How I Ended Up in Dublin, Georgia

Ignoring me and my brother’s antics the picture is quite beautiful, and captures the landscape around my house perfectly. (I’m the one being held up while Carter, my brother, is holding me.)

For my Annotated Bibliography, I decided to try something I don’t think anyone else has done yet. At first I was just going to recount and retrace the steps of my lineage to hopefully tell a story about how I ended up living in the middle of nowhere otherwise known as Dublin, Georgia. I still plan to do this, but while brainstorming, I had an idea. What if I pretended that my audience was my grandchildren from the future? Okay, how would that change my paper? I would have to make the story interesting along with being factual, and the best way to keep someone interested is to have them laughing. How else would I keep those brats off their iPhone 25's? This being said, I plan on putting jokes and small jabs at the reader just to keep my story “spicy”, so remember that you the reader are taking the place of my grandchildren and that I am not calling you out personally.

Lets say I already have them wrangled up and have somehow forced them to sit down and listen to my story. How I would accomplished that I have no idea, but just go with it. With all of that addressed, lets dive right on in.

Winsted and Winchester

Shultz-Charette, Virginia, and Verna Gilson. Winsted and Winchester. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2012.

In the late 1800’s my great great grandfather, Michele DiMartino, migrated to the United States from Sicily. He came through Ellis Island like many before him and even more after him. In a foreign land without knowing the language or having the ability to read or write, Michele had to survive. The only way to survive was to work. I know that is shocking to you youngsters, having to work and all. Where he found work would end up being 120.5 miles north east of New York City in the town of Winsted, Connecticut: where the far less than glorious job of building a trolley needed laborers.

The townspeople of Winsted were becoming more and more interested in having a place for recreational fun. The place that became the talk of the town was Highland Lake. The problem was that, like the name of the lake suggests, the lake was higher up than the town. The steepness of the hill discouraged many of the townspeople from making the trek to the lake. The townspeople — proving that Americans were fat and lazy years before the founding of the infamous, but delicious McDonald’s — decided upon building a trolley from Winsted to Highland Lake. Well, if the town is wealthy enough to build a trolley, then surely they could employ people to build this trolley for them. This led to Italian immigrants, one being your great-great-great-great grandfather, to migrate to this town to build the Winsted-Torrington Trolley.

Investment information concerning the construction of the Trolley. Photo credits : The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Volume 70.

Michele DiMartino ended up staying in Winsted after the trolley was completed and raised a large family. Y’all better be thankful that he and his successors were successful here in the United States, or we wouldn’t be around right now or would be speaking a different language in God knows where. So now we need to know why your great-great-great-great grandfather came here to good ol’ U-S-of-A.

The Western Greeks. The History of Sicily and South Italy from the foundation of the Greek colonies to 480 BC

Dunbabin, Thomas James. (1948).

To better understand why Michele DiMartino would leave his native country on a gamble for a better life in America, you would have to understand what was going on in Sicily at the time. To do this, we will have to dive into the history of Sicily. Woah now, don’t fall asleep that fast on me. I promise I will keep it entertaining. And besides, learning about history is fabulous, so sit tight and bask in the glory of learning new things.

Lets start off with a fun fact: Sicily gets its name from the tribe of indigenous peoples called the Sicels. Boom, y’all learned something that quick lets see if we can keep this trend going.

Photo Credits: www.rooms-europe.de

The island of Sicily was blessed and cursed with its location. Smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it has the luxury of beautiful weather, fantastic land, and spectacular natural beauty. Due to all of this, Sicily became a hot spot for invaders looking to take part in this prime real estate. The first major colonization of Sicily from outside forces happened around 700 B.C. by the Phoenicians and Greeks. Next, came along the Carthaginians who would eventually clash with the Romans in what would be known as the First Punic War. With Roman victory in 241 B.C., Sicily became Rome’s first oversea province, which is also a cool fun fact considering how far and vast the Roman empire became.

Sicily throughout the following years would go through countless transitions of power, where more powerful countries/empires would overpower the current one residing in Sicily. I could go into more detail about all of these invaders, but I doubt you kids’ attention spans would last that long. Besides, the most important, in my opinion, of these invaders would have been the Romans for their architectural masterpieces which have stood the test of time in all places they settled. Basically, just remember that Sicily was under constant foreign rule for a very long time. So, with that super brief one sentence summary, let’s move on to the next segment of this story.

Italians around the World: Teaching Italian Migration from a Transnational Perspective

Townsend, J. Dennis. OAH.org. 7 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010.

