One day I went to lunch with my grandfather. He is a
big man with large powerful hands and built like a worker even after many
years of no hard labor. He has a deep voice that demands obedience at the
slightest word, yet soft if he wishes. We were sitting at our usual lunch
spot, the 50’s diner and I ask, “ Pup, were you born in Italy?” and he
says, “no, no, I was born here but my father came here from Italy.” This
got me thinking of who his father was and what he did so I asked Pup about
him. He answered me in his usual strong voice, which just came natural.
“My father was a concrete worker and made foundations for houses and
sidewalks. He lived in Avalino, which is towards the south in Italy.
He wanted to come to America and start a family so he got enough money
together and came over.” I interrupted and asked “was he a concrete worker
over here too?” Pup replied, “yes, but he wanted to start expanding his
business. He started building foundations in West Roxbury and he built 90%
of all the foundations of the older homes in West Roxbury. My father then
bid a few sidewalk jobs here and there and bought a few trucks. He kept on
doing well so he kept expanding it. He then started to do roads. He was
only 17 when he came here and he paid for my mother to come here and she
was 16 and they got married.” “They had just my brother and I and we both
liked the business. But a weird thing ended up happening; we both started
our own separate companies apart from each other and my father’s.” I
thought that that was very ironic and wondered why they want to all have
different companies, but I later will find out that it runs in the family.
Pup continues and says, “My father, brother, my cousin, and I bought a
piece of land in West Roxbury and built our first garage there.
Later on your grandmother and I had 3 kids, your father, uncle Paul, and
‘auntie didi.’ (Short for Dianne) Your father is the oldest and he seemed
to know what he wanted to do all his life, work. Your father worked all
the time and he got Paul into it too.” “Your father went to two years of
college and then left cause he wanted to start a business of his own. He
started his own shellfish business and named it Cape Cod Shellfish.” I
already know a lot of this story but I listen as if I never have heard it
before and like I didn’t know what our shellfish company was. The
shellfish company is actually in Boston and my father just wanted it to be
named that. Pup kept telling his story, “ The shellfish company was very
successful and made a lot of money. Your uncle didn’t really know what he
wanted to do, but your father told him to take the company cause he wanted
to start his own construction company like mine.
Your dad and
uncle now own both Todesca EQ. and Cape Cod Shellfish. At one time your
father’s construction company was the top privately owned construction
company in new England, but after your brother’s accident, as you know, he
wasn’t there for 5 years and it fell. (My brother was killed in an
accident 5 years ago) Your father is trying to keep the company alive now
and he’ll do it!” he says this with a commanding voice, with a lot of
confidence and determination to help make it happen.
continues, “But Cape Cod has always been up at the top and now it is the
biggest shellfish dealer in Boston.” By the time he ended the story, it
was time to pay the check and to head home. I think that this was a kind
of a great success story with a very sad ending, but with hope still
hanging on. Not all Italians or any immigrants have that much success as
my great grandfather, his sons, and grandchildren had had. This also
brought a new respect for my great grandfather and a strengthened respect
for my grandfather and my dad. They all also had a huge affect on where we
My great grandfather built most of the foundations
of the older homes in West Roxbury, which is a lot of houses, and my
grandfather and father have paved many roads that all of use drive on
every day, including 495, hypark ave., the CM parking lot and many more.
In that way, they have affected many lives in our area and have had an
impact in our cities today.
Things change every day, every second, but in some places
things change more slowly. Some places are quiet and undisturbed, like a
little place on Weatherbee Dr. in Westwood. I watched it and realized its
beauty and purity. Emerson once said, “I am like a transparent eyeball…” I
felt the same way as I watched this place and saw how it was unchanged day
after day with me there watching it or without me there. Even though I
only have taken notice of this place for the past two weeks, it has been
there the hundreds of times when I passed it by and not take notice of it.
I was leaving my house and had many things on my mind, I needed a place to
think and be alone. Walking down the street for only about 100 feet I come
to a little corner of land that is peaceful and quite. I walk through two
trees side by side and see an open little field, no one around, and warm.
Forgetting for the moment why I came to the place and looking around I
notice birds in the trees, a car passing once in a while and feeling the
soft green grass with my hands as I sit there and I start to think, this
is what nature and America is. It was something pure, someplace where you
could only whisper or the usual hymn would be broken and something foreign
would enter. As I sit there I think of how no one is aware of me or this
place, I’m alone with no loud horns or busy traffic or hundreds of people
walking by on their way to work, just me and nature. It seems that there
isn’t a lot around me and that I am far away from civilization and reality
but just over this little hill or behind the row of trees is my house or
This is what an American place should be; it doesn’t have to be someplace
in Washington DC or a place where a famous American battle has occurred,
but a place that no one even notices unless you slow your every day life
down and take a look around you, its that tree in the park that no one
pays attention to or that field down the street. As I watched this little
corner of untouched glory each day and respected it for just being there,
I noticed that it didn’t change every minute or even every day and that is
doesn’t have to be seen and admired to be as American as it is.
