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Pietro, Pina e Maria
Marilena ricordiamo sempre la tua gentilezza e simpatia – tanti cari e affettuosi Auguri
Floriana e davide
I hope you enjoyed your birthday yesterday. Thank you as always for your love and encouragement.
Madam Manfrè, happy birthday to you, enjoy yourself and
I hope to meet you soon in Ustica!!!
X Signora Marlene ,
Dalla Germania i migliori auguri di buon compleanno.
Happy Birthday ! Michelle and I wish you a very beautifull Birthday that you may spend with your Family, kids and grandkids, in peace, serenity and Joy.
We wish a very happy birthday to this two beautifull twins : Chloe and Olivia Robershaw ( Manfre’ ).
Michelle, Agostino Caserta
[ id=6519 w=320 h=240 float=left] GOD SMILED ON US TODAY !
This is the perfect comment after a day so blessed by God. Who else could have given us perfect weather, abundant attendance, a home filled with loving family, the best italian food this side of Sicily, beautiful pictures of Ustica, and such special guests from Ustica, New Orleans and all points around Southern California !!
Each of the 65-70 people in attendance are to be thanked for coming and bringing their love of family, but of special recognition are: Pietro and Pina Bertucci for coming from Ustica and giving us the pleasure of their company and information, Maria Compagno coming with them from New Orleans to add her perfect Tirramisu and southern hospitality, Chris Caravella and wife Pam also from New Orleans coming to meet everyone and the new “kids on the block”, the Marchese family of 24, related from the Ustica Manfres, Randos and Bertuccis. Then there is my one daughter Valerie, for her excellent and faithful supervision and work in the cucina the entire day, cousin Linda for procuring the projector for Pietro’s pictures off of his laptop computer, and the many new and old Usticesi who brought extra food and drink !!
The new Marchese’s on the Ustica Family Tree ranged from ages 3 yrs. old to Mario Marchese, age 85.
Marlene Marchese Robershaw and husband Ron Robershaw, Hosts of the Southern California Usticesi Reunion, Feb. 12, 2010
Dalla California Laura Marchese Stephenson
What a wonderful time my sisters and I had at the reunion, hosted by our gracious cousin, Marlene Robershaw and her husband, Ron. Meeting Pietro and Pina Bertucci was such an honor. The weather was perfect, the food superb, and the new friendships so warm and genuine. Pietro brought with him lovely greetings from Ustica and pictures of his beautiful homeland. My daughters and I will surely be going to the island of Ustica one day. Grazie, Marlene, Ron, Pietro & Pina.
Living memories, old and new, to meet the memory of places and people, imagine the scents and hear them inside …
In the old island flavors and fragrances of the youngest overseas Ustica, a border and redemption, pride of looking under two flags: the tricolor of the origins and “Stars and Stripes, emblem of a future now increasingly, road of no return.
Two nations are meeting to revive a single country; poignant thoughts echo through the happy clink of glasses and the excited chatter of an enthusiasm that is emotion … What’s in those voices? What they say about those eyes busy to look for others eyes? Why are you smiling at the thought of the sea that imprisons the Black Pearl?
Do not confuse wander through timeless landscapes, roads minute and small houses of a village that was and is your?
The wind bends brittle stems, shake the water, thickens the sea: the same restlessness stirs your mind, feel your traps and pulls you a promise: “Soon I will find you!”
Vivere ricordi, antichi e nuovi, incontrare memoria di luoghi e persone, immaginare profumi e sentirli dentro…
Nei sapori della vecchia isola e nelle fragranze della più “giovane” Ustica d’oltreoceano, terra di frontiera e di riscatto, l’orgoglio di rivedersi sotto due bandiere: il tricolore delle origini e “Stars and Stripes”, emblema di un futuro ormai sempre più presente, strada senza ritorno.
