Often, when we embark in any kind of endeavor, at
any given moment we ask ourselves questions: It is worth this effort? Is it worth it to do
the up most, to work so hard, and spend this much time, energy and money without any
recompense or recognition? The answer to these questions are found when in the end, when
the work is complete, we look back and can bask in the personal satisfaction of having
done something so very rewarding and feel the gratification of this labor of love.
Only then we can say:
It was worth it all!!!
With this premise, it is easy to understand why a person, that left the place of his birth
over 30 years ago, in spite of numerous difficulties (first and foremost the physical
distance) at a given moment of his life, decides to undertake the task of researching his
origins, to the "roots" of the "tree" of which he is one of many
"limbs". A detailed and remarkable task including telephone calls, letters to
relatives and friends, searches of dates and names in old, dusty, municipal and parochial
registries, the seemingly endless untangling of names and surnames, reconstruction of
personal data and places. A true labor of love done with diligence and meticulous
scruples. One would ask: "Why so much commitment?" Certainly, it is not in the
hope of finding a famous ancestor, nor in the hope of knowing "what" his
ancestors were, but simply to know "who" they were.
This is the driving force behind all of the dedication to all of the tedious research,
that can only be explained as Umberto Urciullo's attachment to his own people, the
Urciullo's and Amatore's and to the land of his origin: the timelessly beautiful island of
I'm also a "branch" of this same "tree" and as such, I have reason to
express my satisfaction and admiration as we admire this archaeological work done to
reconstruct a portion of the past, our past.
Indeed, this is the true value and beauty of this endeavor.
This is not a flattery letter, but rather a letter to express my appreciation and praises
to Umberto for the outstanding and invaluable work, in which all of us "old
branches" and "young saplings", are now able, with this tool, to hold
memories of ourselves and see traces of a face that we are tied to by blood, of our
ancestors known only until now in some old faded photo. We can now find in the past, our
All this indeed is no small feat!