Its September 1. The dreaded day that bookends the summer. Usually, right about this time every year, I look back on the summer and wish I had made something more of it. All too frequently since adolescence, I wish I had either done more, seen more, traveled more, or whatever the regret of the day happens to be.
The Skvarla Wedding was far away in Indiana, so there wasn’t much opportunity for most of our friends to make it to the ceremony. It only seemed fitting that we throw a legendary party back home to celebrate the newlyweds.
One thing we know how to do is throw a legendary party.
I’m proudly as close to a brother-in-law as I will ever be.
Last weekend, on Sunday, August 15th, Sarah Singleton became betrothed to one of my best friends, Michael Skvarla. I was proud to be a member of the groom’s party, and dare I say, I looked rather dashing in my tux along side of 5 of my best friends. 😉
So lets talk about the elephant in the room, the naturalization certificate.
Disclaimer: Warning! This is going to be a long post, so if you want the readers digest version, here are some bullet points:
- Naturalization certificates may be difficult to get from a county court.
- The USCIS Genealogy program does not make certified copies. Don’t bother asking.
- In the event you can’t get a certified copy of a naturalization certificate from the court house where the naturalization happened, you may be able to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get these documents.
- It is unclear if the consulate will even require the naturalization certificates to be certified because it is so difficult to get a non-original. Asking your consulate is a good idea, and I erred on the side of caution by forcing myself to get a copy.
Now, the long version of the story:
My aunt Margie had sent me a photocopy of Sam’s naturalization certificate. I put off asking to borrow it, assuming it would be a simple matter. It was my foolish mistake to assume that she had the original document, but alas, our family record keeping isn’t as cohesive as I wish it were. So it was off to find the naturalization certificate myself. (This citizenship process is often a lonely one)
Our annual journey to the Sirna family reunion was a little longer than usual. Typically, we have the reunion at Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland, but this year’s coordinator lives in the beautiful, quiet (and remote) town of Rock Hall, MD.
Mom, Doug, my grandmother and I made the journey to Rock Hall in my little Toyota, and got in town just in time for an all-you-can-eat crab feast.
This year, we are lucky enough for there to be two pig roasts.
Usually, we only have one (or 1/2 of one, as we experienced in the past), but this year, Skivvy is getting married so we get to celebrate twice.
The first pig roast of the year, you always know the night got really, really interesting when your digital camera contains photos like this the next day:
I was dreading the search for Marriage License Applications, but it they weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be.
My parents and grandparents’ certificates were easy. I called the circuit courts/county clerks of both Allegheny County, MD and Mineral County, WV. All I had to do was write them a letter with what I wanted, drop in a check ($5.50 for MD, $6.00 for WV), and mail it off.
The big news of the week on the dual-citizenship front is the that my shotgunning approach worked; I have finally received a copy of Sam’s birth certificate from Naso, Italy.
If you already didn’t have a sense of Italian bureaucracy, this will give you a good hint. This uber-official birth certificate is all handwritten:
This happened by mistake.
I was asked for input on making a “page of photos” for the Heron. I had assumed without asking for confirmation that “page of photos” meant a webpage. I was incorrect, turns out that some people still like holding a photo in their hands.
It is 3 days of camping, music and love. It is a journey away from routine. It is the event my friends and I look forward to the most every year.
It’s the Great Blue Heron Music Festival in Sherman, NY. You may have heard me mention it a few times.