Due nazioni si incontrano per far rivivere un unico paese; pensieri struggenti echeggiano tra il felice tintinnare di bicchieri e il vociare concitato di un entusiasmo che è anche commozione…
Cosa c’è in quelle voci? Cosa dicono quegli occhi indaffarati a cercare altri occhi? Perchè sorridi al pensiero del mare che imprigiona quella perla nera?
Non ti confonde passeggiare tra panorami senza tempo, le strade minute e le piccole case di un borgo che era ed è tuo?
Il vento piega fragili steli, agita le acque, ingrossa il mare: lo stesso turbine agita la tua mente, imprigiona il tuo sentire e ti strappa una promessa: “Presto verrò a trovarti!”
The reunion this weekend in San Diego, California was very special. The warm hearts of the Usticese people were reflected in all of the day’s activities. Pietro and Pina Bertucci traveled all the way to California from Ustica. Other guests, such as Maria Compagno and Chris Caravella, traveled across several states to attend. The mayor and the Centro Studi Ustica sent their kind greetings. Last but not least, the food and new friends made it a day to remember.
I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Ustica and meet distant cousins. More importantly, I appreciated all of the effort that went into organizing the reunion. Thank you to everyone who helped make the reunion possible.
Very good photos! We had a wonderful time. Thank you for inviting us to the Ustica celebration.
Best Regards Always,
Roderick Verbeck – Margaret Prima
Marlene, we like to thank you, your husband Ron, your daughters, son Toni so eager to learn anything about Ustica, and the rest of your good looking Marchese Family for the beautiful party. My wife Michelle has special words for your twins grandchildren : ” They are beautiful golden Angels with blue eyes “.
Dalla California, per il Western Usticesi Fred Lauricella
Che belle parole del Dott. Messina e Vito Ailara. Grazie per i vostri pensieri gentili. Ustica è sempre nei nostri cuori.
Per la traduzione basta cliccare l’appropriata bandiera che si trova in alto a destra …
[ id=2649 w=320 h=240 float=left] WE MISSED THE BOAT –BUT CAUGHT THE BLESSING
Sicily Trip – April 2010
By Marlene Robershaw
Missing a boat departure off of the Island of Ustica (Isole di Ustice) in the Tyrennian Sea, allowed God to bring my son Tom and I a beautiful Blessing.
Before leaving for a planned 9 day trip to the family ancestral city of Palermo, Sicily, Tom had found a website about the beautiful Island of Ustica, located about 1 ½ hours off the port of Palermo. The island of Ustica is situated about 67 km north of Palermo Sicily. Beings this was his 1st trip to Sicily (my 3rd), I wanted him to really see everything he wanted, so we added it tour our list.
As the time got closer to leave, I was preparing my paperwork and decided I should bring copies of our ancestral history in Sicily. As I was looking closer at the documents, I discovered for the 1st time, that one of our great, great, grandmothers, Maria Manfre, was born in Ustica. It was a small notation on her marriage certificate, to Salvatore Anello, I had never noticed. When I shared that exciting news with Tom, he felt it was a sign we should go.
So far, during my last 2 visits to Palermo I had been admitted and walked the gardens of the Villa Tasca, great, grandmother’s family, the Anello’s, had worked as gardeners. I had spent many miles walking up and down Via Vittorio Emanuele , the main road in Palermo that all of our ancestors would of used to go to town, up the hill to the famous Monreale Cathedral and to the port where they left for America in 1900-1903. The Cathedral, like most of the historical structures in Palermo, was constructed in the 1100’s.
This trip would therefore include the Ustica Island, but just for the 6 hours round trip via boat schedule. There was a lot to see in just the 6 days left for sightseeing when you deduct all the flight time. I came prepared with the document containing the Ustica birth notation. I had found information that the Municipal office had birth certificates back to the 1700’s. When we got there we found the office, but alas, they only have records back to 1820, and great, great, grandma Maria Manfre was born in 1816.
