Thursday, June 16, 2016

A New Cousin Appears, Part 4

Read A New Cousin Appears, Parts 1, 2, and 3


A Father's Gifts

Vinni continues his story:

I have gotten more than I had ever hoped for when starting on my journey for my family.  I am so thankful and so delighted with the response of everyone involved!

The first things I received were pictures from Bill and Clair.  They were of [Vinni's Aunt] Delia's wedding.  They were special because they showed my father as a young man.  I am so glad I saw him first in this stage of his life.  Quite a handsome guy indeed.  As I stated earlier, my sisters were both able to pick him out in each photo immediately.  

Delia Mallozzi weds William Zarges, Sr., July 1947
in Stamford, Connecticut.
The wedding party is shown on the front lawn of the family home at 83 Wilson Street.
From the left: Mary, Frances, William, Delia, Alessandra (mother of the family), Gennaro, Vincenzo (father of the family), Filippina, and Amalio (Vinni's father)

Then came the picture of him playing the accordion.  In the beginning I was hoping to just see a picture of the accordion.  But here he was, playing it!  Then more pictures of him at much later in life in casual pictures with family.  I can see myself so much in those pictures.  Sometimes I just sit and stare at them.  My 2nd cousin, Lori T, gave me pictures of my grandmother and grandfather and a picture of Amalio when he was in the military.  I have those pictures framed and hanging in our bathroom.  I very much enjoy them.

Brothers in the military, WWII: Amalio (left) served in the Pacific; Phil (right) served in Europe

Amalio in the garden
Wilson Street, Stamford, Connecticut

Next came the songs and publishing.  This gave me a good reason why I am who I am.  My sister always called me a free spirit.  Well, I guess maybe.  I think she just recognized that I was much different than all of them.  I have always had music going on in my head.  I don't think anyone really understood that.  However, Amalio would have understood.  My favorite of his music is When I'm Out Dancing With You.  It has a Big Band sound to it.  Funny thing is even when I was playing Rock on guitar I always had a bit of Big Band sound and swing to my music.  I sometimes wonder if I heard him play when I was still in my mother's womb.  That is completely possible.  If you think about it, I may have even heard this very song.

Then I met a lady who was related to his wife Adeline.  She was a God-send also.  She talked to me one day on the phone for nearly an hour.  She told me many things about him.  She also stated that "No Way" was he anything like the "Al Mallozzi" I was told of for so many years.  She spoke of a generous, loving man that loved his wife, nature, animals and God.  

She also told me something that broke my heart.  She said that he was always trying to talk Adeline into adopting children.  This one haunts me a bit.  She then sent me two books of his poetry and his very guitar.  I understand the guitar has been in an attic for many years.  Nearly thrown away more than once.  No one knows however, where the accordion ended up.  In good hands, I can only hope.  His guitar is hanging on the wall here in our Nashville home.  I have many guitars being celebrated on these walls.  This guitar, however, holds a much deeper meaning than the others.  And rightly so.  It is the only possession I own that was my father's.  He touched it and loved it.  Need I say more about that?

Vinni and his father's guitar

Now for the poems.  They were all put together by his wife Adeline and named Thoughts and Words by Amalio Mallozzi.  Nancy reads them to me often.  She will read one and then we will sit and talk about it.  These really help me to understand what went on inside his head. I so hoped that he would have mentioned us somewhere in those pages.  But, I cannot find any trace of that at all.  I am reasonably sure he never knew about me.  I think Mom kept that secret from him as well as she kept him from me.  One can only speculate as to why.  Nancy and I think we have it pretty much figured out.  But again, it is only our conclusions taken from the facts we have.  

These poems paint a pretty good picture of a man that loved others and loved God.  My favorite one is Best Friends, a poem he wrote about his Mother and Father. 

Thru sickness and thru pain,
In sunshine or in rain,
The best friends that I had
Were my Mother and my Dad.

Whether in joy or gladness
Or I was lost in sadness,
The best friends that I had
Were Mother and my Dad.

Throughout my years of learning,
Or in periods of my yearning,
The best friends I had
Were my Mother and my Dad.

Through my entire life,
Until I took on my wife,
The best friends that I had
Were my Mother and my Dad.

My years weren't lived in vain,
So I sing this sweet refrain,
The best friends that I had
Were my Mother and my Dad.
~Amalio Mallozzi

Doesn't sound like a deranged, awful, angry person, does it?  I am quite glad that no images matching up to what I was always taught have surfaced at all.  

I have finally come to the place where I realize, I will not be able to meet him in this life.  This took a while.  But I am confident, we will meet in the next.  Until then wondering and imagining will have to do.  The things he left behind for me to find will help to get me thru.  There will be a lot to talk about then.  

And my Mother.  Do I forgive my Mother?  Of course I do!  But I will ask her when I see her again some day, "Mom, what were you thinking?"  I am sure she had reasons for what she decided for me.  I am sure she did what she thought she needed to do.  

I am not perfect and my children with probably say someday, "What was Dad thinking".  Speaking of my children, Adam and Audrey, they are doing quite well and are excited to learn about their Grandfather.  Adam is about to become a father himself.  He has decided to name his son Roland Amalio Smith.  That makes me very happy indeed.

Vinni and Nancy, 1976

Vinni and his son, Adam

Vinni and his daughter, Audrey

Vinni and Nancy

Vinni and his dogs


  1. Clair, I cannot express my gratitude enough for you putting this story together. You did a magnificent job. I read it often. I find that very therapeutic. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and Bill more and more. Vinni

    1. Vinni, this has been an exciting and amazing experience for us, too. I had no idea what would happen when I published the family story about Amalio leaving his little Italian town and coming to America. Who knew that his "lost" son would read it one day and find his missing family?

  2. Vinnie, thank you for sharing this. What an amazing odyssey!


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