Sunday, December 2, 2007

Message from Joe Oliver

Dear Friends,

I just received an email from my cousin, Joe Oliver. I haven't told Joe I'm going to put this on the blog, but I'm sure he won't mind. If you have a message you'd like to share with the rest of the family, I'll put it here with Joe's. Here's Joe's letter:

Hello Coletti cousins! For those who do not recall who I am, my name is Joseph (Joe) Oliver. I am a son of Ken Oliver & Patricia Coletti, grandson of Joseph & Violet Coletti, g-grandson of Peter & Josephine Coletti, gg-grandson of Michele Antonio Coletti & Maria Matilda Barra). I live in Layton, UT with my wife Lori & our two children, Emma (6) & James (3). I am forwarding you this email about a Coletti family reunion, sent by one of my first cousins, Sean Coletti, (son of Jeff Coletti, my mom's brother). Sean is a good kid, even though he is just a year or two younger than me, and now he's a lawyer, I still think of him as a kid. Well, he is a good kid and he is doing a good thing! He is organizing a family reunion and has asked for my help now for about two years to get the ball rolling. Whether it has been a lack of time, or at times a lack of desire, whatever my excuses, I seem to have been reluctant to offer much real help in the way of planning and organizing an event. Sean has not let my unwillingness stop him though, he has gone ahead and planned for a reunion by himself. Since these reunions are always hard to coordinate and are large undertakings from the planning, arranging of a time and place, the food, entertainment, and everything else that goes into a reunion, I guess I just didn't want to deal with it. But, Sean's persistence has been inspiring and I am proud of him for doing what he has done thus far. The reunion will be held in Provo, UT on April 26, 2008. He has also created a weblog for this occasion. See Sean's email below for further details. Now, I know that some of you are more distant in relationship to Sean & I than others, but that doesn't matter. I am emailing you because at one point in your family history, you were a Coletti. We would love to have all of you and your cousins there. Of course we all naturally have more interest in seeing immediate family members and friends that we are familiar with and many of us are shy around people we don't know; but that said, I would love to see as many distant cousins as close ones at the reunion. At our last reunion I truly enjoyed getting to know some of my fourth and fifth cousins who knew my grandparents or great grandparents and told me stories that I otherwise never would have known. There is no greater unit in the world than that of family! Wouldn't it be awesome if all of the Coletti descendants in America could come together in one reunion? Just imagine how great that would be. Let me tell you how it might be, shortly after meeting my wife-to-be I attended a family reunion of hers. It was for all of the descendants of Hans Olsen Magleby in America. The reunion was held in Richfield, UT in 1996 and there were about 2-3 thousand people present. Later I understood there were some people there that had issues with other family members, some who had not talked to each other for years and years, others who hurt or had been hurt by another person there, but they put all of those differences and issues behind them and came together to honor their heritage. At that reunion, it wasn't about them, it was about honoring their common ancestors. Underneath all of the petty little issues, (and even the huge problems they had with each other), they all realized that they would not be there had it not been for their one common ancestor who emigrated to America in the mid-19th century. And so it is with us. We have a great opportunity to enjoy each others company and honor those who came before. We would love to have all of the descendants of Peter Coletti & Josephine Castagno there, but no matter your connection, we would love to have as many Coletti descendants in attendance as possible. Whether we are 1st cousins, or 5th cousins twice removed, if you can make it, please do your best. I know it will be a great reminder of who you are an where you come from. Whether your family past is good or bad, famous or infamous, it doesn't matter. We are all here in this life together, we all make mistakes but we also all have similar dreams, goals and needs. Everyone wants to succeed, to be self-sufficient, to live in peace & harmony with others, to be able to enjoy the time we have here on Earth. So, let's try and do what my wife's family did, and get as many people there as possible, to enjoy life, and to honor our ancestors. For truly, if it were not for them, we would not be here today. At the last Coletti reunion that I was aware of and attended, I mentioned that I was going to compile a book with photographs, family histories, stories, etc.. for the descendants of Michelle Antonio Coletti & Maria Matilda Barra. Well, now a few years have passed and I still have no book to show for it. Lack of time from work, family, and life for some reason, always seems to get in the way. :) No wonder retired people seem to be the largest population that work on family history. They are the only ones who have the Time! :) Well, over the next few months I will do my best and make a concerted effort to compile as much information about the family such as stories, family histories, group sheets, photographs, and more, as I can and put it on CD-ROM to give out so that everyone can have a copy. It would be great if all of you would bring your family photos, copies of passports, birth, death, or marriage certificates, census records, etc.. Whatever you have would be openly welcome. The older the better. I believe in the Indiana Jones philosophy of historic pieces belonging in a museum. In the case of family history and especially in regards to family photographs, I believe that everyone should be able to have copies of every old photograph available of their own ancestors. I do not believe that they should be hid up or stored in private collections, or shoe boxes in closets or inside photo albums where no one but immediate family can see them. The major driving force behind my desire to compile a book in the first place, began when I saw all of the photographs of ancestors I had never seen before (at that reunion) that were in the private collection of just a handful of distant cousins. What I have done thus far is to collect all of the old photographs that my parents have had as well as gather together photographs from those that have shared their old photographs with me. I will put them on one CD-Rom and I hope that all of you will do the same. I do not have a laptop, but perhaps I will bring my computer to the reunion so that information can be passed and shared electronically as well as viewed by all. I may also bring a scanner so copies of your photographs can be made electronically for all.

I for one am planning on this reunion as of right now. My wife said that she was probably going to have our daughter's birthday party that day, as her birthday is April 28th, but she understands that some things happen infrequently and are more important than even special events such as birthdays. I hope that all of you will plan now to attend this reunion. If you live out-of-state and do not have the means to bring all of your family, please send your photos via email or snail mail (IE the US Post Office). If only one of you can make it from your family as a representative, you would be welcomed with open arms. Please forward this email to all of your family members and any other Coletti cousins of which you are aware. Please also reply to me or directly to Sean, (his email is on the CC line above), to let us know if you plan to attend, how many people you are going to bring and let's try to make this a wonderful day for all. We honor our God by setting aside one day each week, now let's honor our ancestors by remembering them on this one day! Love Your cousin, Joe Oliver

1 comment:

rgcoletti said...

Read your message Joe. I can tell you are excited to help with the preparations for our upcoming reunion. I'm attempting to get a lead on the cousins, Tamara, Susan, Nina, Pamela, Freddy Jr, Brent, etc. These are the children of Uncle Jim and Tillie ... my dad's brother and sister. More later. You can contact me at anytime. I seem to live in cyber space. Richard Coletti & Sandy. By the way, I just live over here in Centerville. Let's get together sometime. My phone is 864-9773.