When you can’t find information in civil records, step #2 is church records. This was going to be easy, only one church on this small Island. However, the church and Padre were busy that day with a funeral at the church, then the cemetery. Oh well, we did get in 2 long treks up Ustica’s mountains and saw Bronze age sites and tombs, and fortresses.
We arrived at the dock to wait for the boat early, after all, this is our only transportation back to Palermo, our hotel and suitcases. We wondered why no one else was waiting for the boat. We waited and waited, till about ½ hour after it was due. I had round-trip tickets and they showed 3:00 pm, and it was now 3:30 pm. How can someone sell you a ticket and then not send a boat ?? Little did we know that the 3:00 boat is way at the other side of the island where we had no access to, used for cargo and cars, plus we were not informed about this detail.
We were desperate and I was heartbroken. We had no clothes or belongings for spending the night. We approached the first people we saw, some restaurant owners fixing up there store. They were very calm and helpful and assured us we could get a ticket at the ticket office in the morning and catch the morning boat out. They helped us get a hotel room and even drove us there. As we approached the hotel, which was one block from the church, I noticed the Padre out in front talking with townspeople, he might be available.
We registered and as Tom got settled in our room, I went to see if I could get a word with the Padre. Padre Lauro Vattuone was so helpful. He informed me that the files were not easy to access. I offered to leave some money and my address so someone could send me the document later if ever found. But Padre Lauro told me that we needed to get this done before we left in the morning. He said he had a friend that might help him look it up, and come back in 10 minutes.
Tom and I were there in 10 minutes, sat down, and in just a few more minutes, the Padre and his friend appeared. I will never forget his words, Padre Lauro said “ God has smiled on us today, we found the birth certificate.” Wow, what a miracle, and in such a short time. The record shows the parent’s names, name given to the baby, and the padrini (Godparents.) It turns out that the Padre’s good friend Vito is the town historian and one of the former mayors. He has a historical office with all the old pictures and history of Ustica, which we later visited.
Next, Vito announced he had a surprise for us, he ushered in a lady and introduced her as the “last” Maria Manfre. She is our cousin, coming from the same line of ancestors. We met her and her daughter and some of her grandchildren. She then invited us to her house, where we met her sister Rosa and cousin Pietro Bertucci. We had coffee and Italian rolls, and a lot of fun talking with them in our partial Italian and some English. All was understood, “capisco.”
Pietro Bertucci worked in NATO (S.H.A.P.E. – Belgium) while General Haig was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and had served in the Italian Air Force. We all exchanged addresses, emails, websites, and blogs.
What a thrill to be connected with these descendants of a great, great grandmother that gave birth to my great grandmother, Rosalia Anello, in 1845. What we thought was an inconvenience was God’s opportunity to bless us. How typical of life. It was a lesson that we will remember. Proverbs 16:9 says “Man plans his way, but God directs his steps.” How thankful we are for God’s direction that day.
Our family has now expanded back and forward. From Great, Great, Grandmother Maria in 1816 to new cousins in this 21st Century on the Island of Ustica. We are now considered “Usticesi”, in fact the Manfres were some of the first people to colonize the Island in the late 1700’s. And add to that information that they were sent from Lipari to help colonize Ustica and keep the Barbary Coast Pirates out.
[ id=2575 w=200 h=200 float=left] Pietro,
I apologize for not writing earlier – – I have been busy at work since I returned from Sicily. It was great to meet you, Maria Manfre and Maria’s family. Visiting Ustica was certainly the highlight of my trip. What a surprise to meet relatives of our great, great grandmother. Ustica is a wonderful place – – the sea, the history and the gracious people. I am definitely recommending a visit to all of my friends and relatives.
By the way, if you, the Manfres or anyone else ever wants to visit Southern California, please let me know. I want to offer to everyone the same hospitality that was given to me.
I am studying Italian every day, so hopefully I can write to you in Italian in the future.
Love and thanks,