Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mashup * 11:15 Class Fall 2014* Story Project

Here is a sampling of opening paragraphs from the research papers submitted by my 11:15 class* in 2014

It was April 10th 1925 my grandfather Henry DeMarco was born in a little town in Italy called Salento just south of Naples. Salento was on the side of a mountain made up of about three streets and twenty buildings or so, the largest building being the Catholic Church St. Barbra’s. Henry loved growing up in Italy; he had 2 sisters Lee and Esther that he was very close with. At the age of 10, Henry and his family packed up their little Italian home and moved to the United States.

My family has rich history rooted in Tallahassee and Florida State University. Ancestors on my dad’s side were among the original people of Tallahassee. One of my great grandmothers was half Creek Indian. My other grandmother was attended Florida State during the time that it was Florida State College for Women. I have also had both grandparents and father graduate from Florida State. As you can see, my roots are deeply planted in Tallahassee My grandfather grew up off of Tharpe Street when it was only a dirt road....

He had been fighting cancer for about 4 or 5 years and had been cleared for a while, but it had come back and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and told this was probably going to be it. That summer my grandparents had one request, that all of the family would go on a vacation together that summer for their 50th wedding anniversary. We all went to my aunt and uncle’s beach house in St. Augustine, Florida for a week. For that one week, we played on the beach, watched sunsets all together, sang and danced, had meals together as a family, and enjoyed every minute we had together. While we were all there, we reenacted my grandparents wedding and made a tux and wedding dress for my grandfather and grandmother (Granny), out of trash bags, duct tape, and tissue paper.

My family is like one huge puzzle, and without their family the puzzle would not be complete. It’s crazy to know tragedies like this happen and you just have to be in the right place at the right time. But altogether I am telling this story, because this story has taught me so many life lessons and has changed my perspective on a variety of things. I have learned to always keep pushing, and to never back down. I have learned to live everyday like it’s my last. I have learned to always follow my heart, as well as my instincts before choosing to do something. I have learned to go to others in a desperate time in need. And last but not least, I have learned miracles are not handed out very often, and when they are, you must cherish them immensely.
In the year of 1932 on November 9th, Ollie Lee Brown was born to Floyd and Rilla Brown.  He was delivered by a mid-wife in the back room of his family’s small house.  During this time period Ollie’s family and others like them didn’t go to hospitals.  They were either too far away, or there wasn’t admittance for them, or they just couldn’t afford a hospital visit.  He was one of ten children; seven boys and three girls.  Ollie grew up as the son of a sharecropper in the rural area of Enterprise, Mississippi.  His father worked hard for many years and saved until he had enough money to buy a piece of land and build a four bedroom home for the family of twelve.  Ollie’s family was one of a few coloreds who had their own home.
Leaving Lowry Air Force Base which is located in Denver, Colorado was probably one of the saddest moments in my entire life. This was the first time I’d actually been this far away from home, which is Lakewood, New Jersey and Lowry had marked the beginning of my young adult independence. It was two weeks prior to my venturing back to a place that was all too familiar, home, I sat across from my Out-processing Counselor, stunned at the scariest instructions ever given to me. The counselor asked me, “How fast does your facial hair grow?” I replied, “Pretty fast.” She then instructed me to not shave or cut my hair two weeks prior to my flight departure from New Jersey to Korea. Why? Because I would be flying commercial from Newark, New Jersey to Soul, Korea and if there was to be a terrorist onboard, I would be a prime target for ransom. When I asked, “Why me?” she said, “Because you work for Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States which makes you, Government Issued. Well I guess you know, as those two weeks began to approach I was getting all sorts of willies and butterflies in my stomach along with heart flutters. But by the grace of our Creator, I made it. Boy, what a culture shock though.
Tough to fathom that my Grandpa survived two wars. World War II and the Korean War. He was injured in both wars and would receive a purple heart in regards to his battle wounds. In fact, he walked around with shrapnel lodged in the back his neck for the duration of his life. The conditions as he explained in both wars were quite harsh. He said that he and his infantry would dig out foxholes, (a hole in the ground to protect them from enemy fire). According to my father, “Grandpa had to survive in zero degree temperatures in the Korean War. They wore minimal clothing as compared to soldiers today, who are fortunate enough to have new technology that provides better warmth in combat.” This information in fact comes from a man who had been in a few combat situations overseas while serving in the NAVY. He said himself that he was able to wear ‘thick ass’ socks in frigid temperatures to stay warm. My Dad described my Grandpa by exclaiming that, “He was a ‘tough cookie.’ The dude was ‘tough as nails’.” Even though Grandpa was bruised and battered during his wartime battles, and possessed the traits of being a ‘tough cookie’, he was surely a loving Grandfather.

