Fall Classics

While THE Fall Classic didn’t quite turn out as I’d hoped, our October still ended on quite a lovely note.

We wrapped our two-week house vacation by going to San Diego this past weekend, to visit John and Ashley.

Wait a minute — you don’t know who John and Ashley are? Then read my greatest blog post ever.

Anyway, despite having to watch Michigan AND the Tigers lose, we still had an epically good time. Which tends to happen with these two, and especially when you’re someplace like San Diego. And it’s perfectly sunny. And 90 degrees.

There was a little of this:

Pacific Beach, San Diego

Beach + Sunshine

And a little of this:

John and Trent.

Sports + Beer

And HOLY SHIT! There was THIS!!!

Rusted Root at The Griffin.

Yes, that is RUSTED ROOT. John and I saw them together LITERALLY almost exactly 15 years prior, at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

And a WHOLE lotta this:

Lisa and Ashley at South Beach Bar.

Girls just wanna have fun (by drinking bottomless breakfast beverages)!

Yes — was there a game on again or something?

And then unfortunately we had to stumble onto our plane and come home, but when we got here, someone was waiting for us:

Great Grandpa Andrea Spada.

Our newest guardian angel.

That’s an ancient and awesomely rudimentary portrait of my great-grandfather, Andrea Spada (Grandpa Sam’s father). I asked Munga if I could have it, since I remember it vividly from my childhood but it hasn’t been on the wall in my mom’s house for a while now. She and my grandparents sent it on to us instantly, to fill the prime real estate over our fireplace.

I’m toying with the idea of dressing it up in a proper antique frame, but haven’t decided yet — Trent and I are both kinda fond of the simple wooden frame, too.

More than anything, though, I’m fond of the idea of being watched over in our new house by Grandpa Andrew. He was the best bootlegger Prohibition-era Detroit ever saw.

Spada Family, 1929.

Great Grandpa Andrea with Grandpa Sam — his firstborn — on his lap and Great Grandma Margherita (“Margie”: my mom’s namesake) by his side.

So much so, actually, that he died a mysteriously premature death at age 29, when my grandfather was just a wee tot. The official cause was listed as “spinal meningitis,” but our family has always whispered that he was “frightened to death” by the Mafia (if you, um, catch my drift). Hungry for a piece of his business, the local enforcers had followed him home frequently in the weeks that preceded his untimely undoing.

He left behind a teenage bride and two tiny sons who would somehow survive in a harsh world, even though they never saw a penny of the fortune their father was building for them.

Spada family on ship's manifest.

Andrea Spada and family arriving from Sicily via Naples.

I’d like to think us Spadas need not ever worry about the obstacles facing us (like clover in our mulch beds! or dry rot!), because we have one supremely cool (and, let’s be honest: slightly spooky) pater familia watching out for us from the other side.

And I might be a Temple now, but I’m still a Spada. And even though Trent made ME change MY name (*cough*), he’s a Spada now, too. So G-Gramps has got us covered. From above the fireplace.

Also, it’ll be Halloween soon, making it the perfect time for our own friendly family ghost to show up and frighten every f#@%ing ant off our property. I would trade a victory in the World Series of Baseball for a victory in the World Series of Temples vs. Ants ANY DAY.

Come on, G-Gramps…

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3 thoughts on “Fall Classics

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Rusted Root?!?!?! I am still looking for my Rusted Root tape! I think your sister stole it. Wow! Having Great Grandpa Andrew hanging over your fireplace is a real tribute to our family. And I would leave the frame just the way it is. It is original and one of a kind. Just like him. Just like the rest of the Spada’s. He will take care of the clover and the dry rot, and if you hear anything unusual on Halloween this year, it is probably just him taking a look around. I can tell you one thing. He would LOVE the fruit trees in the backyard. I bet they blossom and continue to bear fruit for years to come, now that he is hanging around the house. And watch those ants disappear too. Love, Mom

  2. lisatemp says:

    Yes — RUSTED ROOT, Munga!

  3. […] not sure what “when he was little” qualifies as, but my grandfather was only four when his father died, so he might have indeed been really little! Having lost my own father young – but at least old […]

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