It seems that as I grow older, my mind returns to periods of my life that I can look back at with a sense of humor. Things that I did not find particularly amusing when they occurred like deaths, accidents and financial reversals. Growing up in an American home with Italian parents and grandparents in the same house, I just accepted my life as being somewhat screwed up. I say that because no one spoke Italian. My grandfather when he arrived in America at the turn of he century ( the last one, not this one) would not speak Italian and literally demanded that everyone spoke the language of this Country. I imagine that made sense then as it does now, but looking back on it, I felt kinda left out at funerals and weddings where everyone spoke in that “other” language. Of course for “them” we spoke in that “other” language. So basically I had no idea how non-Italian people saw me and my family. Okay, that’s enough about my childhood for now. The event I would like to tell you about is the death of my only aunt on maternal grandmothers side. That would be my mother’s sister if you’re trying to figure out where I’m going. Anyway, Aunt Vi died in Indiana, where my uncle had carried her off right after the war in Europe. Yeh, he came back to the States and met her at one of those USO hot beds of infamy. Be that as it may, I adored her and when she left us to move to where the indians lived I was devastated. I grew out of that and eventually became very fond of the usurper and his family. My cousins where part Italian and from New York so they where always close to my heart.
Well when she died many years later, my grandfather who was well into his 80’s, my father around 60 and me, about 17 ,were to take a plane to Ft Wayne and attend the funeral.
Three white Italians in black suits, white shirts and black ties with sunglasses got off the plane on that hot, steamy black top and with valises in hand walked to the waiting limo my Uncle had hired to pick us up. I’m not sure how to describe the looks we got from the “others” in the terminal, but if it was today, I’m sure that Homeland Security would have taken the Mafia hit men into custody. Well during the few days we were there I didn’t realize the impact we had that day. Years later, and after many visits that initial visual continued to bring a chuckle to the family. Most everyone except my cousins are now gone but I still remember the looks on the “indians faces” when we landed.