My family did not come to the “New World” on the Mayflower, did yours? How far back can you trace your family tree and who were the brave souls who faced uncertainty for a chance at a better life? The great explorer in my family was Filomena Burdi. Filomena, an Italian young woman in her 20’s who spoke no English entered the USA through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s. The eldest child and only daughter with 12 siblings was the first Burdi to arrive, living in the Bronx most of her life, in a building she bought located at 1760 Crosby Avenue. A seamstress by profession, she helped 4 of her brothers immigrate, was married twice and had two daughters, the younger, my mom, Evelyn. Filomena was a strong woman, surviving my moms dad and my moms older sister. I remember her well, she wanted me to become an attorney, I became a dentist starting my dental practice in Palm Harbor Florida in 1988, graduating from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery in 1985.
I found myself in the Bronx yesterday after touring Fordham University with my daughter Kendall and decided to see what my Grandmother’s house looked like now. What was once a doctor’s office downstairs is now a pizza place, they sell Italian Ices outside and I assume it is still a private residence upstairs, I wish I could have seen the inside upstairs, memories awoken.
The United States of America is a country of immigrants, while Donald Trump talks about the undesirables that come here, I counter that we also attract the best that the world has to offer who are brave risk takers and for the most part are law abiding, tax paying citizens. As we approach another anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, I am proud that we are the home of the free and the land of the brave.
Happy 4th of July!
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A