Kacey + Rossi: Kacey’s dad’s family

When we started to plan how to put Kacey and Rossi’s book together, the biggest challenge was geographic.  At picture life, we usually schedule a bunch of meetings with the “subject” of our book, taking time to get to know the story and people we are writing about.  Here, we didn’t have that luxury, but as it turns out, working over the phone can be just as successful.  My first conversation was with Kacey’s father, who is based outside of Denver.  Here is a recent photograph of him with Kate and Kacey.

cyd aIMG_8150-x600 220One of Frank’s relatives had taken the time to put together family stories and photographs, so he was able to tell me what he knew and send me a great package of information.

Here is a photograph of Frank as a kid (middle, with lighter color hat) with his family in Des Moines, Iowa.

Frank's Family

Frank’s great-grandfather Michael, came to the US from Italy as a teenager, playing various instruments in orchestras and bands before becoming a Chicago cop during the Al Capone era.  Here is a photograph of him in his blues.  I’m sure he had his share of stories.

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Not surprisingly. he made sure that his daughter was kept safe and out of sight, stipulating that she speak to no one unfamiliar.  When a dark, handsome visitor to a neighboring apartment failed to engage Angelina in conversation, he went to the trouble of writing her a letter upon return to Des Moines.  She was impressed enough with his effort that she agreed to meet him, causing her father to “have a fit” when he found out.  As Frank returned to Chicago with his father and brother-in-law, in the “old Italian way”, Angelina’s father acquiesced, negotiations between the two families concluding before the two had actually met.  Here is their wedding photograph. They were married for a long time and had lots of kids and grandkids.  Love her dress and veil.  She looks so young.

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Another good story is about Angelina’s (above) mother Rose, who had a constant worry about the tenants flowerpots falling off the window sill.  She proved prescient when her mother, visiting from Italy, was hit and killed by one.

I used to have a boyfriend who would push the walk button in Coolidge Corner, whether or not we were crossing the street.  He claimed he did it to rewrite history, to change the trajectory of people’s lives as their changed minutes affected hours affected days, etc.  When I hear old family stories, really any stories, I am reminded of that way of thinking.  Perhaps Frank’s only intention was to take up the challenge of landing the hard-to-get girl, (perhaps not, I have no idea but I like to think about it) yet that resulted in many many wonderful lives, and how funny if he knew that he was written about in a book, so many years later.  All a reminder to live as consciously as possible, a great perk of this job.

 


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