My son Vinnie’s worst day of school turned out to be his first.
In fact, he stormed out of kindergarten in an uncharacteristically foul mood and firmly announced he was not going back.
“My teacher called me Vincent,” he said.”She wrote it on my desk.”
“Technically you are Vincent,” I said. “It’s a great name, Think about it. Your great-grandpa, your grandpa, your dad and you are all Vincents.”
“It’s a good name,” he said. “But it’s not MY name. My name is Vinnie.”
Eventually, we straightened things out with poor Mrs. Vandenbroek, and Vinnie agreed to return to Franklin Elementary School, where he spent a happy seven years.
I took this picture of Vinnie and Vince, the two youngest members of the Vincent quartet, two years ago on the front porch of our cabin.
I like their smiles here, their matching black shirts and perpendicular cowlicks.
The four Vincents — Vinko, who was born in 1900 and emigrated to Sheboygan from Croatia, Grandpa Vince, my husband Vince and Vinnie — share so much more than a name. Their Eastern European hospitality transcends four generations.
“Come on in! Sit down! Eat! Let me fill your glass.”
The Vincents I know lead with a firm handshake, love a good practical joke, and enjoy “Norm” status at their local establishment .(In the case of both the Vincents pictured here, the place where everyone knows their names is the Washington Inn in Cecil).
You’ll find our family Vincents (just don’t call them that) right in the center of the party, happiest in a room full of people, and sleeping easiest when they know all their guests have returned safely to their homes.
After 117 straight years of Vincent Biskupics, the future looks bright. In high school, Vinnie told me that some day he hopes to have a son named Vincent, the fifth in the line.
He’s going to call him V.