Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Slow progress and steady rain
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Rain. And then some more rain. That’s pretty much all I have seen during my first 10 days here, and today is no different, except the rain has been harder today than usual. In some ways, this is a God-send, because I have trouble sitting still and staying focused, and I have a lot of writing to do. I am trying to record an account of the year I spent in Italy teaching at the EISP in Padova. I have about 20 pages done, but I write slowly, and then after I finish a paragraph or two, I have to pop up and pace around. I look out the window at the rain, wash the dishes, read a few pages of a book or check my e-mail or the news. Were it not raining, I’m sure I would take a bike ride or walk and waste further time.
Yesterday around 10 a.m., the rain stopped and I rode my bike to Ponte Buggianese, hoping to find more information about the interesting family of Paolo Antonio Spadoni. He was the father of Italo, for whom a plaque has been placed on the town hall, and also Gino Spadoni, who was charged with murder in Tacoma. Another son, Bruno, went to jail for supplying a gun which was used in a murder of two Fascists. A fourth son, Guido, emigrated to San Francisco. He became a metal craftsman and raised 10 children whose offspring surely are distant relatives of our Spadoni family of Washington.
Just how we are related was the reason for my ride to Ponte Buggianese, but I was thwarted. Paolo Antonio was born in 1860 or 1861, so his stato di famiglia document must be at Buggiano, I am told, because Ponte Buggianese did not have a comune until 1883. But all of his children were born in Ponte Buggianese after 1883, I say, so wouldn’t his stato di famiglia have been transferred here? Not necessarily, the clerk said. I should go to Buggiano to find his exact date of birth and marriage. Then she can look for his stato di famiglia. It seems to me that she could at least try: I have his approximate year of birth, the name of his wife and the name of all four children and their dates of birth. Surely there should be some kind of index that could point her in the right direction, but she makes it clear that our conversation is over. I must go and find this information before she will help me further.
When I left the comune, it had started to sprinkle lightly. Buggiano is about three miles away, so this search will have to wait for another day. I stopped to buy a few groceries and made it home just before the rain returned in earnest.
Today the rain does not relent until after 1 p.m., but that’s when the comune at Buggiano closes, so I stay home and write—and pace, and read, and dawdle. Fortunately the rain doesn’t resume and I am able to stay dry during my half hour bike ride to Pescia, where I arrive at 4 p.m and continue looking into the family line of Narciso Spadoni. I look for the full two and half hours that the archives are open and find nothing new from the parish ledger of Borgo a Buggiano, which means that sometime prior to 1764, the family lived in a different parish. I check the parish records for nearby Buggiano and also come up empty, so I will perhaps try Ponte Buggianese next time.
Now it’s back home, with a stop at Bar Grazia to pick up one of their fabulous pizzas, a great way to top off the day.