Newspaper Archive of
Boston, Massachusetts
June 28, 2013     Post-Gazette
PAGE 13     (13 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 13     (13 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
June 28, 2013

Newspaper Archive of Post-Gazette produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2018. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 28, 2013 Page 13 == Fanna Babb nonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Socially Scene (Continued from Page 9) A few months ago, I at- tended a monthly English High Alumni luncheon at Florian Hall in Dorchester. Each first Tuesday of the month, a group of EHS grads from various years get to- gether for lunch. July is the only exception; during that month, they meet on the sec- ond Tuesday. Anyway, as we sat waiting for our lunches to be served, we conversed about many topics, our days at English, the current news and people we attended classes with who were no longer among us. One of the guys, Joe Aurelio, a writer, educator and retired busi- nessman offered a bit of in- formation most of us found interesting. He had sent in a saliva sample to a company called 23 and Me. They re- search your DNA from the samples of fluid they receive. The 23 in their title repre- sents the 23 pairs of chromo- somes in the human body and Joe, interested in his origins, sent in a sample and had received the results. Joe's family is both from the north and south of Italy and the findings showed he had Mediterranean and northern European blood lines. As I listened, I was fas- cinated with what he was relating about his origins and happened to mention the con- versation to a neighbor, once I arrived home that after- noon. My neighbor, Harry Tse, was born in Hong Kong and has done similar re- search trying to determine his ancestral origins. Once back in my house, I Googled 23 and Me and received all of the information necessary to try my luck at ancestral ge- nealogy. I sent for the kit that would get me started, and when it arrived, followed the directions that would allow them to trace my ancestry. I was familiar with the places my people came from. Babbononno was from Foggia, an east coast Italian city across from Rome. Nanna was from Avellino, a location just north east of Naples as was Grandpa Christoforo. Grandma Christoforo's an- cestors came from both southern Italy and Spain. As far as I knew, this put all of them into the same sub-ra- cial category, white southern European. In my creative imagination, I conjured up a group of Romans who, during the time of the Caesars, were my ancestors and when I told this to my neighbor, Harry, he assured me that the DNA testing would help to determine my ancestry long before there was a Rome. My curiosity continued to grow as I awaited the results from 23 and Me. I thought about the appearance of my grandparents and how the results translated into who and what we are today. Babbononno had sandy brown hair, blue eyes and light skin. Nanna had dark red hair, not like Irish red hair, but a dark almost brownish red. She too, had light skin. Grandpa Christoforo had black curly hair, light skin and blue eyes. Grandma Christoforo had straight black hair, dark eyes and dark skin. As a result of these characteristics and the fact that they all looked Mediterranean, I assumed that our ancestors came from South Western Europe. Mom's hair was brown, her eyes were brown and she had skin so white, she couldn't obtain a tan, she would just burn. Dad inherited the black curly hair from his father, the dark skin from his mother, but also, the blue eyes from his father; only Dad's eyes were more on the grey side. If I am allowed to brag a bit, I might say that my folks were a rather good looking couple. Finally, the preliminars~ fe-sults arrig~d and I was able to learn about my ancestry. The tests put my father's side at a point of about 18,000 years ago, stat- ing that the regions the an- cestors came from where: Southern Europe, the Near East and Northern Africa. This means that if the re- suits are accurate, there are traces of Phoenician (today's Lebanese), Arab and Turkish blood lines as well as those from Sephardic or North Af- rican Jews. The maternal side shows a backward look of 13,000 years and states that Nanna's side came from Central Europe, the Near East, Central Asia, North- western Africa and would in- clude people that are today called Spanish, Moroccans, Lebanese and Scandina- vians. The company inti- mated that the results were not complete and I would re- ceive a complete breakdown within two weeks. I can hardly wait. I figure that with all of this information and $1.50, I can buy a cup of coffee...that's all it's worth to most people, but where Italy has been the crossroads of western civilization for at least 3 to 5 thousand years, I had to know. -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 The problem with this type of research in the U.S. is that so many people are mixed. Having traveled around the world with East Boston's Sal Meli when we were both young and I was single, one thing that I noticed was that most of the people of a par- ticular country had roots in that part of the world that went back to who knows when. We in the U.S. are liv- Barenaked Ladies will take stage in a hit performance ing in a young country. If you on July 16th at the Bank of America Pavilion. go back to the Mayflower, you (Photo courtesy of are only looking at 393 years with a special performance have given their fans of civilization. First came by the Boston Children's Cho- approximately 12 songs and the English and Scottish. rus followed by Los Lonely 3 covers and are known for Then, in the early 1800s, in Boys and Los Lobos. Festival their effortless pop records. came the Germans and later, headliners