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Agincourt’s newest citizens


As the only child of an only child (on my father’s side, that is), I’m mesmerized by large families. Fotoula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos’ character in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) speaks of her cousins in double digits–and that’s just the first cousins.There is, of course, the family you get and the family you make, which is clearer to me than it would be to Toula.

A wide variety of people have populated Agincourt during the last five years, though perhaps not as broad a range as our own experience. I must confess to creating residents of admirable character, if not saint-like, because those are the people I know.

To date there have been no mass murderers.*

The complex relationship between and among personality traits, social interaction and the built environment eludes me. I tried several entries earlier to illuminate the creation of Neil Klien, Agincourt’s grave digger, which afforded an opportunity to wonder about the many citizens he buried, and that, in turn, opened the door to some editorializing he might have done. There is still more to harvest in that story. Agincourt’s newest “residents” have come about in a different way.

Kenneth and Rachel Goodall

America’s 24/7 garage sale–the ongoing on-line auction site that shall not be named–brought two beautiful portraits to my attention. These delightful oil paintings of husband and wife–he in the American military force that liberated Italy; she presumably tending the home fires–came up for auction two weeks ago with an embarrassingly low opening bid. I won them uncontested.


Who could have allowed these to go beyond family ownership? I don’t get it. But then I don’t get a lot of things these days; Perez Hilton, the Tea Party and Black Republicans, among other things, mystify to the point of irritation.

The portraits are fully identified (Kenneth F. Goodall and Rachel Antoinette Bentley Goodall) as is the date of their creation (March 1944) and the artist (Signora Edinina Zambrini of #35 via Salvatore Cognetti, Bari, Italy). There are even labels from the Harbour-Longmire Co. of Oklahoma City, who provided the frames. Ordinarily, I have names and stories that require faces. Here, I’m challenged with names that have faces of character.and charm. Will I do them violence by trying to weave Mr and Mrs Goodall into the Agincourt Project? I hope not.

Not incidentally, if anyone in the Goodall family would like these treasures back, you can contact me at plains.architecture@gmail.com. I will gladly repatriate them.

*I must confess to be developing a consumately reprehensible character who is proving most difficult to integrate with the story so far.


  1. R.H.L.M. Ramsay says:

    Post Script: There is a Marco Zambrini on FaceBook who just happens to be a student at the University of Bari. What are the chances he is Edinina’s grand- or great-grandson? I’ll let you know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Milton has christened them Aunt and Uncle Square.

  3. R.H.L.M. Ramsay says:

    We do, indeed, live in a wondrous age. I’ve just received a FaceBook communication from Marco Zambrini, direct descendant of the artist above.

  4. R.H.L.M. Ramsay says:

    Details are arriving from the Zambrini family–first and foremost the proper spelling of the artist’s name: Enedina.

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