"It is said that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I was born with an anchor in mine." That quotation is at the core of this book, and speaks volumes about my seafaring heritage. With heart-wrenching honesty, I share the tragedies that befell my family, and how that seafaring heritage shaped my life.
I could never have written this book without my Grandfather Michael, He died too soon to realize that it was his breath that filled the sails of my life. His seafaring soul and influence are at the very core of this book.
It is to him that I owe my seafaring heritage. The passion I have for all things nautical has been the shaping force in my personal and professional life. His passion for ships was an anchor across generations. My aunts reminded me that as a boy I would demonstrate that seafaring heritage by watching him build period sailing ship models. The introduction to my seafaring heritage started quite early in life, and my grandfather's fascination with ships rubbed off; at least the passion, if not the talent.
Family folklore has it that he jumped ship while serving as a seaman on an Italian-flag merchant vessel. For most of his life in this country he worked as a ship-caulker, always close to the water and the thing he loved most—ships.
That seafaring heritage was further reinforced by my maternal grandfather who was also a merchant seaman. White Sails Became Me is both a tribute to our seafaring heritage and a microcosm of the vast evolution that America underwent since we first set foot on its docks.