This is one of my favorite family photographs, taken in Rome in November, 1963. I had always assumed the man kissing the ring was my grandfather – this picture was on his desk for many years and looks EXACTLY like him – but upon taking the picture out of the frame to scan it today, the writing on the back indicated it is actually a priest-monsignor who was a member of the extended family. Looking at it closely now, the collar does seem to more closely resemble a clerical one rather than a conventional white collar. The woman with her hands clasped is my great-grandmother.
This familial popery may, in part, explain the ease with which I have adapted to Italian culture despite my visibly Anglo appearance.