Man Without a Country


It is rumored my grandfather changed the spelling of the family name.  Not an Ellis Island change or a change to mask our heritage for fear of persecution, but a willful change, full of hubris, ignoring the generations before.  The u became i.  He added a t, the solid Irish consonants made French.  Did he lust after a reticent mademoiselle hungry for a taste of her far away country?  Did he lose the spelling in a fog of Canadian whiskey?  Or give it up in a poker game with a guy named Jacques who went from bar to bar converting drunks, so that late at night at closing time, he could make them stand and sing La Marseillaise, a howling chorus united by the low burn of whiskey in their stomachs as they swayed, now countrymen, arm in arm.  

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