So you might be wondering where I’m going with this story next. Will I hit y’all with a riveting story about how I swam across a perilous, raging river to save an anonymous child’s cat? Or about the time I stopped a bank robbery by drop-kicking the assailant in the back of the head? Oh, I see you perking up in your seat now. Well get ready to… slump back in that chair because we are diving once more into the history of Sicily. Should have seen y’all’s faces. I’m sorry, but you needed to know ancient history to understand the more modern history. So buckle up and lets do this.

Lets pick up our little history lesson in the year 1860. This was the time period when the Risorgimento moment was in full force. Risorgimento literally means resurgence or revival, which is exactly what the Italian independent states were doing at the time. The states were attempting to consolidate into one nation. Spoiler alert: they succeeded in creating the Kingdom of Italy which Sicily joined on March 17th 1861. This would lead you, I assume at least, to think that this was the beginning for better times in Sicily and everyone lived happily ever after. This was not the case, unfortunately.

After the unification, Italy’s government put heavy focus on modernizing the nation and pushing it to a more industrial nation. That’s all fine and dandy and all, but the problem was the government only focusing on Northern Italy. At the time, Southern Italy was seen as too agrarian to modernize. Since y’all have been paying attention, you would know that where Sicily is righttttttttttt? Well, it’s definitely in Southern Italy in case you spaced out or just quit listening to me. Both understandable. Rude, but understandable. So how did this effect Sicily? Well, they were forced to continue what they were already doing: farming, which at the time was evolving into a plantation system. This led to poor farmers losing their lands due to debt, so rich landowners and/or northern investor bought their cheap lands, which led to a mass majority of the farmers becoming tenant farmers, which led to no middle class and an abysmal economy. Are you starting to maybe see why my great-great grandfather left Sicily? Not to mention the Sicilian Mafia which was just beginning to start up during the same time, but we’ll talk about that later if we have time.

Italian Citizenship from: FATHER — GRANDFATHER

Colella, Nicola. www.italiandualcitizenship.com/id7.htm.

A good story teller is a master of transitioning from part to part in their story. They will do this in many ways with the most common being telling their stories linearly with no backtracking or fast forwarding in time. However, a master story teller, like your lovable grandfather, can jump around in their story, but can keep it flowing by transitioning in nonlinear ways or ways that you might not necessarily think of first. Also, I don’t want to hear your lies about how I’m not a master story teller, because I am, no discussion needed or will be allowed.

The process of becoming an Italian citizen without being born in Italy is call “jure sanguinis.” Jure sanguinis literally means by law of the bloodline. In case you’re wondering, if you’re granted citizenship at birth, it is called jure soli AKA by law of the soil. The more fun facts you know, the better. Anyways, your great grandfather actually became a citizen of Italy along with his already existing citizenship in the United States. He did this through jure sanguinis as you probably already guessed, but what you probably didn’t know was that he was only able to become a citizen of Italy because his grandfather never became a citizen of the United States. Can you guess who I’m talking about? Yes, it’s Michele DiMartino; y’all are so smart. I already mentioned it before, but it can’t hurt to reiterate things with you goofs. Michele DiMartino not only never learned to read or write, he also never became a citizen of the U.S. Quite frankly, it’s amazing that our family has blossomed from such a humble beginning.

My Grandpa and myself featuring some mean graduation hat hair.

Italy is a ‘Dying country’ says minister as birth rate plummets

The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 Feb. 2015, www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/13/italy-is-a-dying-country-says-minister-as-birth-rate-plummets.

So you might be wondering why Italy allows fairly easy access to becoming a citizen in comparison to becoming a citizen of the U.S. which requires a person to meet eligibility requirements, be a legal permanent resident, and then must pass the United States Naturalization test. For Italy, you just have to prove that your bloodline comes from Italy, but why make this so straight forward?

To answer that question, you have to look at how Italy as a country is doing as a whole. To be brutally short, Italy’s economy has been struggling for awhile now. I’m no economist so I won’t pretend to understand why they are struggling, but I am a curious man armed with the power of Google, and I found something interesting. In 2014, Italy’s birthrate was the lowest its been since the formation of the Italian state in 1861. That fact coupled with the life expectancy for Italians averaging 80+ years for both men and women. This would lead to a declining population with the people living longer, meaning there would be less younger citizens to pay for older generations healthcare cost, pensions, and the likes of that.

