I’m in Italy with 28 other travelers whose ages range from mid 20s to mid 70s. Most live in our neighborhoods, some are former residents, and a few are friends from out of town. The vast majority are descendents of Italian immigrants.
We stopped in Bologna for a cooking class and the owner commented that she has been surprised that so few Americans like us speak Italian. She is right. My mother spoke to my grandmother in Italian but never tried to teach me. I picked up enough to get around, but would love to be fluent. Most immigrants wanted their children to be American. So, we second and third generations don’t know our grandparents’ native language. We’ve lost track of relatives in the old country and happily pay people to teach us to make pasta by hand. Many aren’t sure exactly where their ancestors lived, only regions.
Apparently we yearn to know more. Companies like Family Leaf DNA and ancestry.com are cleaning up. The connection that our parents and grandparents severed long ago is drawing so many of us back to our roots. We are having a wonderful time completely immersed in a culture that reminds us so much of our grandparents. Everything about Italy delights us during our trip, even during a record breaking heat wave.
I’ve taken dozens of people to Europe, but no trip is as popular as a trip to Italy. Our communities are, after all, heavily populated with families of Italian descent. Walking around Florence, I see names on businesses that are so familiar to me, like Sabatini, Bartolini, and Fanti. On the island of Torcello in the Venetian lagoon, the most famous bar is Cipriani.
There is no doubt that we are American and though we muse about moving to Tuscany or Sicily, the U.S. is home, but, like all immigrant descendents, our ancestry is part of who we are. That is obvious from one of our favorite summer activities — the church bazaar. I’ll be attending St. Anthony’s (now the Parish of St. Barbara) later this month, seeking some good, homemade Italian food. I’m sure I will not have gotten my fill during two weeks in Italy.
St. Barbara’s Bazaar
The Parish of St. Barbara, which includes St. Anthony of Padua and St. Cecilia’s, will hold its annual bazaar from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20. Enjoy potato pancakes, red and white pizza, piggie casserole, porketta, meatball hoagies, and funnel cakes. There will be an air conditioned indoor flea market, basket raffle, music by local DJs and much more.
This year, the flea market will be open weekends leading up to the bazaar. The flea markets will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Sundays, July 7 and 14. Potato pancakes will be available for takeout.
Buy some summer reading for the kids at the Wyoming Free Library’s Scholastic Book Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, July 15, through Thursday, July 18.
Enjoy an evening of baseball and support the Wyoming Free Library at the RailRiders game Friday, July 19, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $12 and all proceeds go to library fundraising. Order forms are available at the front desk.
A fundraiser for the Wyoming Free Library is planned at Sabatini’s Bottle Shop, with Beer for Books from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22. Cost is $25 for three drinks and all-you-can-eat pizza. Music will be provided by Empire in Decline. There will be raffles and 50/50. Tickets are on sale now and the library is asking for basket donations.
Wyoming U.M. Church news
Wyoming United Methodist Church will host a blueberry festival from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20, serving sandwiches, blueberry sundaes and deserts.
They also are planning a trip to the Hiawatha Paddle Boat Cruise on the Susquehanna River in Williamsport on Thursday, July 25. Cost is $58 and includes the motor coach, cruise, buffet lunch at The Country Cupboard in Lewisburg and all gratuities. Call Audrey at 570-693-0905 or 570-693-2821.
Wyoming Area Baseball Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, to Thursday, July 25, at the Atlas Field in Exeter. The camp is for ages 6 to 14. Cost is $99 and the deadline for registration is Friday, July 19. For information, email rlemoncelli@Wyomingarea.org.
Wyoming Recreation Board upcoming events
Wyoming Recreation Board has announced some upcoming events.
Ice Cream Sundaes in the Park is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at John Bolin Park on Eighth Street.
There will be a free movie night, also in the John Bolin Park, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. The movie will be announced. Children will receive a ticket at the entrance to be redeemed for concessions. Bring blankets and chairs for a fun night on the lawn. Donations for either or both events would be appreciated.
• The 2019 Wyoming garbage fee is in penalty phase. Please mail checks or money orders for $250 to Wyoming Borough Sanitation, 277 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, PA 18644. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A secure payment box is located outside the entrance. Any questions, please call 570-693-0291.
• West Wyoming reminds residents sanitation fees are now past due and the penalty fee of $300 is in effect.
• Exeter refuse stickers for 2019 are in penalty phase and the price is $250. Stickers can be purchased at the Exeter Borough Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or by mail by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope to Exeter Borough Refuse Department, 1101 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643. Please use a long business size envelope. For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2.
All residents are reminded to rinse jars, bottles and cans for recycling. Greasy cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Please only put out clean, flat cardboard.
West Wyoming Borough is giving notice that the community compost will be only for West Wyoming residents beginning July 6. After that, anyone from another town caught will be fined up to $300 plus court fees.
State office hours
State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office, 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open from noon to 2 p.m. the third Friday of the month.
Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming. To include an item in her column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.