Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I continue to be amazed at the depth and tenacity of the threads that bind us to our past, especially to those earliest formative years of childhood. Albert was 4-5 years older than me, and as a young boy Albert and Eleanor (always said that way…Albert and Eleanor…were my friends, though not exactly playmates. As I was growing up they were there, as was Aunt Rose and Uncle Gus and the rest of the Sciliano family. I was an only child, they were a family of 10 and they made me feel like the 11th. I was too young to remember all that we did together but between photos and stories I know it was significant. As would be expected, as we got older we gradually drifted toward friends of our own ages and eventually went our separate ways.

I continued to see Albert over the years…he and his lovely wife Nola lived close to my parents and uncle, so I made it a point to stop in an say hello on my visits home. Sadly, I have not seen Eleanor since leaving home for college.
Last October I visited Albert, and also his older brother Gussie, taking pictures of them, Gussie sitting at his kitchen table and Albert in front of his fig trees.

My parents moved to our farm in Maryland in the mid 1980s. My uncle Ferrar died 3 years ago, and my cousin Joan now lives in Forest Grove. Albert was my last personal tie to Landisville.

Albert died unexpectedly several days ago and my heart aches, for Nola, Albert Jr., the remainder of the Scilianos…and for me. In spite of the time and the distance, I still feel a bit like that 11th Siciliano.

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