The hardest region hit by this would be the southern regions with their population shrinking the fastest out of all of Italy. This can most likely be attributed to their per-capita gross domestic product being much lower than their northern neighbors. Just another reason to be thankful your great-great-great-great grandfather left Sicily.

Taking that all into account you can start to see why Italy would have such relatively relaxed citizenship laws in place. It’s an attempt to bolster their countries ranks to fix their declining population problem. Nonetheless, I highly doubt my grandpa had any of this on his mind when he was going through the process of becoming a citizen. He grew up with a strong Italian presence in his life. To him, becoming a citizen was to become closer to his heritage.

Boston College Fact Book 1981–1982

Office of the Financial Vice President and Treasurer. November, 1982.

So you might be wondering why I keep starting off different sections of this story with the same intro of “So you might be wondering…”,or maybe you didn’t even noticed. Am I that unoriginal? Is it an accident? No and No. This is an elaborate plan to transition into the next leg of this fantastic story. It’s called repetition, youngsters, and it was something my mother and grandpa used quite often.

My grandpa was a structural engineer, so he understood a little bit of math, you know, just a little bit. His lovely daughter, my mother, inherited roughly negative 10 percent of his mathematical prowess. So every night she had math homework, she and grandpa would sit down with a box of tissues and would repeat math problems over and over and over. Thankfully, my grandfather was a patient man, and through the power of repetition, she was able to get though her classes and actually finish very close to the top of her high school graduation class. Now, how much of that math stuck with her over time? Not a whole lot. In her own words she, “couldn’t do seventh grade math if her life depended on it.” Thankfully, my brother and I never struggled in math, because she wouldn’t have been able to help.

My mother would go on to attend Boston College in 1981 and would graduate four years later in 1985. Nothing too crazy about that. However, the crazy thing comes from the cost of her tuition. You see, back in my day, if I wanted to go to Boston College I would have had to cough up 50,480 buckaroos. To put that in perspective, my mom was paying 13,976 dollars. Even if you account for inflation, it would only put her cost up to 37,336 dollars, which is still 13,144 bucks cheaper. I tell you what, this economy has been going down my whole life. Nothing but crooks and incompetents running this once great nation. Why I oughta… the story? Oh yea, sorry about that. Very wise of you for speaking up there’s no telling how long my rant would have been.

Ground‐penetrating radar investigations into the construction techniques of the Concordia Temple (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy)

Barone, P. M., et al. Archaeological Prospection 14.1 (2007): 47–59.

So how about ancient Roman and Greek buildings? They’re awesome, right? Well, they are whether you like it or not. Y’all know how your grandpa’s scatterbrained brain works. I briefly mentioned their architectural masterpieces earlier and thoughts of their buildings have been manifesting in my mind ever since, so I gotta jabber about them now. Don’t worry; it’s not too far off topic, considering mine and my grandpa’s occupations.

The temple was named after Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony. Consisting of six by thirteen columns 20 feet tall and standing on a foundation of four steps, the temple is massive. Constructed around 440–430 BC., the well-preserved temple still stands today in Agrigento, Sicily. This truly attested to how advanced the Roman’s architectural and engineering skills were for their time. I think another thing that draws me to ancient buildings, such as this temple, is their legacy. Knowing that I can help design/construct something that will last longer than I will is just another reason I became a civil engineer. I can also say with a fair amount of certainty that this same thought crossed my grandpa’s mind when he was deciding to become a structural engineer.

Temple of Concordia, Photo Credits: Itialia.it

Now, what is interesting are the techniques the Greeks and Romans used for constructing these timeless creations. I’m going to stray away from where your initial thoughts of uprising these massive pillars or crowning the structures with their roofs, all of which was probably done with elaborate pulley systems and slave labor. What I found more awesome was their creativity in building materials and how the architects could always blend them together, as if the building just fell from the sky in one piece. You see, around the year 2006, curious people wanted to know how the walls and pillars were created. The assumption all along was that the walls were made of an outside layer of bricks and various grouting materials. So they used some fancy-schmancy ground penetrating radar and found out that the common assumption was actually wrong. The Greeks and Romans actually used mostly surrounding natural terrain to construct these temples. Basically, if there was any large rocks that could be dragged to the building site to be reshaped or refurbished into something useful, it was used. The other discovery these ground penetrating radar tests found out that some of the parts of these temples were simply carved out of existing landscapes (usually the foundations). You could never tell by looking because of how well they blended everything together to form these amazing structures.

Anyways, y’all know me, I can jabber forever about stuff I find fascinating. So I better stop now or I’ll never stop, and we would never finish this story.

