Bob Grant Online
Bob Grant

The Italians’ Contributions to America

October 7, 2011

It is almost Columbus Day as I write this commentary. Whether it is Columbus Day, or Labor Day, or Veterans Day, or any other day honoring a person or an event or just a fun day, we will observe it in one way or another. If you have any questions about why it is we have so many occasions to have a day to observe a president, or, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all the presidents at once, let me suggest that retailers find it is very helpful in selling automobiles, furniture, clothing, vacation destinations, or what have you. Doesn’t it seem macabre that our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, who was martyred because he was an abolitionist who wanted to do away with slavery and preserve the union of the United States of America at the same time, should have his name attached to selling anything and everything?

I can hear it now. “Folks, don’t miss this opportunity to get a brand new Flashmobile during our Lincoln’s birthday sellathon!” Or how about,“Hey folks, don’t miss this chance to get a brand new extra firm mattress at Schmagage’s Presidents Day sale!” I could go on and on, but I don“t want to annoy you any more than I probably already have. But, talking about holidays, isn’t that the way we gauge our lives? Isn’t that the way we mark time? And what do we do in between all those commemorative holidays?

I began this by mentioning that October 10 will be Columbus Day, but that is not correct. Columbus Day should be on the 12th of October. But, since Americans have to have their three-day weekends every so often, no matter what the holiday, it has got to be celebrated on a Monday. Who am I to argue? Ah . . . Columbus Day! It is amazing how many Italians were involved with the discovery and development of the new world. Just think of the name of our country! America was derived from the name of that great Italian explorer and cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci. Have you ever heard of the Verrazano Bridge? What an incredible work that is, spanning Staten Island and Manhattan and Brooklyn. It is named after another Italian who mapped the territory around New York Harbor. And before I get too carried away with all the contributions that Italians have made to the United States of America and to the world, let me ask you, when was the last time you had pizza? Have you gone to a baseball game or a football game or any event and noticed the number of Americans eating pizza? As a matter of fact they don’t even use the expression, “It’s as American as apple pie!” Now they say, “It’s as American as . . . (you fill in the blank). Grazie tante for reading this.

Bob Grant

Straight Ahead!


That slams the lid onthings for today

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