When you go through life living in the USA with a surname like Guglielmetti, you get a sense of the uniqueness of your lineage. Early on in life, I learned the most efficient way to spell my name for the Smiths, the Joneses, and the Browns of the world. Gee you gee, ell eye ee ell, em ee tee tee eye. All my life I have patiently repeated this litany for many, many people. Often, people get tripped up by the ell eye ee ell. They want to insert an N in there somewhere, for some unknown reason. Ahh, I don’t know, I guess it’s one of my crosses to bear, my surname. I kind of like it. It’s quirky and complicated. I’ve gone through a few Fedex guys, they just can’t handle it. Nick, the UPS guy, lets me type in my own name on the digital clipboard he carries when I sign for packages. It’s just easier that way.
Suffice to say, when your last name is Guglielmetti, people notice you. So when I had a story published online and a fellow Guglielmetti read it, he was moved to write to me and try to arrange a meeting. Turns out he shares not only my surname, but also my passion for flying. Also, he lives in New York City. Furthermore, he flies out of Teterboro Airport, near my home. Small world!
About a year later, we finally met up, and today was the day. Riccardo Guglielmetti drove over to our place, and brought with him a family tree:
...that was made up in 1984 for a family reunion. Sorry it’s blurry, but you can make out the names of the players involved. It’s entertaining reading.
So, it seems that Riccardo’s blood must surely be shared with the red stuff in my veins, because according to legend his great, great grandfather Bruno had a castle in Rome, but lost it in a poker game. After he told this story, Brenda & I looked at each other and immediately welcomed Riccardo to the family. Clearly he was of our ilk. It seems to make sense though, as he says our family history started in Switzerland, and as far as I know my Italian family heritage ends in northern Italy, in a small town near Piacenza, which is on the way to Rome. We’ll see.
Riccardo & I shared stories of how telemarketers butchered our names, and I was delighted to hear that Riccardo waited for them to do the butchering, and offered no help whatsoever when these hacks tried to pronounce his (our) name. We compared notes on the misspellings on bulk mail envelopes, and then we ate coldcuts and cheese.
Unbelievably, not only does Riccardo like to fly, and flies from an airport in spitting distance from my office, but I found out today that he also works AROUND THE CORNER from me! His office is in the Empire State Building, which is exactly two blocks from my office. Who knew? We will definitely join up and look for good food in the midtown area soon, which I have found to be a challenge.
Today was a fun day. Riccardo is hooked on aviation, just as I am. It was fun to meet a guy who is possibly a direct descendant of me, and is as into aviation as I am. I will press my family for more info about our family history, as there is a distinct possibility that Riccardo & I are somehow brothers.