The Godfather

The Godfather: Part One. Paramount/Alfran, 1971.

My personal favorite scene in the movie.

Alright, alright to compensate for my boring tangent about old temples, I will reward y’all by jabbering about the Sicilian mafia. And what better way to do this than by talking about The Godfather, a fantastic, classic film. Wait, what? What do you mean you’ve never seen the Godfather? You kids are literally spitting on your Sicilian lineage by not seeing this movie. I’m kidding, I’m kidding that’s just the reaction I got when I told people I hadn’t yet seen the movie. It was for good reason, however, because the Godfather is a masterpiece. Seriously though, watch the movie.

Anyways, the movie starts out with an iconic scene of a man begging Vito Corleone for him to serve justice to some guys who raped his daughter. Vito is the head of one of the five Mafia’s running New York, so you know he has the power to make people disappear. What you quickly get from the scene is that Vito is a man who values respect and friendship, because he is originally offended that this man is asking him to do this out of necessity and not out of friendship. This leads to the man having to backtrack and ask him for this favor as a friend. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, I’d bet a thousand dollars you’ve seen that scene copied and pasted into another movie or show. The scene does an excellent job of setting up how the Sicilian Mafia ethics worked, if you can even say that. They only trusted family members and relatives. Friendship and trust was also a pivotal part in their foundation.

The Godfather makes excellent parallels to the actual Sicilian Mafias, and accurately depicts Sicily in part of the movie. Since the movie is based right after the second World War, the mafias were running illegal gambling, clubs, and prostitution rings. They accomplished this through buying out judges and congressmen to overlook their illegal businesses. This was no different than how the Sicilian Mafias worked when they were getting started up in Sicily. Also, there was a time during the movie where Michael Corleone had to flee to Sicily until the coast was clear in America again. The scenes really captured Sicily’s natural beauty and how poor Sicily was and still is. Every house looked to have been created centuries ago. Also most of the roads appeared to be old Roman roads or just plain dirt roads.

With that out the way, it’s straight business from here. We’ll zoom right through these last few parts of the story and y’all can go back to your facechatting and snapbooking, or whatever you kids do now-a-days.

The effect of social support and the work environment upon burnout among nurses

Constable, Joseph F., and Daniel W. Russell. Journal of human stress 12.1 (1986): 20–26.

After graduating from Boston College, my mother became a nurse and joined the Army with a friend. She was eventually stationed in Colorado at a hospital named Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. The hospital was originally a tuberculosis hospital. Tuberculosis is a lung disease that used to run rapid before the times of vaccines, but thankfully to those vaccines, it is a very rare disease now. The hospital has since been torn down and rebuilt since my mum’s employment there.

There was actually a study done at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center concerning nurses. At the time (1980’s) high amounts of nurses wouldn’t stay nurses for long. The study found that out of 310 nurses working at the hospital, 53% of them had some level of emotional exhaustion, which they found to be the leading cause of nurses changing their careers. The major determinants of burnout were found to be low job enhancement AKA autonomy, task orientation, clarity, innovation, and physical comfort. Also the job is just plain stressful.

Now why did I jive about that? Well because, my lovely mother ended up meeting my dad there. Basically, this again proved how lucky we all are that all the circumstances that lead to our creation worked out the way they did. My mum could have been 1 of the 2 nurses that decided to change her occupation which would have led to her not meeting my dad. Thankfully, her strong will powered her through the autonomy and stress.

My dad was a doctor working at the hospital at the time, and by some happenstance, they were set up on a blind date that apparently went pretty well considering they went on to date for the next five years. My dad would go on to serve in Operation Desert Storm in 1990, and when he returned, he proposed to my mom and was married on August 31st 1991. My father ended up getting stationed in Columbus, Georgia and would end up moving to Dublin in 1993.

E:60 The Demaryius Thomas Story- No Doubting Thomas

ESPN, 2013.

I talk a lot of trash about my hometown, good ol’ Dublin. I consistently complain about how boring it was, or how it was filled with rednecks, or my classic complaint of how bad the internet was at my house because of living in the middle of nowhere. With all the resentment I seem to exude about Dublin, you’d think I hated every minute of living there, but honestly, it was a great town to grow up in.

Dublin is the county seat of Laurens County. Located about an hour south of Macon and an hour or so north of Savannah, Dublin is pretty darn close to the center of Georgia. I attended West Laurens High School, and once again to put emphasis on how country this town was, the school literally had a cow pasture right next to it. And back in my day I used to have to drive 25 miles to get to school. C’mon you didn’t think I could tell a full story without saying “back in my day”, but in all seriousness I drove at least 50 miles a school day.