Many places like this have been ripped up and built on for homes or for
cities. These places are special but they aren’t as pure and beautiful
many times. These quite places are special because this is what America
originally was. They are special in a way that they bring back the feeling
of being with nature and being connected to it, not being between
buildings or under a roof. Not many people take the time to stop and look
around but it is the places like this that makes life worth living and all
the troubles because without places like this, there would be no place to
get away from reality and relax. With all the stress and craziness in the
world today, everyone needs to take time to think about what’s happening,
because people are forgetting what it is about to be united. Nature is
peaceful, nature is pure, we should whisper now and take lessons from
nature, like how to live in harmony with others even if they are
different, because without it life is too hectic and life just gets
Jared and Chris are good friends and they
have known each other all their lives. They are always doing things that
are dumb and are very funny when they are together. One day Chris shows up
at Jared's house,
"Hey Jared, what's up?" Chris asked Jared as he opened the door.
"Not much, just chillin and waitin for you to get here!" Jared replies.
As Chris starts to walk through the door, Jared stops him and starts
pushing him back. Jared tells him "woah-woah-woah, lets go get somethin to
eat I'm starvin, you know the pleasant?"
"Yeah, I'm starvin too and they have awesome pizza, lets go." Chris
answered as Jared pushes him out of the way to walk to the car.
As they got in the car and headed out of the driveway, Chris realizes that
he doesn't remember exactly how to get there so he asks Jared, "wait, you
know how to get there right?"
"Yeah I do" Jared answers
"Don't lie, I don't want to get lost and you could get lost around a
rotary!" Chris tells Jared as he laughs.
Jared laughs and tells Chris, "yeah, I know how to get there, you go by CM
and its down that street a little bit."
"OK, then lets go" Chris said with a suspicious smile on his face like
Jared wasn't too sure where they were going.
They passed CM and were heading down that street for a little while and
Chris notices that they are coming to a rotary and he knows that that's
not on the way to the pleasant. "Dude, we went the wrong way didn't we?"
looking at the unfamiliar rotary.
"Na ahh..." Jared says sarcastically.
"Ya haa, this is the wrong way" Chris says mimicking Jared.
Jared sharply replies, "you know what we had to take that road back there,
that's what we did wrong!"
Chris answers very confused with a comical tone in his voice, "what.. WHAT
ROAD!" Chris pauses as they both laugh then continues, "You better call
your dad and find out how to get there."
Jared answers, "No, its that road back behind us.." still with an unsure
"Oh ya, that one with the 2 yellow lines down the middle of it?" Chris
answers sarcastically and they both laugh. "Call your dad!" Chris says
Jared agrees and calls his dad, "dad, isn't the pleasant down the road
next to CM?"
"No, what is wrong with you, you know its down by Todesca's garage!"
Jared's dad says.
Jared gets off the phone with his dad and says, "I knew I was right!"
Chris looks at him all confused and surprised.
Jared continues, "We had to make a turn behind us.. way back by route 1.."
Jared pauses and laughs " ya, we have to go back towards CM."
Chris laughs, but is laughing at Jared and his stupidity and says, "Ya,
you fruit, I knew we were going the wrong way, its like 11:00 PM and
they're gonna be closed and ya know what? we are going back to your house
and your cooking me!"
When I heard this story I could not stop laughing just because of how well
it fit Jared and Chris when they were together and the dumb things they
do. I'm sure you did too.
Emily Dickinson writes many poems that make you
think differently about things, like death or the world; she tries to put
a deeper meaning into things as well. The poem “Water, is taught by
thirst” is one of these poems. It will draw you to it from the first time
you read it. It brings out a lot of thoughts and feelings, but most of
all; it speaks to the polarizing tendency of the universe.
The name of the poem, “Water, is Taught by Thirst” is a clear example of
the polarity alone. Its saying that you wouldn’t care for water or think
it was a good thing without thirst and needing it or missing it. This is
how she gets you thinking differently and lets you appreciate things that
you wouldn’t regularly notice or think about. She changes how we take
things for granted and makes us think more deeply about an every day thing
Dickinson uses a more puzzling example to end the poem. The last line of
the poem is “birds, by the snow” this is a very difficult line to
understand and that’s how she draws your attention to it. It means that
birds are gone so quickly and that we don’t have a lot of time to
appreciate them, where snow lays there and we have time to watch it, it
doesn’t disappear suddenly and we appreciate it more. It shows you that
things do not last forever and if you rush all the time your going to miss
them. She makes you think and opens your mind to new opportunities to
She condenses her meaning into tersely written lines. It is only a
six-line poem and it has as much meaning and thought in it as a 60-line
poem. This poem is short and the way she gets to the point and makes the
poem easy to read makes it more appealing to you and even though it is
easy to read, it is deep and it will change you as would a large complex
poem. By using this method she is making you think deeper to get the full
meaning out of her poems.