I was born and lived as a Jew in southern Covington Georgia surrounded by bible following Christians, who once experienced the attack, put the bibles down and there hands up. For those that threw their hands up in anger of learning that Japs attacked us on our own soil, there hands were not as raised as mine. I knew what was going on over in Europe and what that piece of shit of a man, Hitler, was doing to my fellow Jewish followers. Now I was taught my whole to never stand aside and let things happen.
My aunt’s passing affected me as well due to the fact she was my favorite aunt.  As a child I always wanted to go to her house and spend time with her because she was always so concerned about what was going on with my brother and me.  I assumed it was because she loved us more than her children but now I know it’s because we lived so far away from the rest of the family in Virginia.  When my mother told me that my aunt had AIDS my first reaction resulted in crying because I knew she was going to die.  Then anger because her and the family kept it from me until she was on her death bed.  At the time she was diagnosed with AIDS there wasn’t much information about the virus therefore there wasn’t much treatment for it either.  I too was guilty of treating my aunt indifferently

My dad worked as a mechanic fixing government owned vehicles, trucks that picked up refugees personal belongings when they decided to flee the country. This was the penalty for leaving Cuba, all of the items you bought, worked for, or that were passed down to you from you from your ancestors, all was seized by the government. Indeed, my father worked for the enemy.
In this day and age many heroes are called upon to preform task that only the brave can achieve.This brave soul that I am going to take you on a journey with is one of the most iconic men that I have known in my lifetime. He is a man of morals, respect, and responsibility. Now, looking at him from the naked eye he isn’t what society would call your topical marine. He’s not 6’3 weighting 235 all muscles with the smile of the american golden boy. He’s more like a short stocky 5’8 guy with a ruff after shave beard, arms covered with cuts and bruises from only god knows what. Dark skin cat with a shaved head and nothing to looses with out a fear in his heart.This man wouldn’t kill a fly, but for the united state he would put his life on the line. In my eyes that’s the true definition of a marine.
To begin with, to first understand my Grandfather you must know what kind of man he was. He was a very kind man he would do anything for anybody, from a perfect stranger to his family he was literally the guy that would give the shirt off his back for someone in need. He always expressed it by his actions and his words. For example, my Grandfather retired as a boat maker, he worked at this Boat garage I suppose you could call it, and one day there was this lady, a complete stranger to my grandpa was looking by a boat that was up high supported by three big rods. Well, one of the rods broke and my grandad moved very quickly, cathing the boat and stopping it from falling on the lady. He saved her from horrific injuries if not death. However, by doing tat my Grandfather broke his back, hurting himself baddly. He had to have a few surgeries and would continue to have problems with his back and be a little shorter than he was. But that is something I will always remember, and it shows what kind of man he was, how caring and compassionate he was. For as long as I remember his eyes expressed kindness when you looked into them. My Grandfather was one of those guys you could not help but love him. Even if you were a perfect stranger you would end uo having a conversation about aything with the guy and walk away remembering him. And yes he would talk to strangers he would be at te store or run into someone, or a resturant, but he always made aquantiences with people. 
A number of years back when we Americans were faced with the horrific crime of the bombing of the Twin Towers In New York City each of us was left to deal with this tragedy in our own way.  Some people were lucky enough to have to deal with this nightmare from a far while others were right in the line of destruction. This one day in time caused life changes that tore a family apart.  The people affected were never the same and would in many cases people lost their belief in everything they once took for granted life. Because in life so many of us have family, friends or relatives that connect with other cities when something happens in one place the impact finds us an hits us head on.  Such as in this case a family friend that was employed in one of the accounting firms that was hit pretty hard survived.  They survived physically but the mental destruction was something they had to live with and cope with each day. 
In a very small community, situated on the top of the big Colombian mountains very far from a big and crowded city is. Where humble but hard working families are always trying to move forward and be successful, but these families are always living in fear that their home and property, the only thing that they have, will be invaded and taken away without their permission.
            The Sanchez family, formed by Manuel and Matilda Sanchez, 38 and 35 years of age, two sons, and one daughter were living and working on their farm. They were growing and picking coffee beans, and beans. Also, they had some chickens, cows, pigs, and goats. They collected and took these products to the closest market to sell them and earn enough money to buy groceries and make a living.
There had been warnings of Hurricane Katrina approaching but we didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Boy were we wrong.
In 1969, my mother and father attended Crystal Lake Junior High School in Lakeland, Fl. They first met in a history class where they were sitting in the second row of the classroom. From then on, they kept talking to each other whether it was school, sports, family, etc.

