I hope this book will find its own little niche' in the history of Manhattan. To make some money wouldn't hurt, and even though I'm not happy where many of my ancestors lie, I gotta accept the fact I'll never have the means to move them as I wished, and they will remain where they are- scattered in cemeteries throughout New York and New Jersey, instead of all together in our old family plot. Fourteen years ago, when I ghost wrote their book, I told them it was up to them to sell their stories. I hear the dead use electronic media as a tool to reach out, but whatever. My work down here was done. Let them use their energy to get back in the shark infested literary waters of marketing and promoting! It's their book!
Irish-Italian-whoever, whatever, whenever, wherever and why- we are all immigrants. Those whose ancestors; or you yourself who may have come into America on ships that cruise, sail by, and pass Ellis Island and the lady in the harbor herself: The Statue of Liberty. Steadfastly, in her cooper gown and sandals, she still stands there welcoming the weary in mind, body and soul dreaming of being able to breathe free. With her beaconing lamp to light the way safely onto her American shores she guides them as they take refuge in a new world .
Many of my ancestors landed on the docks of a much more beautiful, older skyline that was long ago Manhattan Isle, that is on the borough of Manhattan. And that's where I was born, in Chelsea between 8th and 9th Avenues. NY is where I will die.
All I have are my old family tales to tell. If you like to read; just to read, this is a good book to start your day. We all share one common thread that connects us as beings of Earth, the milk of inhumankindlessness. We see it, we feel it every day. Many of us turn away, but some fight to survive it. "Sadie" is s story of survival.
I got the Irish gift of gab, what can I tell you? Though, my DNA covers most of the seven continents, I was raised to believe- with conviction- I am exactly 75% Italian and 25% Irish. I was brought up with more attention paid to St. Paddy's Day, corned beef, cabbage, shamrocks, leprechauns, the wearing of the green, and shalaleighs. Sometimes, green mashed potatoes and a nip of beer were added treats.
Each year it was told to me, along with the folklore of Ireland, we were Irish Catholic raised. Period. But Columbus Day and other Italian traditions were thrown in the mix to keep it fair. I also knew, through the bible and other good books and science, my species grew out of Africa. But few of their generation dared acknowledge 'it'.
All I ever knew was my Irish-ness. My Italian side was dark, literally and figuratively, but I loved it and all the loving people with heavy Italian accents who scared me. I had to listen closely and found them hard to understand, but! I grew up around typical New York talkers: I'm fifth generation on my mother's side.
I have come to learn my 75% and 25% split is 'actually' 48% Italian and 38% Irish, 2% African and they were just the tip of the iceberg! What else was I going to learn from spitting into a glass vile? And it didn't even cost me a penny for the opportunity to dig deeper into my true roots: thanks to the generosity of a newly confirmed blood relative, Roddy. I was shocked and flabbergasted to learn there was more to me than meets the eye. I'm complicated, and my light blue-green eyes, pasty skin and red hair are lovin' this journey.
They say, "One picture is worth a thousand words." This picture inspired 60,000 for me. Look into the eyes of these children. SADIE is their story, and a tale of the building of Manhattan. Discover what it was like in their day to be raised in the belly of the beast called poverty. For these children, and all the children who came before them, Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, and the Tenderloin districts were their playground.
Join Anna, my mom who is sitting on the step holding her little brother Ralph's hand, and their sister, Regina, standing behind them in the doorway and looking so soulfully at us with those big expressive eyes.
As for the man, well, who knows who he is. Maybe he's just a man who came in and out of their lives-- as other men had done before.
Sit there and be counted...