ALL THAT ZAZZ
By Mary N. DiZazzo
This column is a celebration of Italian-American Heritage Month. What more beauty can you ask for but the beauty of our Italian culture?
Recently, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we gathered at a popular Italian restaurant to meet cousins I have never met. It all started when my husband decided to do a little family tribute for my dad, Alec, and his brother, Joe, to celebrate Fathers’ Day. Well, with the start of this internet site came inquiries from all over the States and all over the world.
Our last name “Di Zazzo,” which has a significant popularity in Rocca d’Evandro in Caserta, near Naples, sparked up my hubby to keep digging further. We now know the ships my grandparents traveled on and their many trips back and forth from the old country to the land of dreams, U.S.A.
Meeting the elder cousins my dad and his brother hadn’t seen for over 70 years was just amazing. They looked so great aging so gracefully well into their late 80s and 90s. My dad remembered his cousin Jennie and sang her a song he wrote.
The beauty secrets were just good, clean living and, of course, luck (the luck is the olive-oil skin).
Meanwhile, the week before—my dad’s first cousin Pat, whom he hadn’t seen since the 1970s, happened to be in town. (I swear my husband David wished her coming while doing the genealogy chart.) Knocking on a stranger’s door looking for cousin Pat only gave us new friends—the hospitality of the lovely Piantigini family. The mom had visited Rocca d’Evandro at least four times and made for fun conversation for all of us with Naples envy.
Cousin Pat looked wonderful and the “beauty luck” was there. Old times were rehashed and the afternoon drifted well into the night.
I would like to dedicate this column to Lisa Munn-Haynes, my newly found third cousin, who designed a splendid afternoon of family fun,
May God bless her and her husband and all the Di Zazzo cousins wherever they may be.
Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!