It’s been many years since I’ve shared a heritage and childhood memories with the man in my life. In fact, the last time was when M. and I were married the first time.
Today, as we strolled down a deserted Via in Acqui Termi, I noticed a little family coffee bar with what looked like a few generations working, the kids fidgeting uncomfortably as their elders worked.
It brought to mind those Sunday dinners in Rochester at my grandparents’ house, our parents seated around the dinner table and we kids fidgeting uncomfortably in the other room. My grandmother’s old Philco radio played Italian music as we ate our pasta and drank bicchieri of vino.
“It was Attelio Iacelli’s Italian Musicale on WSAY-AM radio,” M. pointed out, laughing. “Sponsored by whom?” he prodded, then did a spot-on imitation of the commercials done in Italian for Bonenblust and Buckman, the big Olds dealer.
“My father drove a 98 Olds,” I pointed out.
“So did mine,” M. said. “All the guineas drove Olds.”
We then moved on to other Rochester memories.
I asked him if he remembered the band “The Invictas”, who had a hit song in the Northeast called “Do the Hump.”
(Yes, yes, really. Of course we didn’t know what it all meant at the time, but clearly, they did)
M. remembered them and that they played at Tiny’s Bengel Inn, in Summerville, right near his childhood home. And what’s more, they played in the Tampa Bay area six months ago and we could’ve seen them.
He then upped the ante: “Do YOU remember Wilmer Alexander, Jr. and the Dukes?”
I did. And we sat in our living room in northwestern Italy with big grins and rocked to this:
All those years ago, we could never have foreseen that one day we’d be sitting in Italy, middle-aged, reminiscing about the local bands of our youth. Never.
It’s a cool feeling.