Michael Muro and I have been in touch since early this year thanks to another cousin and the family history project. After many emails, we moved on to contact by phone and text messages. We both have very involved schedules so the logistics for the meet-up took a while to work out.
We decided to meet for lunch on Saturday, February 25th at the Fraunces Tavern, a historic landmark in Lower Manhattan. The building dates back to the American Revolutionary War and was a meeting place for many of our Founding Fathers. Today the Tavern offers a delicious pub-style menu along with a diverse selection of brews (beers and stouts) and coffees. There is also a museum of American Revolutionary War artifacts on the second floor.
It had been a busy week at work and I forgot to take my 35mm camera so I could be guaranteed some clear, memorable photos. It was then that I also recalled I now had a new Android phone by LG. I decided to take the photos with the cell phone camera and then work them up in PaintShopPro to create something memorable.
I had not seen Michael in many years. He attended the wake for Grandma Josie in 1995 but since I was in such shock at the loss of my beloved Gran, nothing from that time is easy to recall. Michael had such a laugh when I told him that I can recall, as clear as if it was just a few years ago, how we sat together at Grandma Josie and Grandpa Sam’s 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner. The guy I had been dating at the time had already left and the dinner was not through yet. My boyfriend-at-the-time had a long drive back home and his departure was understandable. So there was Michael and I with my Mom and Dad enjoying the atmosphere of Romano’s, an old school Italian restaurant that was located on 13th Avenue near the corner of 70th Street.
I hope you will enjoy the story these photos tell. That I have finally gotten around to posting them on Memorial Day Weekend seems just right. This is more than just a weekend to kick off the start of Summer. It is a weekend to honor the memory of all who have given themselves in service to our country. This does not mean we have a blind patriotism nor a hateful scorn of our past. Instead it means learning from history by taking the events as they actually happened and extracting a meaning from the positive and negative. History teaches us much if we listen to what she tells us and do so with an open mind.
From Brooklyn, I took the R Local train to Rector Street in Manhattan. I thought a long walk from that station down to Pearl Street, where Fraunces Tavern is located, would be good. I worked in the Wall Street area for many years. I wanted to revisit Trinity Church and Federal Hall before I met Michael and Peter. As I recall the afternoon, these first two stops added to the meaning the second part of the afternoon had. This is because as Michael, his cousin Peter and I had enjoyed our time together we celebrated our shared bonds of ancestors from Agropoli and celebrated our heritage as Americans.