Saturday, October 07, 2006
Once upon a time in America....
Last week my son Ben and his third grade class went to Ellis Island. It was his first trip there. I wish I was with him. There's so much we could have talked about before the ferry arrived on the other side.
He saw a movie about the immigrant experience and found the name of his maternal Italian great grandmother. I'm pretty sure my Irish great grandfather is listed there as well. You can also find his name in the index of Gangs of New York...a dubious achievement that explains a lot about my family's character.
Ben's gene pool combines almost every country in Europe with a stop in the Ukraine and Cypress. He is a true American mutt and I must say that the results are extraordinary.
Ben complained that on the ferry ride home his class was not allowed to sit up on the top deck with the rowdy public school kids. He was furious and said "Mom, it was hot and smelly down in the lower deck. All because we went to Ellis Island doesn't mean they have to send us back to Manhattan in steerage class!"