My mom has always been a freak about her photos. She has bins on top of bins stacked inside of closets of all kinds of photos. She’s like an archivist for our entire family. Every so often my mom breaks out the photos and shakes the dust of them and shares with us little pieces of our family history. On one particular day I poked my head into the garage looking for my mom so she can help me find my phone charger. Everyone knows that nothing is really lost until mom can’t find it. As I was just about to ask her she handed me a vintage photograph of a man. The man was handsome. He had a strong jaw and black slick hair. She told me he was my great grandfather and if it weren’t for him wanting to provide more his family and leaving Puerto Rico we may have never made it to the states. At least not as the family we had grown to be. She must have sensed my confusion because she snatched the photo back and ran inside. I stood in the garage awkwardly and waited. My mom came blazing back out with giant photo album and my dad in tow.
The time was 6:00 AM and the morning was no different than any other. The spaces in between the curtains covering the window were allowing small rays of light to penetrate through into the dark room. Specs of dust could be seen floating in the air as they cross the paths of the beams of light. The room was quiet and all that could be heard was the chirping of birds outside waking up in the trees. Dr. Hiro Nakamra lies in bed and rolls off his side onto his back and stares up at the plain white ceiling. He prays and gives thanks for another day of life, especially with the current war and tensions between the United States and Japan. Dr. Nakamura has never been much of an early riser, but in the recent weeks Hiroshima had been getting warnings of possible air raids by B-29 bombers. Of all the important cities in Japan, only two, Kyoto and Hiroshima, had not been targeted by the B-29s.
It all started on a hot summer day in 1999, my sister and I sister didn’t really get along back then. She was nine and I was three so with the age difference we did fight a lot. On this bright sunny morning my sister and I were being surprisingly nice to each other.

