Tag: Herman Genetti

Herman’s Howlings

HermanAngeloGenetti

Herman Angelo Genetti
1922-2007

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.

Herman's Howlings

Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming

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

 

Should You Write an Autobiography?

GenettiMarkets

A page from Stanley Genetti’s autobiography.

“If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are.” ~ quote by author Madeleine L’Engle

Have you ever thought of recording your life for future generations? I’ll bet your grandchildren and great-grandchildren would treasure a biography containing remembrances and details about the times in which you lived. And if your family is like ours, with a long and detailed history, an autobiography becomes part of the family’s ancestral legacy.

You’re probably thinking “why would someone want to read about me?” So many of us believe that our everyday lives are not worth writing about. But one hundred years from now, I can assure you, ordinary lives will seem quite extraordinary to future generations. Our family stories and photos, memories, details about our home and the town where we lived, reminiscences of how we met our spouse, what we did for a living, our children’s escapades, those folksy colloquialisms that pepper our speech – all of the small details of our “ordinary” lives will be cherished by future descendants searching for their family roots.

Stanley'sBook-1

A page from Stanley Genetti’s autobiography.

I know of two biographies written by members of the Genetti family. One by Stanley Genetti of Pennsylvania and the other by Herman Genetti of Wyoming, with the intriguing title of “Herman’s Howlings: A Personal History of Southwestern Wyoming”. Both are fascinating first-hand accounts of life in America for Tyrolean immigrants during the 1900’s. Sprinkled with family stories, regional history and ancestral details, they make for very interesting reading! Unfortunately both memoirs are self-published and hard to come by. Having been produced in a limited number and usually only in the possession of direct family descendants, it is nearly impossible to obtain a copy of either Stanley’s or Herman’s autobiography.

Fortunately I have been able to locate both books. Several years ago, a copy of Stanley’s book was given to me by one of his grandchildren. I have read it many times, gleaning a good bit of genealogical information from Stan Genetti’s stories (FYI – Stanley was my grand uncle or in other terms, my grandfather’s brother).

Recently I was given a copy of Herman’s book. I had been looking for this volume for some time and had found only obscure mention of it online. Unbelievably, on a recent trip to Italy I met with a friend who is a local historian (and not from the Genetti family). He handed me Herman’s book and asked if I had ever heard of him. Apparently a copy of the original was given to my friend, possibly through someone in the Genetti family. I was amazed that at some point Herman’s book had made a long trip from Wyoming to Castelfondo, Italy and now would be returning to the United States via a distant cousin (me!). I gladly accepted the thick Xeroxed spiral-bound copy, tucked it away in my suitcase and happily returned to Santa Fe with my family treasure. I’m currently enjoying perusing “Herman’s Howlings”, sifting through the pages for genealogy info to include on our online family tree.

My hope is to one day include both of these books as free PDF downloads on The Genetti Family Genealogy Project website, of course with the permission of their descendants. If you are a direct descendant of Stanley Genetti or Herman Genetti and would like to make their autobiographies available for the rest of the family to read, please contact me at info.genetti.family(at)gmail.com. Mille grazie!