By making you think differently, it proves itself to be a great poem, for
that is what a good poem should do. If you stop reading and you have tears
in your eyes, a smile on your face, or marveled at what you just read,
that is a good poem and when you stop reading this poem you will have a
smile on your face because of the new way she portrays everyday things.
You will smile at the pure amazement that just a little thing given a
twist can teach you about life and how to live it. She takes something as
simple as birds and snow and makes them mean something more and connects
Sports are very important and helped build today's
society. Sport is something that you can compete in and prove yourself in
competitions with others that you are better or more skilled in that
competition. Sport also is something we do that we can spend a lot of our
time doing because we enjoy it and we want to get better at it. An
important part of sports is that you can be really good at them but you
can never be too good or perfect at them. No matter how hard you try you
cant perfect any sport, but you can be the best. This is a big part of
America because I believe that Americans like to know they are the best
and always strive to be the best in anything they do. Americans often try
so hard to be the best in work or in sports that they don't relax enough,
but some sports can be relaxing as well as competitive. Golf is growing in
popularity as it comes along with its growing competition and relaxing
quality to it.
The best modern golfer is Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods is only 26 years
old and golfers, unlike many sports, stay good, as they grow older.
Sunday afternoon, Aug. 18 2002, on the 18th green of Hazeltine National
Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., in the final round of the PGA Championship,
Tiger Woods will become the first player to complete the modern Grand Slam
by winning the four major championships in one year. Nobody has ever done
it. But nobody has ever been as good as Tiger Woods is. Woods has won the
four majors in a row. The 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the 2000 British
Open at St. Andrews, the 2000 PGA at Valhalla and the 2001 Masters. He was
the first to do it. He didn't win another major all year. He was waiting
for last week to finally start up again. When he did, he won the first
major of the year without having any real competition. He has something to
play for; he wants to be the first golfer to get a grand slam. He won his
first Masters in 1997, but that year he wasn't good enough to win the U.S.
Open on the narrow fairways at Congressional. After winning his second
Masters last year, he was too tired to win the U.S. Open. The third time
will be his big chance to prove himself. "'I've done four in a row
before,' Woods said on Sunday night, before the first member's toast to
the champ was made. 'It would be nice to do four in a row in one year.'"
My Grandfather is a very dedicated amateur and likes to play it
whenever he can with friends or family. When asked why he liked this sport
he told me, "it is the only sport I can still play and be good at and
because it's fun and relaxing." This is a common answer for many people
that play it that are older and for the younger crowd that plays it I
asked my cousin Paul who also is an amateur. He said, "golf is fun to do
with friends and it is challenging and it's also the only sport that you
don't have to run around." These people play gold often and the age
difference is very large but they both have good times playing golf and
they often play together as well. This also proves that amateurs can have
a good time and don't have to be awesome to do it either. I asked my
grandfather why he thought this sport was American and he said, "its
American because its something that we do so we can spend time with
friends and have fun and getting closer is an important thing that America
needs. This sport helps us do this" I think that it also gives older
people something to do and keeps them active. (Todesca)
Critics like Bill Reynolds often are commenting about Tiger Woods. They
tell people how he's doing and what he does that makes him so great.
Reynolds says, "Tiger Woods is the new sports icon. More importantly,
everyone seems now to be playing golf. The guys in the office. The guys I
play pickup basketball with. Everyone." They often analyze the sport and
say what is going on overall with it. They like to say thing about
specific people and then after they do they go into a broader scheme and
say how it might affect you. Critics are usually annoying or great and
this is one of the great ones. Some only criticize and don't add anything
or tell a story and make something of it. Reynolds adds important
information about his story and often connects his story to his own life
in some ways. Critics Americanize the sport as well making people more
aware of it and letting more people get interested in it. (Reynolds)
This sport as been Americanized because we took this sport and became the
best we could at it as we do with everything we do. We have also created
the most beautiful golf courses in the world as well as having the best
golf players in the world. Many Americans are taking up with sport for its
relaxing quality and social interaction it allows. People even have
meetings with business associates while playing golf. Because golf has
turned into being so popular in America it has been Americanized and is
starting to be associated with America. This sports popularity explains
Americans obsession with trying to be the best and working hard to get it
done. It also shows our need to relax and have fun. This sport for many
people is just fun and play to get outside and be with friends. It shows
that we like to socialize and be together in groups and that tells a lot
about America, not only the competitive side, but the social side of
America and the closeness we have and strive for with friends.
This is one of the few sports that you can be really bad at and have
just as much fun as the guy who is really good at it minus the money
professional players get paid. It is also one of the very few sports that
older people play and younger people play. Many times the older people are
better at this sport, which is very unusual compared to other sports. This
unique sport and Americans liking it so much helps explain our uniqueness
from other places. Our natural striving to be the best, drawn to social
interaction, playing in groups, being competitive, love for relaxation,
and uniqueness are the defining characteristics of golf and they are given
to us when people see us play and love this sport.