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The Calabrian coastline

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It is one more hour south to Cosenza, five behind us out of Rome by train. David and I have hooked up in Rome with our two aunts, Loretta and Teresa. Salerno, then Naples whiz pass behind us. The fading light in the sky colors the clouds pink, then red and purple, like colored streamers above the Thyrrenian Sea. We rock and sway onward, my brother and my father's two sisters, into the Italian hillbilly heartland.

We've arrived in the land of our father, our forefathers and foremothers, and theirs, too. Once in Calabria, as the introductions begin, I soon become thoroughly befuddled as to who is a blood relative. The family ties criss and cross here, where Imbrognos, Napolis, Lupanos, Fazios, all intermarried. Too-many oil-thick espressos in teensy white ceramic cups keep me awake in the jet-lagged evenings. I scribble and ponder, soaking up something that is not quite knowledge. More like music, a tune exotic yet familiar.

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