I am thrilled to announce another family memoir has been added to our website! “Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming” was written some time in the 1990’s by Herman Genetti (1922-2007), son of Ermenegildo (Herman/Joe) Genetti (1893-1967) and grandson of Angelo Genetti (1859-1946) of Castelfondo, Tyrol. If you remember my last blog post, Ermenegildo was one of the four Genetti brothers who settled in the wilds of Wyoming.
His son, Herman Angelo Genetti, was a born storyteller, as evidenced by his memoir filled with personal remembrances and “folkisms”. While reading this treasure-trove of family stories, I fell in love with Herman and his witty sayings. His plain, honest words allow us to reach back in time to the rough and tumble prairie life of the 1900’s. Important family details, times and places are incorporated within Herman’s tales of LaBarge, Wyoming and beyond.
Written as a gift to his family and dedicated to his wife, Imogene, “Herman’s Howlings” is a self-published spiral bound book, printed in an edition of 200. Distributed to family members, the book was almost unheard of outside of the Wyoming Genetti family. A few years ago, I stumbled upon an obscure reference for “Herman’s Howlings” in a library index. Intrigued, I searched further. Perhaps it had been digitized, I thought, and could be downloaded. After more Googling, it became obvious – finding this book would be like finding the fabled needle in a Wyoming haystack. Near to impossible! So I made a note in my files and hoped that a copy would one day arrive at my door.
In September of 2014, I spent six weeks in Northern Italy. Of course, I once again visited our family ancestral village of Castelfondo. Over the years I’ve made several friends in the Val di Non, one being Marco Romano, a researcher, historian and film maker of the Trentino culture. As we were enjoying lunch at a quaint country inn located in the village of Tret, Marco handed me a package. I opened it – and you guessed it – there was the elusive “Herman’s Howlings” sitting in my lap! Marco explained the book had been given to him by a member of the Genetti family, but he wasn’t sure of its exact origin. Because of my genealogy research, he thought it would be a good resource of Genetti history. Amazed by this unexpected gift, I thanked Marco and pledged that one day I would digitize Herman’s book and make it available to all family on our website.
Somehow I squeezed that thick, heavy book into my luggage and toted it all the way home to New Mexico. Unbelievably, I had to travel to Castelfondo, Italy to find a family book written in Wyoming! And that’s how I came into possession of “Herman’s Howlings”!
I have digitally scanned the exact copy of the book handed to me by Marco Romano. All handwritten notes, fuzzy photos and extra text have been left intact, as this offers a better glimpse into the author’s life. I know you’ll be as enchanted as I was with Herman’s wit and storytelling prowess.
You’ll find “Herman’s Howlings” under our website Gallery Section, Books by Members of the Genetti Family. When you click on the book link, it will open as a PDF file. You can either read it online or save the book to your computer.
Now to leave you with a closing thought from Herman:
“I never went through a publisher. I did it step by step like a blind dog in a meat house. I enjoyed it.” ~ Herman Genetti