Buffalo Tom, Their albums tend to com- in the 1840s, the Irish. Our The Lemonheads and The prise of some of the most people didn't arrive until the Mighty Mighty Bosstones will dynamic and complex songs 1880s and were accompa- perform live on Boston Com-with disco grooves and string nied by the Slavs, Jews and mon on Saturday, July 20th arrangements and the Greeks. Coming in from the beginning at 5:00 pm. famous horn flourishes. other coast were the Chi- Outside the Box also an- July 16th some of this nese and Japanese to a nounces the addition of century's most popular lesser degree. Since the end Celtic Fire, Grammy winner songs will be rolled into one of World War II, people from Bryan White, whose chart performance when the Bare- Latin America and war ray- topping hits include From naked Ladies, Ben Folds five aged countries from all over this Moment On (with Shaniaand Guster make a grand the world have stopped by and Twain), Boys Like Girls, entrance in Boston. These not left. This means that we Siobhan Magnus and Doubt- dynamic superstars offer the a pluralistic society and are ful Guest, surfing superstars fans a hat trick as far as tal- becoming a melting pot. Jan and Dean, country star ent and pure entertainment Let's look at this phenom- John Michael Montgomery, is concerned. The trio will enon locally. When Dad and Disney Channel's Choo be performing in front of my uncles spoke about some Choo Soul and Cuban sen- their fans gathered in Bos- of the people they knew grow- sation Isaac Delgado. ton and the venue that hosts ing up they referred to them Outside the Box chairman these legendary music su- as so-and-so, the Irishman, Ted Cutler has just added perstars. The concert will or so-and-so, the Jewish guy, a special free Doo Wop feature songs such as "Be My or so-and-so, who knows Show for first responders to Yoko Ono," "Live Acoustic" what. There wasn't any nega- the Boston Marathon Bomb- and more. tire sentiment attached to ing on Sunday, July 14th atThe Bank of America the way they referred to 2:00 pm at the Cutler Majes- Pavilion is an outdoor them. It was just a way of tic Theatre. Doo Wop per- amphitheater located at describing them. Yet, when Iformers will include "The 290 Northern Avenue, Bos- tell my boys about those ref- Duke of Earl" Gene Chan- ton. For more information erences, they don!t really dler, The Persuasions, The on these shows or upcom- understand because their Tuneweavers (Happy Birth- ing performances visit generation is all mixed. First day Baby), Tony Funches www.bankofamericalx iliorrneL and foremost is the mix of (former lead singer of Herbor call (617) 728-1600 or Irish and Italian in this part Reed's Platters), American A Tasty Treat to Compli- of the country. According to Bandstand legend Kathy ment Your Time in the City a friend who is from Pitts- Young and Rock 'n Roll Hall .... BRONWYN is a restau- burgh, the Italians and the of Famer Billy Davis. rant and bar located in Czechs that settled there in- With the understanding Union Square, Somerville, termarried beginning with that "Food is Art," OutsideMA, featuring the cuisine of the American born. In both the Box will shine the spot- Central and Eastern Europe. cases, the one similarity was light on Boston's top chefsBRONWYN will be open for Catholicism. What is com- including Ming Tsai, Todd dinner seven nights a week, mon in the U.S. today is English, Lydia Shire, Jody and in fair weather an out- these and many more mixes Adams and Gordon Hamers- door biergarten overlooks and my kids' generation Icy who will be providing the bustling square. takes it for granted. Again, as cooking demonstrations and The owners are Tim Sai and I traveled around the samplings at the Boston Wiechmann, chef-owner of world, this integration was Food Fest 2013 on City HallT.W. Food Restaurant in missing to a great degree ...Plaza's Culinary Stage Cambridge, MA and his wife, it only happened in the U.S.July 18th-21st. co-owner, general manager starting with my generation. Outside the Box has and the restaurant's name- I had a close friend that started a new wave of sake, Bronwyn Wiechmann. taught with me when I was summer fun for the City ofThe cuisine at BRONWYN at Hyde Park High School. Boston and I will be sure to is inspired by the chefs own His father was Italian and fill you in more as events German heritage and its mother Irish. His parents arrive. They will feature surrounding regions: Aus- were denied a marriage re- more than 200 performing tria, Northern Italy, Poland, quest locally by the parishes artists from the wide spec- Romania and Hungary. Chef they belonged to because trum of music and theatre Wiechmann spent much of theirs would considered a genres for all ages. For ahis time as a young man liv- mixed marriage. Finally, a complete listing of perform- ing and traveling throughout Paulist priest in New York ers and times, please visit Germany, Switzerland, and married them. Of course, a France, as well as greater mixed marriage wasn't going Bank of America Pavilion Europe and Asia. The menu to work. If my friend's mother .... The summer is officially reflects his ancestry and had another month, she and here and the Pavilion is love of German and Central- her husband would have cel- bringing in the hottest Eastern European cuisine. ebrated their 60th anniver- acts to perform right off the BRONWYN is located at sary. That's the way it was harbor of Boston. 255 Washington Street in then and now, we are Heinz The dynamic duo She & Somerville and can be 57. Considering my origins, Him will hit the stage on reached at 617-776-9900 for maybe I should learn how to July 10tu with special guest reservations or you can visit ride a camel??? Obscura. Watch out fans; GOD BLESS AMERICA Deschanel and Ward together to peek at the menu.