We are Spadoni.
Since I was a small child, I wondered what our last name meant. I knew it had Italian roots, but I wanted to know more. Grampy use to tell me that it meant, “sword-maker,” which pleased me very much. However, whenever I relayed this information to my friends, they would laugh and tell me I must be joking them.
A few years later, I approached Grampy and asked him if he could help me make a wooden sword. I had long since accepted that, like “Vasis Spletkin Mitter Hoidendodin,” the word Spadoni’s true meaning was probably only known by the criminally insane. Grampy and I descended into his laboratory and after many hours, I called it quits and left 91 Tower Street. Knowing how important this was to me, Grampy continued to work on the project for the remainder of the week. He invited me back the next weekend and unveiled a beautiful wooden sword, with brass studs imbedded into the handle and along the spine. He had engraved our family name into the sword and attached a leather wrist strap.
It was truly beautiful.
Years later, I found myself walking the halls of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy. Upon entering the armory, I found myself face-to-face with a gigantic sword labeled, “spadone.” After exploring the room further, I discovered a plethora of spadone swords and was told that those that make spadone are called, “Spadoni.”
I told Grampy this story a few months later. He enjoyed hearing it and asked me to write it down for him. Sadly, I never did.
A few weeks ago, on a lazy Friday during the summer, my boss let us off at lunch. I just had this unexplainable desire to visit Grampy and tell him that story. I took the elevator up and found Nanny sitting next to Grampy’s bed, holding his hand. We spend about 45 minutes together and I told Grampy the story. He laughed and smiled and held my hand, but I could tell he was in a great deal of pain. When a nurse came in to minister to him, he pointed at me saying, “This is my grandson. I’m proud of him.”
The next time I saw Grampy was the day before he passed.
He was the true Spadoni, the true sword-maker.