My friends: Last week my husband’s father died at the age of 103. He was a beautiful man who was loved by all. To honor his memory I’m sharing this post from June of 2011 which I wrote on the occasion of his hundredth birthday. Rest in peace, Dad. Thank you for bringing so much love and beauty into the lives of your family.
The property on which our family’s summer home sits in North Carolina was purchased over 40 years ago by my husband’s 101 year-old father and his second wife! Yes, he’s alive and living comfortably with Winn, his third wife! This amazing man is the son of a poor Italian immigrant who arrived at Ellis Island in the first decade of the 20th century.
In 1904 a 21 year-old man named Antonio Raffa stepped off the boat onto Ellis Island with a small bag of belongings, $9.00 in his pocket, and hope for a better life. His first act was to kneel and kiss the ground. As he told us years later, there was nothing for him in his small hill town near Messina, Sicily where his only choices were to be poor or join the Mafia.