Spaghetti with garlic and oil: Chapter One

Every white boy I’ve ever made spaghetti with garlic and oil for loved it.

I used to be 96% Italian, that’s been downgraded to 86% Southern Italian and the remaining 14% various other Mediterranean ethnicities – as you can see. The Southern Italy portion is confined to Sicily yet recent history has my father’s family living in and around Naples. Still considered Southern Italy but not as far south as Sicily.

An exotic little son-of-a-gun, aren’t I?

Mediterranean people tend to the darker side – hair, eyes, skin. And so I do tend. But not everyone in my family tended that way. One of the (many) pointless lies my mother told was that her father had flaming red hair and blue eyes. I found his draft card online and he was described as having black hair and brown eyes. WTH? I have said that my mother never met a lie she would not embrace wholeheartedly but this is a corker. That said, my cousin Camille,  my mother’s sister’s daughter had red hair – Lucy Ball red only natural.

When my elder male sibling was born he was described as looking like a little old man because he had white hair, blue eyes and dead white skin. When I was born 2 years later I was described as a monkey – covered in black hair, black eyes and dark skin. The hair fell off, so not werewolf syndrome but it was also said that I was born with a caul.

Needless to say when my mother took the two of us out she got a lot of sidelong glances. Where did that “white” kid come from? My father was dark but my mother had medium brown hair and hazel eyes, olive skin but not the yellow-cast olive tone that I have. Yet, she said that when she was young they called her ‘blackie’.

Which brings me to – Italians weren’t considered “white”. Indeed we were referred to as ‘blackies’ and perhaps that was what my mother was referring to – racist taunts. in the 1890’s, when there was a large influx of Italians into the United States, particularly in New York City, the general opinion was that the Italians were animals, savages and should be deported.

(Here’s a fun web site – The Racial Slur Database – the page for Italian is HERE.)

I was born in 1946 in New York City, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-national city where one would think ethnicity wouldn’t be much of an issue. But of course it was. NYC was populated with human beings – and human beings love to hate.

~~~To be continued

11 thoughts on “Spaghetti with garlic and oil: Chapter One

  1. Wow! I don’t think I’d ever seen results that were almost purely one ethnicity! Amazing! Mine were all over the place and not the half Italian and half Irish I was told no doing up. I love your stories of the past they are educational, yet humorous. I hope you continue.

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    1. I don’t think, when dealing with Great Britain you can get a solid chunk of any ethnicity – islands tend to get messy in their DNA contributors. Yes, there will be at least 2 more chapters (I think). And thank you for enjoying my stories.

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  2. What outfit did your DNA? I used NatGeo and their results were not that specific. They had me at “Mediterranean,” (mostly) “Northern European,” “Southwest Asian,” but nothing more precise. Theoretically, my Great Grandfather from Naples married a Sicilian woman. ‘
    Love spaghetti with Garlic and oil. (I see I capitalized “garlic.” Of course.

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    1. for the DNA analysis. Oddly enough I did mine some years ago and they have updated it twice. Somehow, whoever runs their web site data, re-ran everyone’s DNA when better tools came along, hence the updates. If you are really curious for more exact results do it again through them. They usually have sales especially now getting near the gift giving holiday. (Merry Christmas – You’re adopted!)

      Most people like spaghetti with garlic and oil but there are some people who actually DO NOT like garlic!! Can you imagine?

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  3. Interesting as always. Maybe you can post a loose recipe? I take this to mean without any tomato sauce? Haha ignorant white girl here. Speaking of which – the fact that your results were so on-point has inspired me to bookmark I am actually adopted for reals so this carries a little extra value for me on top. Though I hardly doubt it will reveal anything shocking. Life experience and a look in the mirror tells me some combination of German, Irish, and Norwegian.

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    1. As I said to Roy, at this time of the year Ancestry usually has sales. You DO NOT have to have a paid Ancestry account to get your DNA results. a free account will also let you see any matches you might have. Also you don’t have to use your real name in your profile (I think you need to use your real name for an account tho.) You have control over what anyone else sees. For adopted people it’s always a crap shoot signing up for DNA analysis – a little scary I suppose.

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  4. So interesting! The stories and history you know about yourself are amazing! I know next to nothing about my history because no one ever talked about it. I did this DNA analysis several years ago and after several updates to it I’m still mostly eastern European – 35% Western Czechia, 25% England, 23% German, the rest various areas near there but then 2% Indigenous North Americas which is my Citizen Potawatomi Nation native American heritage.

    Your mother’s lies always baffle me.

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    1. Honey chile – if they baffle you can you imagine how I feel? LOL I don’t know why someone lies when they don;t have to. Like I said, if it’s a lie, she loved it! And actually I don’t know that much history, everyone lied, no one talked about anything important in front of the children and we didn’t know enough to ask until we get older and by then everyone was dead, Plus anything more than 2 generations is back in Italy and I know jack-shit about any of that including which exact towns anyone was from….


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