This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Pookie 0003 (November 13, 2014)

“By now it is clear to most thinking people that every decision we make on major public problems simply makes matters worse.”
Carroll Quigley in his review of Ferkiss’ “In Search for a Solution to the World Crisis.” 1974.




1. A brief tour into the Borgalino

Canicatti, except for the fact that my mother was born here, is a rather uninteresting city at least in so far as art, architecture and history are concerned. Essentially established by the Saracens for commercial purposes along side a small stream (Canicatti means clay ditch in arabic), it has remained more focused on commerce than art ever since.

Nonetheless, they really do it up for Carnevale.


I have no idea what this float is all about.

Canicatti was the site, however, of the massacre of unarmed civilians by US troops during WWII.

The “old town,” across the river from the fortress, where originally most of the people lived is called Borgalino. It is there that in 1917 my mother was born. Since then the city has metastasized and covers much of the valley and surrounding hills.

Veduta - 1933

Canicatti 100 years ago

We visited the Borgalino one day in pursuit of intergenerational connections or what is now generally called roots.

Santa Spirito today

Convento S. Spirito - senza data

100 years ago

Maryanne and I pose in front of the church and convent where my mother was baptized. The adjacent picture shows the church as it looked at about the time my mother was born.

The much altered home of my mothers birth.

My mother was only seven years old when my grandfather died of his war wounds. As my mother tells it, as he lay dying, she prayed that he would live so that she would not have to wear black for the rest of her life. She was saved that fate by being shipped off to America not too long after the funeral.


Borgalino today
100 years ago
2. The Cimitero and a surprising story.

Following our visit to the Borgalino and my mother’s birthplace, in pursuit of symmetry we naturally then visited the cemetery where my grandfather and many of the relatives, including Vincenzo, are buried
The Cemetery

The Crypt

The Grave

It was here we learned one of the family legends we had never heard before. It seems that during WWI at the battle of Caporetto or perhaps it was the Veneto, I was unclear on which, my grandfather Giacinto Corsello and his brother Salvatore were serving as officers in the front lines when the Austrians attacked their machine gun position. The brothers held them off for a day until Giacinto was wounded in a poison gas attack. He was removed from the front for treatment (he would die from the effects of the gas about seven years later) leaving Salvatore alone at the machine gun to face the Austrian hordes. Which he did heroically for another 24 hours before he was killed in a second poison gas attack. This much was probably true since the brave and heroic brothers had the medals, if not their lives, to show for it.

The legend or myth however is the family’s belief Hemingway wrote about their heroism in either The Sun also Rises or For whom the Bells Toll and Salvatore was played by Gary Cooper in the movie. I doubt this because, in For Whom the Bells Toll, although Cooper dies valiantly holding off the Fascists, the event takes place in Spain about 20 years after the brother’s actions. In The Sun also Rises, Cooper, plays an American ambulance driver. Nevertheless, I am greatly pleased that my grandfather has a legend associated with him no matter how false it may be.

3. Giovanni’s country place

We later visited Giovanni’s country home where we watched a storm come in over the mountains. The house is quite rustic. He invited me to stay there whenever I return to Sicily. Giovanni likes to slip off to the place as often as he can to sit and sip wine.

In the garden
Here comes the storm

4. A last supper

On our last evening in Canicatti we visited with Guillermo’s family for dinner (of course) in a restaurant that served Sicilian food ”hunter’s style” (a La Cacciatore).

The Antipasti

I have no idea what this was

My main course was wild boar

“Those who use the past to oppose the present must be ex-terminated.”
Li Shu

My sister fooling around

Categories: October through December 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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