This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

My Nationality

Yesterday morning as I was talking to one of the coaches at the Fitness Center, an elderly woman who was on a stationary bike, after greeting the coach, inquired after my nationality.

Being an old corporate guy, I know that this kind of question isn't *politically correct*, but the circumstances were such that it seemed appropriate to wave this formality, and I answered the question. The coach, by the way, is black, and I guess I've always considered people who saw me walking by just saw as a *white guy*. I have to admit that in a longish life, the question of my Nationality had never been posed to me.

She decided that my nationality must be English, because of my blue eyes, and she was right, but apparently there is something about me that doesn't seem quite English. The fact that I am only second-generation born in America Italian has always been a little bit of trivia that I sometimes talked about, but I couldn't imagine showed on me. Apparently it does, at least to someone with a sharp eye, as this woman had.

The conversation ended after she described herself as Irish, and I did the *OK, the Irish can stay* line, which most people think is funny, and if you're a history buff, you know that it is historically true. The Irish in America had a terrible time being accepted, as did the Italians. And when I pointed out that the coach, whom I've known for years, was African, it all ended with statements that we're all Americans.

This blog focuses mainly on my English heritage, which is my paternal side. Every once in a while I talk about my Italian side, which is my maternal side. A few generations ago, having Italian ancestry would have been something that someone who looked like me would have strongly denied. That the Italians were among the most-hated group in America, along with the Irish, is something that we have all, thankfully, long forgotten. And I do have a taste for Italian food, especially spaghetti, and pasta in general, that I grew up with.

Just food for thought.
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