My mother and fathergrew up in the 1970's in Mt. Vernon ,New York. I always heard stories of how great things were, you know the typical "Back in the day" mess.High school sweethearts they were and they wanted nothing more than to be together and they would have there way,except for one thing. My mothers family, you see they were italian's, some second and third geeneration living in the same house their fathers father lived in.Well there was an understanding as I have come to find out that if you were to fall in love someone they had to be possibly Italian-American,Catholic,and the utmost important thing of all is you had to know there family,where they came from what there parents did what the house looked like inside and out and if there any signs of mental disease noticed.This information needed to be known by your parents in the first date my mother tells me. Why you ask is this important,well my father is black,thats right African-American.Im talking afro,bellbottoms and a pick in his hair black. My mother just couldn't resist thee dark meat, I tease her about that till this day. The romantic thing about this story is that they lived acrosssed the street from each other growing up. So their freindship was no secret,but there love was. As kids they hung around each other's cousins and were a force to be reckoned with and they caused terror on the streets. Now my mother's father and her uncles knew she had black,hispanic,irish,polish friends.New York was a melting pot,but it was okay to hang out with kids from different walks of life. Under no circumstance though were you to be more than friends,it was forbidden. Now my aunt knoew of thee relationship between my mother and father and keep it a secret until both of my mothers parents were gone. When they passed Mom told her family she was moving to the south to go to college,but we know that not is how the story goes. She snuck down here with my father to get hitched. Why is gods name do you move to the south in the early eighties to have a interacial relationship.
I wanted children mom said,I didn't want anyone in my family to treat you different.My aunt and here friends would visit me and my sister often and send cards and we would go on vacation together. One day mom got some bad news that her Uncle Phillip had died,which was one of the most racist and ill tempered man you could meet. She leaves for the funneral and comes back in tears,she explained to me and my sister that we have a slew of cousins and family memebers tthat want to meet us,she had finally told them after nineteen years of secrets and hiding.
It was my aunts 50th birthday party and we had a suprise for her in the back room of her favorite resturaunt in white pains,NY. I thought it was going to be us and a few of her friends at work,but as soon as we turn the corner into the room you hear.SUPRISE!!!! The whole family looked at my aunt for three seconds and bypassed her and then tears are pouring from these perfect strangers eyes. Hugs from grown men, and then pats on the shoulder saying welcome to the family.
We stay in touch till this day and thank god for facebook.