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The Carthage Press
by Antonio Prokup
The Hunt for John Verruchi --- Scenario 3
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(You might want to scroll down and begin this story's first installment in the posts below.)




John listened and admired Charlie's ability to make the saxophone sing. Charlie was extremely good at the saxophone, but what impressed John more was Charlie's confidence to play not only in public but among strangers. As John listened he found himself moving closer and closer to Charlie. As John was about to get up the courage to express his admiration, Charlie stopped playing to ask if John had any requests. This surprised John so much he couldn't think of any song to say but Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Of course they both had a good laugh!
What seemed like just minutes, but in fact was an hour later, John and Charlie had learned so much about each other. John had told Charlie why he was in New York and Charlie found his mystery intriguing. When Charlie's mom came back to get Charlie, she invited John back to her brother-in-law's house for lunch and John couldn't refuse. He was starving!
The rest of the day John spent with Charlie's family. He surprisingly felt so comfortable with them and they with him. By the end of the day John had told the whole story and Charlie's family offered to help with the search. Charlie's Uncle Mark was a long time resident and was very familiar with the area. Mark thought he knew the area in which the obituary had said was John Verruchi's address. So the next morning,after John took a cab to Mark's house, John, Mark and Charlie drove to that address.
John was rehearsing in the car what he might say when he knocked on Mrs. Verruchi's door, when he heard Charlie discussing college plans with his Uncle Mark. Charlie thought he wanted to work toward being a professional baseball player or major in music but he couldn't decide what college to attend. John realized the anguish Charlie was experiencing but could not relate since John himself had not attended college. After driving for what seemed like forever, they arrived in a very nice neighborhood right in front of a beautiful two story brick house. The house obviously belonged to a wealthy family. No one in the city lived in houses unless they were movie-stars. They parked in the long driveway and the three of them, at John's request, got out and walked to the door together.
The day happened to be Saturday so someone should be at home, which was the case. A very nice, attractive lady answered the door and introduced herself as Mrs. John Verruchi. When John introduced himself as John Verruchi, the look on Mrs. Verruchi's face was one of surprise, shock, and then reservation. She could not understand this since she thought her husband was the only Verruchi in the states. At least that is what he always told her. She invited them in, offered them a drink, and then they all sat down in the spacious, elegantly decorated sitting room. John noticed right away a photograph on the baby grand piano and didn't understand it at all. How could a picture of his great grandfather be in this stranger's home? But there he was. He was dressed in a business suit instead of overalls as he had always had on in the pictures at home, but unmistakably it was his great grandfather, Dominic verruchi! When he questioned Mrs. Verruchi about the picture, she said it was her husband's great grandfather, Delmo Verruchi. John explained that he looked like his great grandfather Dominic and both he and Mrs. Verruchi, Elizabeth, were so astonished they sat in silence for a few minutes to gather their thoughts and try to make sense of the situation.
As John and Elizabeth were talking, they hadn't noticed Charlie looking around the room. In this room was not only a baby grand piano, but in the corner was a beautiful saxophone. Charlie asked about the instrument and was told it belonged to Gina, Elizabeth's daughter who was attending Julliard. Mrs. Verruchi was a professor there so naturally this was a musical family. Elizabeth played the piano and her oldest child, Bobby played the trumpet. Bobby had already graduated from Julliard and was in a band that performed at local clubs in the city. Charlie couldn't believe his ears! What amazing luck to be in this home! All because he had met John Verruchi in the park!
As Charlie was gazing at the saxophone, he heard the door close. When he turned around he saw a most beautiful girl glaring at him. To his surprise she walked right up to him, but instead of introducing herself, she grabbed the saxophone and hugged it out of protective instincts. She explain to Charlie, after introductions were made, that the saxophone had belonged to her great grandfather from Italy and then was given to her. Charlie explained his passion for saxophones and John interrupted to reveal Charlie's playing talent. All the conversation had been pulled toward music until finally Elizabeth said it was time to find out the mystery of Dominic and Delmo Verruchi.
Sitting back in the corner of the room Mark finally spoke up insisting he would drive everyone to Ellis Island the next day to look at the listing of immigrants who passed through around the time of 1920. So the next day Mark, John and Elizabeth drove to Ellis Island. They dropped Gina and Charlie off at Julliard. Since the two young musicians had met they had talked nonstop about music and the possibility of Charlie attending Julliard in a year. The two were so very excited about the possibility of making music together.
Arriving at Ellis Island was not an easy drive, but Mark was an excellent city driver. John couldn't wait to see his great-grandfather's name in print. When he called Sara the night before she was elated to hear the news, but like everyone else, confused. John and Mark had stayed up into the early hours discussing the situation when Mark had insisted John spend the remainder of his time in the city with them. Now here they were ready to find out if or how the two John's were related.
Upon exiting the ferry John looked at Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. He tried to imagine how his great grandfather must have felt those many years ago. He knew that Dominic must have been a great adventurer to leave the comforts of his native land and explore the unknown. As the three walked into the building John felt the presence of thousands of immigrants waiting in line to enter the land of freedoms. John had long since felt the anxiety he had experienced when getting off the airport a few days ago and he was only traveling within the states for a visit. Dominic Verruchi had traveled by boat to a new country never to return to Italy again. How superficial John's anxieties felt now.
Mark led John and Elizabeth to a group of computers lined against the wall. Picking one unattended, Elizabeth typed in Dominic Verruchi and there on an image of a printed list of names was the signature Dominic F. Verruchi. Elizabeth scrolled down and right above Dominic's name was Delmo G. Verruchi. Both, together, had entered Ellis Island on June 4th 1919. Researching further they noticed that both men put down the exact same birthday, February 6th, 1900. Born in Corgne, Italy.
Could this be? It appeared that Dominic and Delmo were twin brothers! If this were the case, why did they separate and never connect again? These questions had to be answered. But how? As the three left Ellis Island they were hopeful that someday they would know the answers, but for now it was great to know that John had family in New York he could add to his already long list. And this time he would not stop communication!
When they drove back home, Elizabeth and John talked enthusiastically about each other's families. John especially wanted to know about Elizabeth's husband John. Unfortunately, because of an unexpected heart attack, the two Johns would never meet. Elizabeth and John knew that John's death was the reason the Verruchi's reunited. To John this was an amazing string of events!
As they picked up the two kids from Julliard, John felt a heaviness in his heart. He came to New York with nothing but an obituary, but was leaving with a new family in his life and very good, new friends in Mark and Charlie. Soon he would have to go home which was both sad and exciting. He was desperate to see Sara and the kids but felt he had solved only half of the mystery. But still, he needed to go home, and with one important question still looming over his head. What happened with Delmo and Dominic Verruchi?














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