I've been hanging onto this story for a while. Your post in the thread below prompted me to share this.
Ralph Guglielmi grew up in and around Grandview Heights, Ohio, a small, tightly-knit suburb of Columbus. Its current composition of pricey homes and trendy restaurants conceals the area's blue-collar roots. Back before the war, it was a spot for Italian immigrants who worked in the nearby quarries. In several instances, the Grandview Heights city lines were gerrymandered to keep the Italians out. If you go back far enough, you can find deeds of record prohibiting the sale or rental of certain properties to anyone of Italian nationality.
It was against that backdrop that Ralph Gugliemi became a local football hero at Grandview Heights High School, as he was cheered by the same people who, one generation earlier, wanted to draw lines to keep him and his family out of their town. Maybe he changed some opinions. Maybe he rode the wave of post-WWII assimilation of ethnic immigrants into American suburbia. Maybe it was a bit of both. But the significance was not lost on the Italians who were there to witness it.
But I digress. When Frank Leahy showed up in Grandview Heights to recruit Guglielmi, he spent about 45 minutes on the front porch talking to Ralph's grandmother. Nobody knows what they talked about--she didn't speak a word of English, and he didn't speak a word of Italian. After Leahy left, Ralph's grandmother told him that he was going to play at Notre Dame. Ralph asked, "How can you be so sure? You didn't understand anything he said." She responded, "I could see it in his eyes."
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