Genealogy is a topic that interests me a bit. For the last few years, I’ve been able to connect with other Copetas’s on my dad’s side simply because of the internet. Finding distant relatives before T1 lines came along was simply too herculean a task. You’d have to a) have time and b) rely on older relatives to tell you who was where and how they were related, because you couldn’t just call up the Pittsburgh white pages on the internet. Our only source to finding out more about our family was through my grandfather and according to my dad, he never was very forthcoming with the details. We don’t know why. It was either he just didn’t know them well enough or there was some fallout. Of course, today nobody would have any chance at remembering such things.
Here’s the story, best I know it: my grandfather came to Pittsburgh in roughly 1918 via a small village in Greece called Vlahokaishota (can’t confirm spelling). Many Greeks came to Pittsburgh from this village and their story is much like the millions of immigrants who came here from all over the world. My grandfather took a job as a butcher and apparently gained quite a reputation for his skill. He eventually came to Massachusetts (for what reason, I do not know), met his wife and stayed here.
From what I can remember, he spoke to some Pittsburgh folks, maybe on big holidays. I can distinctly remember he and my dad pulling out of our driveway and driving to Pittsburgh in the late 1970s to visit his cousin and some other folks, who have long since passed away. That’s really it. As a kid, I never really thought about it. I believed us to really be the only Copetas’s in the country, frankly and I remember thinking more than once that I was the only one who could carry on the name, given I didn’t have any brothers. I also never worked to confirm it.
Here we are, some 30-odd years later. I spent four years at Kent State in Ohio from 1990 to 1994 – just two hours from Pittsburgh – and never bothered to take the drive down there to find out more. I will forever regret that decision, but at the same time, I didn’t have a car for much of my time at Kent, nor the money to be renting cars or hopping trains and buses on a whim. Still, I could have made it happen somehow and I didn’t – abd the truth, which I’ve been discovering over the last couple of years, was that WE were the ones who were isolated from the rest of the Copetas’s!. More on this tomorrow…..