Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Weather, loneliness keep me on task
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I pretty much locked myself in my apartment Monday and Tuesday, writing and studying Italian. Those are two of my main goals for this trip, so that’s a good thing, though not very exciting to report. I also spent a few hours setting up the apartment, as Monday afternoon I awoke from a pisolino to find that Luca had backed his van up to my door and the back was full of boxes of our stuff. I packed away all the Casolare’s kitchen supplies and put ours on the shelves and drawers instead. Talk about missing my wife! She’s always been the one to take care of this. I’m sure I didn’t do it as efficiently as Lucy, but she’s not here to see some of the arbitrary and probably wrong decisions I made about where everything goes.
It has been mostly rainy out every day, so that makes my decision to stay inside and work much easier. However, this afternoon I make my first excusion, because another goal is to research the family trees of some other Spadoni families, and the church archives are only open Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
So into the rain I head on Lucy’s bike (mine has a flat tire), making the half hour ride to Pescia. Andrea Mandroni is expecting me, because I e-mailed him on Monday, but there are also four other men there doing research, and between the five of us, Andrea is kept busy the whole time interpreting documents for us. He can read the old Italian-script ledgers 50 times faster than I can, but he doesn’t have time to do any reading for me because everyone else is asking him for help too. I have to find the entries and then call him over to clarify the names and dates.
I have chosen to work on the family tree of Narciso Spadoni, who was born in Borgo a Buggiano in 1877, came to Chicago in 1906 and remained until his death in 1940. He and wife Giuseppina Bonaccorsi had seven children, the same number as did my nonno. I actually started on this last year and got back as far as about 1775, the approximate date of birth of Francesco Spadoni of Borgo a Buggiano. I find four more children of Francesco, but that doesn’t get me any nearer to my goal of connecting his tree to mine. I need to go back further in time, and I do make it back one more generation today when I find that his father was named Simone. I continue my search, hoping to find Francesco’s record of baptism, which will give me more information about his parents, but I have no luck today. It is 6:30 p.m. and time to go home.
It’s still raining, and now it’s almost dark as well. I have lights for my bike, and I know there is a train that leaves the Pescia station in 20 minutes, so I just have to get that far to get out of the rain. Everything goes smoothly and I make it home fine, a little wet, hungry and well, lonely. Usually Lucy would be cooking up dinner now and we’d be chatting about my research and the ride home. Instead I eat some re-heated pasta, record my new family tree data in the computer and write this blog entry. It may be lonely, but I am getting more work done than usual.