Saturday, February 17, 2018

How a Mexican kid with an Italian name grabbed the American Dream

Back in the early sixties my DP folks lived on the wrong side of the tracks in Elora. My family, fresh off the boat, were still learning the lay of the land and getting a grip on the English language. My father worked in a factory and my mother worked as a cleaning lady. We were immigrants on the bottom rung.

Now and then a box would come in the post filled with second hand clothes. It would be a present from our more established relatives in New Jersey. Nice second hand clothes. We looked forward to those gift boxes. Once in awhile Onkel Erich himself would show up at the door. He and his wife Adele had the good fortune to leave the old country before the WWII. If I'm not mistaken he drove a Buick convertible with a ton of chrome.

Later on in the sixties, when our fortunes were on the rise and those gift boxes were no longer required, their daughter Brunhild would come up for summer visits with her Italian-American husband Jack DiNovi. Jack was an authentic Italian dude from Philadelphia who had an accent like what you'd hear on the Sopranos. Huge Phillies fan and all-round great guy. All us kids loved them.

Jack and Brunhild had two kids of their own. Then they adopted a little boy from Mexico. They named him Brett.

Brett DiNovi. Google that name and you'll see what that Mexican, adopted by a German and an Italian, went on to do with his life. He's employing hundreds of people, providing an essential service to society, and winning awards for being a great employer.

The American Dream doesn't get much better than that.

They're not Italians or Germans or Mexicans, of course; they are Americans. But they or their parents were all immigrants.

These are turbulent times in America, and Brunhild must often shake her head at the anti-American slant this blog sometimes appears to take.

I just hope the American Dream can survive the machinations of the parasitic political elite that has the "land of the free" so firmly in its tentacles.

1 comment:

  1. Hi D. Neumann, this is Brett DiNovi. You kind words are inspiring! One thing though, is that I was told I am not Mexican but rather a blend of many other ethnicities.