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It is Oct. 22, 2003. Over the wide ocean we rocket east. Below, countless whitecaps froth the ocean's surface as we pass 30,000 feet above. If I could peer 75 years into the past, I'd see down there a ship churning west, bearing my grandfather, Eugenio Imbrognio, from Calabria to America. The ship is called the Guiseppe Verdi. I learn this from ship manifests from the 1920s, kept in Ellis Island computers. I would see down there another ship plowing the Atlantic about five years later. I don't know this one's name. But it bore my Grandma Caterina Napoli Imbrognio. She traveled as a solo parent with three children, all boys, in tow. One was a four-year-old, my father.

The vision disappears. The ocean erases all signs of the countless paths across its trackless face. Rome comes at last. Goodbye, America, ciao, Italia. We have traveled 3,120 miles this night.

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