June 26, 1998

I met Marcell Ordogne at the Holiday Inn recently. She told me how much she enjoyed my column in The Daily Review. I used to meet Marcell and Murray on the Berwick Walking Trail. Murray was such a nice man – he always had that little smile. I’ll never forget when Marcell was walking on the trail about three blocks ahead of Murray and I told Murray that Marcell was leaving him way behind. He said that Marcell was practicing for the Olympics. Every day, while walking on the trail, we would always stop to rest on a bench that is in memory of Murray Ordogne. It gives me a most unusual feeling to be sitting on a bench that is dedicated to a man whom I used to know and meet on the walking trail.


I went to Berwick Town Hall to pay my gas bill and the lady who waited on me, Mrs. Belinda Thibodeaux, told me how much she enjoyed my article of March 6. This writing was about my son who was called to duty in Vietnam. She said it was very sad and that she had tears in her eyes while reading it.

Also, at the bank in Berwick, Mrs. Dawn Thomason told me how much she enjoyed the same article. She said she could not keep from crying.


If you ever go to Venice, Italy, be careful. Be sure you always know what hotel you’re staying in and the number of the boat you are cruising in; also, the number of the place you departed from. And when you walk in St. Mark’s Square, be sure you have an umbrella over you – the pigeons are all over the place.

Milan, Italy, is the place I loved. The Cathedral, The Doumo, to me is the most beautiful church in the world. I know because I have seen St. Peter’s in Rome; Notre Dame in Paris; St. Paul’s in London; St. Patrick’s in New York City; churches in Montreal, Mexico City and many others.

When I was in Milan, Italy, I tried to get a guide to take me where Mussolini was hung. That was taboo – the guide quickly said: “No.” In the whole country of Italy, I saw only one sign of Mussolini on a post in front of King Emanuel’s palace.

On another trip to Sicily, my brother, my wife and I went to a town named Chuisa Sclafoni about 40 miles from Palermo. We were driving along slowly and came upon an old man with a horse and a wagon full of hay. We asked him if he knew any Guzzettas. He said: “si eyah sunya Goozzetta,” saying that he was a Guzzetta. He was not kin to us but he invited us to his house anyway. We told him we were looking for a motel to spend the night. He told us to stay there with his family. So, we moved in.

The house was full of chickens and ducks. He showed us two rooms upstairs. When we went to our rooms, there were two goats sleeping on the floor. The old man gave us each a “runali” to take to our rooms. Now, if you want to know what a “runali” is, ask Sam Spitale or Dee Orceno.

That morning the old lady gave us each a latado with coffee; and Italian bread to break in the coffee. She also served piscottas. She insisted that we stay for lunch – so, we did. She cooked spaghetti. She put the spaghetti in the boiling water whole – we always break our spaghetti in small sections at home. Well, when we started eating, the grandpa started sucking in on the spaghetti, which was about a foot long. He got it half-way down his throat and went to choking. The old lady got a pair of scissors and clopped the spaghetti at his mouth. One half went down his throat, and the other half went back on the plate. He got all right so he ate a whole plate of favas and big platter of ricota; a large piece of cascavado cheese and a bottle of wine.

Those people can really eat. When we left, we thanked them so much for their
hospitality. They brought back so many memories of us at home when I was young.

* The End *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *