware of. Instead, parts of Kansas have rios grande turkeys and also a hybrid of a Rio and an Eastern. They have lighter coloration. I have shot a few of these hybrids.

Anonymous said...

Not a lot of blonde jokes in your family, huh?