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My Great Grandmother

My great grandmother, Noni Minaglia, arrived in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800’s and settled in Black Diamond.  They were promised farms in this growing corner of the new country but found only coal mining jobs.

Noni stood just under five feet tall, but kept order in her 100-room coal miner boarding house through persuasion, guile, empathy and primarily cooking.  As a child, even I knew her ravioli was second to none, and a boarder who got out of line was denied her fantastic meals!

Noni raised a strong family who grew out of their coal mining roots to become business owners.  Her son, Giovanni, owned several bowling alleys in Yakima during the hey-day of that sport.  Giovanni’s children build several businesses in Duval, where the family name Minaglia can still be found in relatively large numbers.

These immigrants, willing to take a chance, to take whatever job they must to survive, then build businesses to serve their growing economy still represents the spirit of this country to much of the rest of the world.  That scrappy spirit is as American as apple pie.  We should recognize it as the powerful force that built this country, and one of few that will keep us strong and economically viable.

Trump’s denigration of immigrants actually denigrates the 99% of us who are not native born.  But his crass and ignorant style does not represent the tenacious and independent spirit at the heart of those who cast their future on foreign shores in hope of a better life.

Kevin Jones – with pride in my immigrant heritage.