What does this blog have to do with the legal profession? Absolutely nothing. But to my mind it is an unusual adventure worth sharing. It is the story of the 4 day effort of my wife and me to meet our two boys in Italy for the Christmas holidays.
Why Italy? Well in part this reflects the truth that the pollster, John Zogby describes in his recent book: The Way We Will Be. Although I met John for the first time a few months ago when he spoke to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs to which I belong, we have a common background. We come from the same city, Utica, New York where John still resides and we have common acquaintances. I even played high school football against his cousin.
In his book John describes the globalization of the generations of Americans in their mid thirties and younger. Our family, it appears, comes close to being the platonic ideal of that image. I spent a good deal of my legal career representing foreign interests before the US courts—most notably the challenge to the use of unitary taxing schemes by certain states, California in particular, upon the global income of foreign multinationals operating through subsidiaries in the state. This effort, the efforts to restrain US courts from their predilection to exercise universal jurisdiction on matters clearly beyond their purview, and the fact that I prominently displayed my Rome, Italy license plate and a picture of me on my Ducati in Rome, appears to have had its influence on my sons (see below).
The oldest is a 28 year old entrepreneur who now lives in China operating a business he started: www.attigohk.com . He is fluent in Mandarin, reasonably fluent in French and studying Cantonese. The youngest, resides and works in Italy where is responsible for exports at www.artesina.com . He is fluent in Italian, reasonably fluent in French and studying Bulgarian.
The problem for holidays was how to get together as a family for the holidays. We had not been together for some time since my oldest son had been in China for going on three years and the youngest was in Italy last Christmas. I was retired and the oldest owned his own company, so we had the most flexibility with schedules. Thus, Italy seemed to be the location for a family Christmas.
Larry Sailbra, Rome, Italy 1967