Franklin smith was born on October 28, 1961to the parents of Christine Smith and Eugene Smith.  Franklin is survived by eleven siblings. He has four sisters and six brothers. He was the tenth child which makes him the second youngest. He was born in a very small town right outside of Tallahassee called Havana, Florida. He attended James A. Shank’s high school. Franklin graduated in class of 1979. He enlisted in the Navy shortly after in the year of 1980.
It was just another normal everyday Tuesday.  Everyone woke up to a beautiful morning in September, anxious for the fall weather to come.  In every shop and everyone’s home the televisions would blare the morning news.  It was another humdrum everyday morning, until all of a sudden, like as if from a nightmare, the televisions soon turned to the World Trade Center.   There it stood with smoke pouring from the side.  Not but maybe a few minutes later a plane crashed into the second Twin Tower and threw everyone into shock. 
In between the hail of gunfire across the battlefield, I found myself and other soldiers hiding in the smelly diseased trenches in shell shock. The sight of all of the bloodshed from dying opposition and dead bodies on the battlefield and in the trenches was something most could not even dream of in their worst nightmares. The smell that lingered in the atmosphere from the trenches was so horrible that even a pig would dare step foot into it. I came to a realization that my allies and I were in the middle of a battle to protect our country and there was no time to waste. As the German soldiers began to move in closer to the trenches, an ally who went by the name of “Bojack” tossed two grenades onto the battlefield to buy us some time.
This is a short story about a spunky, limber 97 year old woman’s life from WWI ‘til today. Let me tell you about this ladies journey from Pennsylvania to Tallahassee enduring WWI, WWII, engagement, The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, marriage, Vietnam War, kids and farts.
As I sit on her couch watching her think back to many years ago I notice her outfit consisting of pink fuzzy socks and pink pajamas. She is sitting in a red recliner sipping on red juice with her white cotton hair and I just knew this was going to be a great story. I hurry up and finish my coffee and get my pen, paper and recorder ready. Here we go!
Anyone who knew Billy Dial in the 1930s could tell that he was one of those guys who was really going to be somebody, the kind of young man who could get things done. Although I didn’t know him in the 1930s, I still came to know him later in life as my great-grandfather. I may have only known him for a short amount of time, but I am 100% certain that he was a man who had a vision, and a man who knew what he was doing. 
Once upon a time, there was a cottage that was hiding a secret. It all happened a long time ago and very very far away. Our cottage is such a nice place, where our family could relax on the weekends from the fast life of a city. Many happy, funny, and even sad things happened at that magical place where every kid would like to explore the scary, cold rooms of our basement. Running around, climbing the trees, enjoying the sun, and view from a big hill to a castle that Napoleon Bonaparte blew up in the air was something that every kid would enjoy to look at. At winter, the whole place changed to a frozen land, where only little birds would come by to eat on some sunflower seeds placed in the windows.
This is a story about my grandfather who was a hero and a great man. He fought in WW2, I am extremely proud of him, and he should be recognized for his actions. He was a hero to me and I looked up to him since I never really had a dad and he was a great person to idolize. He was there for it all during the tragic WW2. He stormed the beach of Normandy with fellow soldiers and made it out alive somehow. He even would share with me that he got to meet Eisenhower and said he was a great guy and was a true American hero. My grandfather was always by his side and even saved his life a couple of times, which was inspirational to me.
It was a nice, sunny morning with no clouds in the sky. The New York City traffic was very busy as usual and people were getting off the subway on their way to work. The city buses were proceeding on their set schedules and the taxis where picking up and dropping off people at their desired destination. Everything in New York City was functioning at its normal pace. My mom who was a medical examiner for the New York Police Department went to work on September 11th 2001 not knowing that this day would change her life tragically. She drove a two and a half hour ride to New York City from up state New York as she did everyday and entered her office like a normal workday. She was organizing her files, answering frequent phone calls that came through her phone line and talking to her colleagues about their plans for the weekend.
My Grandfather and his first wife met at Florida State University in 1947, after the school became co-ed and admitted men, such as my grandpa. Virginia Wilder was the type of student that worked hard in all of her classes and studied regularly. She graduated with great grades and a high GPA. However, my grandpa was not so much the studious type. He enjoyed more of the fun, party side of college and probably would have failed out of more than a few classes without his then girlfriend’s help. As the story goes, my grandpa was quite the procrastinator and often turned to Virginia for help on homework and studying.
In the mid 1990’s the FBI started seeing high-end jewelry heist at wholesale stores. Police reports said that the burglar got in and out of the business without setting off any alarms or detection devices. Owners would come into their store and notice million dollar safes burnt open. This person knew how to break into the most sophisticated safes. He committed all the burglaries the same way they were his signature crimes. Authorities couldn’t understand how this person always got away and they were amazed at the sophistication. This person hit jewelry store after jewelry store and police could never get a lead on the case. This man they spoke so highly about was just my uncle….
Maria Puleio was about twenty-two years old when she immigrated to the United States from Colombia. Although she loved Colombia with a passion, she felt that the United States had more in store for her. So she took her chances and moved to the city of Boston, Massachusetts.  She moved into an apartment all by herself, which was located right by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority blue train route, which she used to get around.

 As I was grasping all of the immense details of my great grandfathers life and journey to the United States my grandmother proceeded to expel the next document in her manila folder which oddly enough  was another certificate. I was starting to wonder if my great grandparents were given numerous awards, but it was a marriage certificate instead.  This certificate was just as ancient  and ruffed up and discolored as the first one she pulled out. On the top in big bold letters was “Certificate of Marriage”. Ironically enough, his last name was spelled wrong again as well as my great grandmothers last name, which was Astorino, which they spelled Osterino. It’s a wonder why not many stories of my family were easily discovered on the internet due to the new spelling and identities these officials were mistakenly awarding my great grandparents.

At the age of five my sister and I were taken away from our birth parents. We were put in a home and it was labeled non relative placement and it stayed like that until we were legally adopted by her. I have memories of a lifestyle needed to be overcome. Some of those memories were not knowing where my next meal would come from, living in cars and homeless shelters, being the caretaker of my baby sister and not knowing how to read.

The Nile annual floods, Egypt called itself Kemet, meaning Black land. In Upper Egypt, from Aswan to the delta, the black, fertile deposits of the river covered an extremely narrow strip of land. Surrounding the river’s alluvial plain was the Red land, the desert environment that could not support life, but where rich deposit of minerals and stone could be mined and quarried. Lower Egypt consists of the Delta itself, which today begins some 13 miles north of Giza, the site of the largest pyramids, across the river from what is now modern Cairo. In ancient times, it began 18 miles south of Giza, near the city of Memphis.