San Siro is a small village too small to call a village in the mountains between Parma and Genoa situated at 666 metres above sea level, or 2,185 feet before Ricardo went metric and Riccardo became Ricardo. Italians call it a frazione. When Giovanni Riccardo Sozzi left his village in 1900, there were three times more people in the entire municipality than there are today.
The first of January 1900 was the first day of the year of the start of the new millennium and for Giovanni it was to be the first day of the start of a better life for his loved ones and a journey that would lead him to the South Wales Coalfields.
Ricardo remembered the troubled feeling he had felt on awakening; still troubled but the troubled feeling seemed less negative, not for something he had done but had left undone. Recalling past memories, he thought of things forgotten that should have been remembered and things remembered that should have been forgotten. Perhaps the unimportant things are more important than people think. Like a snapshot dropping from an old album, an image emerges from the past. Giovanni’s grandson, Ricardo, sets out on his own journey.
Published: 23 September 2014
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