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POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 22, 2016 PAGE 13 Fal212tl q abb'&onno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance UNCLE Last week, I left off with the beginnings of an experience I had in Sicily back in 1972. During the last week in June, I joined my boyhood pal, Sal Meli, in his parent's hometown, Agri- gento, Sicily. They had retired from their jobs in 1970, and Sal hadn't seen them for two years; hence, the visit. Sal called and invited me to join them and I landed in Palermo a few days later. Sal, his father, Carmelo, and his uncle, Agostino Fal- detta, came north by train and met me at the Palermo airport. I rented a car and the four of us headed to a local hotel, as the older men wanted to spend a couple of days in Sicily's capital city. SaPs uncle, who insisted I call him Uncle Gus, latched on to me in order to practice his English, which he spoke with- out an Italian accent. We checked into the Hotel Joli (the spelling was different back then ... it might have been Jolly or Jolley, I'm not sure). Car- melo's comment was that, with their military IDs, they would get a good discount off the price of the two rooms we needed. The rooms were small by American standards, but clean and with a connecting shower that looked like it had been a closet before it was anything else. After I unpacked, we head- ed to the center of Palermo in search of a restaurant the older men knew. En route, Uncle Gus pointed out many of the mod- em buildings, the avenue-sized thoroughfares, and the con- temporary street lights which illuminated the downtown area at night as if it was the middle of the day. I thought the impromptu tour was due to a sense of pride expressed by Gus but, once we were seated in the restaurant the two older men were looking for, he sipped his before-dinner cocktail and began to describe the modern aspects of the city and the changes made thanks to Mussolini after he took over the government in 1922. He then stated that, before the Fas- cists took power, Sicily had no paved streets, no modern archi- tecture, no electricity, and very little indoor plumbing. As he continued, I noticed the expres- sion on his face. It changed to reflect a positive reminiscence of what he had experienced. I said nothing and waited for the man to continue with his first- hand stories. Gus continued without inter- ruption and brought the conver- sation to the end of WWI, "Like many other European countries after the Big War, regardless of who won, Italy was basi- GUS and MUSSOLINI cally without anything left in its treasuries, was minus a sizable portion of a generation of young men and still mired in the tradi- tions of royal family domination, regardless of how negatively it affected the population. King Victor Emmanuel III took a back seat to the new Fascist govern- ment led by Benito Mussolini in 1922, and things began to change." I listened with questions com- ing to mind as Gus continued to describe the modifications and modernizations that became part of the Italian landscape after 1922. When I asked how he knew all that he described, his answer was short and to the point, "I was there." Sal's father interrupted by pinching my arm, saying in Italian, =My brother-in-law became part of Mussolini's close circle of advi- sors." Sal added his two cents in by saying, "Uncle Gus became part of I1 Duce's inner circle." -. We spent two days in Palermo. Each morning, the four of us had coffee at sidewalk cafes and then strolled the main streets of the city as Uncle Gus pointed out the modern conveniences that Mussolini was responsible for-:paved roads, electric lights, indoor plumbing, and the tele- phone, which he claimed was invented by an Italian in New York before Bell knew what was going on. (I became Curi- ous about this statement and later researched the historical aspects of it and discovered it was not Alexander Graham Bell, but Antonio Meucci, who invented the telephone. (More about this historical mistake in a later column.} As Uncle Gus continued pontificating about the mira- cles performed by Mussolini throughout Italy, I asked him about his relationship with the man called "I1 Duce." As he continued with his stories, the undertone was that of a love/ hate relationship. When I finally asked him why Italy joined with Germany in declaring war on the United States days after Pearl Harbor, he scowled and replied, "We had no alterna- tive; we had to." I then asked, "Did you Italians really hate us Americans that badly?" Uncle Gus inhaled, exhaled, choked and then tried to answer by giving me a bunch of statistics he conjured up. I had no way of telling if his figures were ac- curate or not, but didn't inter- rupt him, "Listen, about a year before war was declared on the United States, the population of Italy was around 42,000,000. There were maybe 5,000,000 Italian immigrants in the U.S., -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST-- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 Part II give or take if you add in th~ ones born in America, and another million or so that had intermarried with other nation- alities. This means that, let's say, 1 out of 8 or 10 Italians had family or friends in the United States." Counting on my fingers and toes, that was about 12 per- cent of the population. Gus then commented, "Do you think we really wanted to go to war with our own?" I repeated my ques- tion as to why Italy joined with Germany and declared war on the United States. Sensing that I was getting a bit defensive, Uncle Gus took a deep breath and