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Francesco Respa: My Grandfather's Story Essay

1798 words - 8 pages

“If it wasn’t for me, none of you would be here.” Those were the words my grandpa said to his tremendous family at every family gathering throughout the past couple of years of his life. My grandpa, Francesco Resta, famously known as “Grandpa”, was the father of four, grandfather of eight, and great grandfather to another eight, not to mention the dozens of other people who were basically family that saw Grandpa as their own. Grandpa treated everyone with a genuine kindness that made all those who were in his presence feel as though he truly was their own grandpa. He lived 90 happy and healthy years from July 1923, until April 2013. Grandpa’s unique and heartwarming story dates back to World War II during the strange turn of events when he was sent to France to fight in the war. Hesitant to go, the shift of lifestyle to France brought forth the best thing that ever happened to Francesco Resta, Simone Dujany, the love of his life.
In the midst of World War II, Francesco Resta, was able to find a way to stay out of fighting in the war. He was able to use his mechanic savvy ways to pick up odd jobs around the railroad fields, which eventually led to a full time job on the railroads and a ticket out of combat. If it were not for this railroad job, Francesco would have never stumbled into my grandma’s small café in Paris. The desire to stay out of combat luckily brought my grandfather out of the battlefields and into the work zone, but also brought something even more special, the love of his life, Simone. Simone was the daughter of the café owners where the some working soldiers would go and grab a quick bite to eat in between their work hours. Francesco and his buddies found this quaint café, but even better a beautiful young lady. Specifically, Francesco found this café because he had a side job in the war, supplying coal to people in Paris and part of his job was to bring coal to this café. All the men would try and flirt with Simone, hoping that they could take her out on a date, but she had no interest in any of them. The men made bets that they would one day get a date with Simone, although they knew it would be a hard task. Francesco knew that the other soldiers didn’t stand a chance as he asked Simone out on a date and to everyone’s surprise, she happily said yes. The little café in Paris was where their romantic war love affair began, but even better where my family began.
World War II was a hard time for all of those involved. Francesco had to leave home and everything he knew to be shipped off to a foreign country. Almost the entire world was in distress over this second war and many people were constantly worrying over their economic state as well as their safety. France no longer held a status of power comparable either to the United States or the Soviet Union. France was compelled to dismantle its colonial empire in the years following the war. This was a particularly traumatic and drawn out process for the French (Truman, 1)....

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