Sunday, June 12, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- Nonno Enzo's Diary -- December 2, 1915

Continuation of the translation of my grandfather's diary, which was written at age 15 while he lived in a boarding school in San Gregorio, Catania, Sicily. He was born in Palagonia, Sicily, on November 15, 1900.  For previous posts, follow the trail here and keep going back.

                                               Thursday, December 2 (1915)

Here we are in December, the most beautiful month there is, which reminisces over the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Novena of the Immaculate Conception has already begun -- also a beautiful feast.

Today we went for a walk.

We were led by Don Rasa, our new professor in place of Don Traina. He is a very intelligent young man -- a baby face with a fine and smooth nose, as well as a short person with a happy look about him.  In other words, you could mistake him for a boy.

He came out of the parlor and said: Come on, guys; if you want to go far, you will have to pick up your feet and walk ahead of me.

Arriving at the road, we took a few paces and then deviated onto a rocky road that began to roll beneath our feet.  We headed to Aci Castello, a village on the shores of the sea where the railway passes and the tram that goes from Catania to Acireale. The village is noted for the castle -- well known in history as impregnable; but now its beauty cannot be seen unless it is from one side of the castle. 
Picture of the castle in beautiful
Aci Castello

For a few minutes, we were allowed to contemplate the sea and breathe in a bit of fresh air. The waves formed into breakers, crashing against the rocks of the shore and producing a delightful roar.  In the distance below us, in the middle of the sea, several boats rocked cheerfully.

My classmates and I grabbed some stones and hurled them against a boulder where two letters were cut into it - CG - and I was among the lucky ones to hit the target several times. But the fun was short-lived. We had to return.  We were forced to walk in a single line during the crossing of the small town, so we decided to spread out, some of us going one way and others another way.

The return was very cheerful with singing and talking. In Ficarazzi, we saw a turkey with little ones around her. They were the size of chicks, and I was easily deceived into believing this is what they were (he may mean they did not look to him like turkey chicks but more like chickens). But, finally, we arrived at the boarding school -- weary, yet always rejoicing.

Original diary pages below:

1 comment:

  1. I love your grandfather's way with words. He's so descriptive, like the "baby face with a fine and smooth nose," and the cheerfully rocking boats. I'd love to see his novel.