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DIGGING IN THE ATTIC

There is a famous French saying, Les rêves sont les seules réalités de la vie; which translated means - Dreams are simply the realities of life.

Often, as a child, I can remember not wanting to wake up in the mornings because I was having too much fun in a recurring dream - the exploration of a huge attic filled with turn-of-the-century clothes, fabulous paintings and exquisite furniture. I must have had the same dream at least a hundred times. The setting was always the same - an enormous house that I could not place, an attic full of treasures, the sounds of a symphony playing, and the reassuring feeling that people that knew and loved me were just downstairs.

As an adult, curiosity about my maternal grandfather (André O. Bustanoby) led me on a journey to learn more about my family history. I remembered that my Great Grandfather, André Jean Baptist Bustanoby and his brothers, Jacques, Louis, and Pierre had owned a restaurant in New York, so I began there. Through a number of lucky leads, ironic coincidences, and the remarkable help of a complete stranger I had met online, one day I found myself on eBay staring at an early 1900's postcard of Bustanoby family's hotel in Huntington, Long Island. Chills went up my spine and I could barely breathe - there in front of me was a picture of the very place I had been dreaming about for over 30 years - Le Chateau des Beaux Arts.

Ironically, since that day, I have not been able to recapture the dream in slumber. Instead, I find myself digging through the "family attic" awake, continually unveiling bits and pieces of the Bustanoby's rich and colorful family history and discovering new family members that share my passion for preserving the history we share. The results of our collective journey have been brought together on this site so that you too can climb up to the attic, pull up a steamer trunk and learn more about our family of yesterday and today.