Today, we mark my brother Vin's birthday. It was always doubled up with Thanksgiving in our house, because we're thankful that we have Vincenzo. Mom is down at Vin's place, participating in the double celebration. I sent Vin a birthday message, and he is celebrating at one of Huntsville's storied German restaurants (ya know, those rcket scientists that were brought to Huntsville after the war needed someplace to eat.
Vin always kept us hopping- his first act when he got to the US Military Academy was to post the family address on a bulletin board, with a note informing everybody that they were welcome to stay. And stay everybody did... he increased our already large family by a factor of a couple of hundred. We should have installed a revolving door in the house- at any rate, hundreds of people knew where the spare key to the house was 'hidden'. I can't tell you the number of times I came home from work to find a couple of guys in the kitchen, cooking dinner and drinking beer on one of their rare free weekends. Needless to say, we wouldn't have had it any other way. Family is family, no matter whether blood relations or not.
Vin is keeping the old tradition of hospitality alive, and I imagine a couple of his Army buddies have stopped by this weekend to hold court with him and with mom, who still remains the matriarch of an extended family of global scope. I can't think of any better celebration of Vin's birthday than having various callers stopping by throughout the day. He, inspired by mom's generosity, took on the mantle of gracious host, and that's the sort of thing that doesn't change with age.