Posted by: bourbonmama | 18/02/2009

WBW #8: My Family, Part 2: The Father

Continued from here.


Dennis never knew his father. Constantino’s (isn’t that a great name?) father came to America on a boat from Italy sometime around the turn of the 20th century. He worked as a coal miner and Constantino followed suit. He played minor league baseball and liked to drink. So much so that he acquired the nickname “Tip,” because he was usually tipsy. One day, he came home from a hard day in the coal mines of Keokee, West Virginia, and laid back in his Lay-Z-Boy to take a nap before dinner. He never woke up. He had four kids. Dennis, the youngest, was two.

Caroline, Dennis’ mother, packed up her kids, and moved from her home that the mining company owned, from the town that they called home. She was a tall woman with broad shoulders and childbearing hips. She was in her mid-thirties, newly widowed with four hungry mouths to feed. They moved from town to town, looking for work, until settling in Lexington, KY, when Dennis was a teenager. Caroline worked as a bus driver and in the school cafeteria to supported herself and her family. She never remarried. It was because of this image, that Dennis treated the women in his like like queens. This is something that I have always loved about my father and brothers, no woman can ever do wrong. They are to be treated with the utmost respect at all times, no matter what. This is probably also one of the reasons I think I’m always right.

This next part is purely fiction on my part. I have no idea what was said to my mamaw, only that she was NOT happy about it. But for the sake of the story, I thought I’d use some creative liberties.

Dennis had always been the good one. A saint if you asked his mother (or him). This is why it perplexed her when he came home and told her he was going to marry that girl. That girl that had led him on like a puppy on a leash. Told him they could be “just friends” and then batted her eyelashes and giggled so. That girl that’d already caused him heartache. And that whore is pregnant! With someone else’s child!

Try as she might, Caroline could not talk her youngest son out of it. He was set to marry Marcia in a month and there was nothing she could do about it. There was one thing she could do. On that October day, when Dennis said “I do,” the only member of his family that was there was his brother, Tony. That part’s true.


So, that’s it, the shaky foundation on which my family was built. There’s more, a lot more. But that’s the beginning. As I know it, anyway.



  1. I am so lovin’ Dennis right now!!! I hope you continue with this story!

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