Dear Usticesi friends,
You may not yet have heard the echo of a famous Italian song whose verses sang, “I dream of California, and one day I will come.”
Perhaps Pietro has sung that song and now his dream has come true: an Ambassador of the Ustica identity to the States.
Pietro has done a little like the comets in the firmament do … he has brought positive energy … a message between seemingly distant worlds, and has demonstrated what the Universe truly means … the union between men, and in our case, the union between us brothers Usticesi.
Like all messages carried by comets, the one coming to you today will hopefully return soon to Ustica, because it carries the same energy that moves not only comets, but the whole universe, and that is …. LOVE!
Saluto Centro Studi
First I want to greet and thank Rosa who enthusiastically opened her home to celebrate the presence of Peter, Pina, Maria and all Ustica.
It’s nice to see that the passion and perseverance of Fred and Chris in working with the Western Group has developed into a large family of Western Usticesi.
It makes me think that the path of Peter and Pina is the same one made by our fathers from Ustica to New Orleans and with some going onward to California, another “promised land” and a reference point in the arduous journey to a new life. A land in which relatives and friends were waiting for them to support their great new adventure.
In the nineteenth and twentiety century thousands of Usticese made this long journey. In the half century after 1860, Ustica saw half of its population make that journey. And they carried with them the feelings, memories, the strong link with the homeland and the hope of return. Even relatives and friends who remained on the island had hoped they would return. Most, however, remained in the land of America until they died, but they never stopped talking to their children and grandchildren of the homeland.
These memories and these feelings are now alive in you and in us, and are greatly enhanced by these meetings. It is a sign of your presence in this house to meet Peter and Pina, who bring current news of Ustica, and Maria Compagno who speaks with joy of her childhood memories of Ustica.
Our thanks to Fred for his hard work as he carries out the tasks of coordinator of the Centro Studi of the West. In just a few years, he has succeeded in reaching out to hundreds of Usticesi living in California and neighboring states, and so enlarging the Western Usticesi family.
Feeling close to you at this time, I, along with our the President of the Centro Studi, Franco Foresta Martin, greet you dearly and I embrace you all, individually, with brotherly affection, and with the hope, God willing, of meeting you again in the States or in Ustica.