Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Family Resemblances

When I was in Florence, Italy in 1980, a young man came up to me and boldly announced in English, "You must be a H**mann (my maiden name)!"

I was stunned. First, I hadn't heard or spoken much English in the previous six weeks that I'd been in Europe so it was odd to hear a stranger address me in English. But more importantly, this man had confidently pegged me as a H**mann halfway across the world!

Before I could answer (which would have taken awhile, as my jaw was on the floor), he went on: "You have a brother named Chris."

I do have a brother named Chris!

I think I muttered something like "wow" at that point. But he just continued. "No one could look this much like Chris H**mann and not be related to him."

At that point I was able to ask, "Who are you?" and tell him that I did, indeed, have a brother named Chris.

It turns out that this guy was a friend of my brother's. We chatted for a while and he asked me to give my brother his regards when I returned home, which I did.

I dunno -- what do you think? Really, really close resemblance, or just you average similar family features (square jaw, wide mouth, big cheeks)?

My dad and I share some of those features, too:

And my aunt (Dad's sister) definitely has them -- here with my brother, Michael:

I have a feeling Chris' friend in Italy just just acutely perceptive when it came to recognizing family features. But I must say that you can tell which five of us, in this photo taken last weekend by my ten-year-old niece, are blood relatives and who is a -- very welcome -- recent additional to the family. (That'd be my dad's love, Lou, who I have come to love hugely too!)

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5 comments:

Helen E.M. Wright said...

That would have freaked me out! Funny though!

My husbands parents are from Scotland and when we go back there (without them) people think that my husband is his father. They look THAT much alike!

jennifer said...

I think you and your sibs have similar "almond eyes" in those pics. People seem to notice resemblances in the eyes, since that's what we look for in each others' faces. Are you the youngest of the group (baby sister to 3 brothers)??

Carol said...

I'm the third of four. Chris is three years younger than me. Michael's oldest, and Stephan (dark hair) is 10 and a half months older than me. We were brought up as virtual twins... but Mars and Venus, like Aleks and Kat -- and nowhere near as close as Kat and Aleks are. Though I ADORE Stephan, we didn't do things together socially, as Kat and Aleks do.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a strong family resemblance! You and your youngest bro have the most physical features in common, I think.

Good lookin' crew there.

Goofball said...

wow amazing. yes I see resemblance, but would not have picked you out on the other side of the world! I think Chris looks like his dad most.

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