said, "Germany and Italy didn't declare war on the United States; it was the Nazis and the Fascists." Even though I called myself an" Italian-American {with a hyphen, something I refuse to add in today), I was a guest in a foreign country and didn't want to look like the "ugly American," the image I had seen presented by many American tourists' in my travels throughout the world, but I was, and still am an AMERICAN. I decided to shut my mouth and thought of changing the subject. Uncle Gus seemed to have some feelings that he wanted to express and contin- ued talking as if the converSa- tion was between father and son, "Guaglione, [boy or kid in Neapolitan ... although he was not Neapolitan, he knew I would catch the drift of who was the teacher and who was the student]. I was there at the meetings between I1 Duce and Hirer. I was hidden in the crowd of advisors who loved the limelight as much as the boss. Both Mussolini and Hitler loved to be surrounded by advisors in public, but much of their advice was ignored. Whatever these two men wanted to do, they did regardless of who said what. God forbid you said something that they didn't want to hear, you might become history like Mussolini's son-in-law, Count Ciano." I'm out of space so, TO BE CONTINUED ... GOD BLESS AMERICA Loved Ones on The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. P/ease call 61 7-22 7-8929 # LEGAL NOTICE LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI16P2037EA Estate of SIDNEY F. GREELEY Date of Death March 27, 2016 CITATION ON PETITION FOR FORMAL ADJUDICATION To all interested persons: A Petition for Formal Probate of Will with Appointment of Personal Representative has been filed by Patricia J. Greeley of Fram- ingham, MA requesting that the Court enter a formal Decree and Order and for such other relief as requested in the Petition. The Petitioner requests that Patricia J. Greeley of Framingham, MA be appointed as Personal Representative(s) of said estate to serve Without Surety on the bond in an unsu- pervlsod administration. IMPORTANT NOTICE You have the fight to obtain a copy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 Docket No. MI97P4242GR3 CITATION GIVING NOTICE OF PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF A GUARDIAN OF AN INCAPACITATED PERSON In the Interests of CHRISTOPHER HARTIGAN-LOWE, of Haverhill, MA formerly of Watertown, MA RESPONDENT Incapacitated Person/Protected Person To the named Respondent and all other interested persons, a petition has been filed by Department Of Mental Retardation of Hathorne, MA in the above captioned mat- ter requesting that the court Terminate the Guardianship. The petition asks the court to make a deter- mine that the Guardian and/or Conservator should be allowed to resign; or should be re- moved for good cause; or th~.t the Guardianship and/or Consewatorsl~l~@ no longer necessary Petition from the Petitioner or at the Court. and therefore should be termihated. The original You have a right to object to this proceeding, netition s on file with the court Todo so, you or your .art .om.eymust file a I r y6.d~avQ(he~right to object to this written appearance ana objection at thiS4 ~~ Jlf~ wish to do so youor~your Court before 10:00 a.m. on the return dqv I ,I.^,,ofoe.. _'.'.; ,,,^ a wrtten a-'e~rance at of May 12, 2016. ~ _] this court on or before 10:00 A.M. on the return This is NOT.~! he~t~l-r~i~q'lX~'{I dateofJuneg,2016.ThisdayisNOTahearing deadline by which you must file a written appearance and objection If you object to this proceeding. If you fail to file a timely written appearance and objection followed by an affidavit of objections within thirty (30) days of the return day, action may be taken without further notice to you. UNSUPERVISED ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE (MUPC) A Personal Repreeantatlve appointed under the MUPC In an unsupervised admin- istration is not required to file an inventory or annual accounts with the Court. Persons interested in the estate are entitled to notice regarding the administration directly from the Personal Representative and may peti- tion the Court in any matter relating to the estate, including the distribution of assets and expenses of administration. i Witness, HON. EDWARD F. DONNELLY, JR., First Justice of this Court. Date: April 14, 2016 Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of Probate Run date: 4/22/16 date, but a deadline date by which you have to file the written appearance if you object to the petition. If you fail to tile the written appearance by the return date, action may be taken in this matter without further notice to you. In addition to tiling the written appearance, you or your attorney must tile a written affidavit stating the specific facts and grounds of your objection within 30 days after the return date. IMPORTANT NOTICE The outcome of this proceeding may limit or completely take away the above-named person's right to make decisions about personal affairs or financial affairs or both. The above-named person has the right to ask for a lawyer. Anyone may make this requeet on behalf of the above-named person. If the above-named person cannot afforda lawyer, one may be appointed at State expense. Witness, HON. EDWARD F. DONNELLY, JR., First Justice of this Court. Date: April 14, 2016 Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of Probate Run date: 4/22/16 Fully Insured Lic #017936 Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 kenskjs @ aol.com The Post-Gazette is now on the Web! Check us out at www.Boston_PostGazette.eom. 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