My high school’s one claim to fame was one of its previous students that you might actually know, Demaryius Thomas. Yep the one and only Denver Broncos’ wide receiver. Because of his athletic successes, he helped put Dublin on the map so to speak. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better role model athlete to come from your school. A very humble man who grew up with the odds stacked against him, and instead of letting that beat him down, he got stronger. There are very few people who can continue down the right path after their mother is taken away from them, but Demaryius is one of them.

Dublin

New Georgia Encyclopedia, www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/counties-cities-neighborhoods/dublin.

We’re almost there kiddos. Just hang on just a bit longer and this story will finally end. The only reason it hasn’t ended is because I like hassling y’all and I’m having a blast doing it. So stay with me for like five more minutes.

So I gotta give y’all a super brief history lesson about Dublin. I just gotta. Similarly to the fact that there’s nothing special about Dublin, there isn’t really anything special about its history. Founded on December 9, 1812, the town got its name from Jonathan Sawyer, a merchant and the first postmaster of Dublin, who named the town in honor of his wife’s ancestral home of Dublin, Ireland. The town over the years took this name to heart and to this day the town is decked out in green decor. Also, St. Patrick’s day is a huge celebration every year with lots of activities, fairs, and a parade to attend.

The town actually was almost wiped out because of how well the plantations were doing to the north of the city in the years following the Civil War. However, Dublin’s economy hit its worst in-between World Wars due to the boll weevil infestation which crippled most of the southern United States economy. The boll weevil is a bug that basically ruins cotton crops, so you can see how that would crush the South’s economy. After that Dublin, wisely diversified their economy, and with the creation of Interstate-16, Dublin’s economy has been relatively stable ever since.

And that’s about it. See I told you it wasn’t much, but knowledge is knowledge, so now y’all are that much smarter.

US Army, 2D Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division-Our History.

United States Army

We’re on the home stretch now youngsters. The reason I ended up in Dublin would come down to my father and his military service in Korea of all places. Now, I’ve purposely attempted to keep my dad out of this story because the man literally has done everything in his lifespan. He basically needs his own 30 minute story to just scratch the surface of his experiences.

On June 25 1950, North Korean soldiers invaded South Korea, igniting the Korean War. The United States quickly joined forces with South Korea as an attempt to stop the spread of Communism. At the time, the United States feared something known as the Domino Effect, which was a theory that if one nation fell to communism, the surrounding nations would eventually fall to communism much like a line of dominoes that’s been pushed. After back and forth battling for 3 years, the war ended in a seize fire. This meant that the war is technically not over.

Because the war is still technically not over, troops from both sides still guard the 38th parallel AKA the border shared between the two Koreas. And because of this my dad actually served in Korea in the 2d Infantry Division in 1985–1986. Fun fact the 2d Infantry Division is the only Army division with South Korean soldiers enlisted in it.

My father was on a late night guard duty on what he described as the absolutely coldest night in his life. It wasn’t just cold; it was also windy. Not to mention, it was snowing. So just imagine having to stand in the cold with snow coming at you horizontal to the ground. He’s from Missouri so it wasn’t like he had never been in cold, windy weather. It was just literally that bad. As he was standing there just freezing, his commanding officer approached him with cup of coffee. As he stood there drinking the beverage, the officer asked him what was on his mind, because he had a look of anger and deep thought on his face. After some time, my dad turned to the officer and said, “I’m thinking about living where it never f****** snows again.” The officer, now laughing his butt off, left him there to continue to sulk over his disposition. And that, my grandchildren, is how I ended up in Dublin, GA. My father would complete his residency in Colorado, meet my mother, serve in Operation Desert Storm, get married, and eventually move to Dublin, where I was born in 1996 and spent my entire childhood.

Winding Down the Story

Now, the reason I didn’t go out and just instantly tell you that I ended up in Dublin because my dad blah blah blah is because I want y’all to understand how lucky we all are to be alive. If just one of my ancestors did something different, we wouldn’t be here today, or we might be a completely different person in a completely different place. Not to mention that I’m an old fart, and I have nothing better to do than hassle my grandchildren with stories, which is way better than what I normally do AKA nap all day. But yea, I’m all done; y’all are free to go about technology-ing it up, just try to remember some of this story. Who knows, y’all might want to torture your grandchildren one day.

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