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POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 14, 2015 Page 13 Nanna abb onno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Friday the 13th ... Babbo- nonno claimed that he wasn't superstitious about bad luck. He didn't believe in it, but on the other hand, he didn't take any chances. Nanna believed in some of the old wives' tales from the Old Country, but she was Americanized more than Babbononno. If something went wrong, instead of blam- ing it on bad luck, she would say a couple of Hail Mary's and let it go at that. This month, the 13th is on a Thurs- day, so we're safe. Babbononno, if he spilled salt, or even when he didn't spill any, would take the salt shaker and sprinkle some salt over a shoulder. If a black cat crossed in front of him or was near him, he would make the Sign of the Cross, mumble something under his breath and head on his way. As a child, I once asked my grandfather why he believed in bad luck. He insisted that he didn't but would add, "Io non voglio tentare destino." (I don't want to tempt fate.) I can remember when my cousins Paula and Ellie and I were young children, and a Friday the 13th was arriv- ing, Babbononno would tell stories about things that happened that no one could explain. One of the stories went like this, " I had a paesano who owned a fish- ing boat and often asked me and a couple of other paesani to go out with him just to enjoy the day. On the day I could make it, none of the other friends were able to go, so I decided I would go alone. It was a long time ago when my children were very young, maybe 1920. Well, the day before the one when I was not working, I called Paesano Angelo, theowner of the fishing boat and told him I could make it. He was happy that I could go along and gave me directions to the fish pier and to where the boat was docked. Babbononno and Angelo, the fisherman, talked over things, and early on that Fri- day morning, before the sun came up, my grandfather arrived at Boston's fish pier and boarded Angelo's boat for a day of fishing. Nanna, not knowing what was in store, packed a picnic basked for Babbononno with sand- wiches, pieces of cheese, fruit and a bottle of wine. Once on board, Angelo, the fisherman, instructed my grandfather on the do's and don'ts of a working boat and, after the instruction period, they headed out of Boston Harbor. The boat was part of a flotilla of fishing boats that were so common in Boston 90 years ago and Bab- bononno just observed the happenings of the morning in amazement. They headed out past the inner then the outer harbors of the city, until they were out to sea and lost sight of land. Once they were at a par- ticular location where Angelo assumed there would be fish, the crew went into action plying their trade on a cloudy morning. Bab- bononno watched again in amazement as each crew member followed silent in- structions and worked col- lectively to catch fish as they probably had done so many times in the past. As the morning wore on, the skies didn't clear. As a matter of fact, it became foggy and soon you couldn't see more than a foot or two in front of yourself. Angelo told Babbononno not to worry, as they had a com- pass, plenty of gasoline and a fog horn to warn off boats that might come too close in the fog. Under his breath, my grandfather mumbled some- thing about Friday the 13th and bad luck especially on his day off, but didn't say anything to Angelo. The spot that was picked to stop and fish didn't pan out as there weren't any fish caught, so the decision was made to try another location. When they tried to start the boat, it wouldn't kick over. They checked the engine and that seemed ok, but the gas tanks were empty. Angelo, swearing in Italian, couldn't understand what happened as he had filled them early that morning. To complicate matters, a look at the compass showed that it was just spinning around, not allowing them to find a direction. To try to attract at- tention, Angelo had one of his crew begin to sound the fog hom at particular inter- vals. This continued for quite a while and, as time passed, my grandfather de- veloped a slow panic but tried not to show it. After what seemed like an eternity, they heard some- one yelling, "Ahoy, ahoy." Angelo answered back and a voice in broken English yelled back, "This is the Ave Maria, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, do you need help?" Angelo yelled back that they did and kept sound- -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 ing the fog horn until the Ave Maria was visible. It was de- cided that the captain and crew, Portuguese fisherman from the port of Gloucester, would tow Angelo's boat back to Boston Harbor. Once the lines were attached, the tow began and Babbononno began to relax a bit but was still more than anxious about not being able to see anything in the dense fog. The Ave Maria chugged along at a slow pace, just barely visible as it towed Angelo's boat. They passed the outer islands, the inner islands, and were soon in the calm waters of Boston Harbor. As they approached the fish pier, the fog began to clear just a little and the captain of the Ave Maria yelled to Angelo, "Try to start your engine." Angelo tried, and his engine started. He checked his gas tanks and they were full. He couldn't understand it, nor could he understand how his compass was now working accurately. The crew threw off the tow lines and Angelo thanked the captain and men of the Ave Maria for getting them home safely and, as the thank you was being shouted, the Ave Maria headed back into the thick fog of the morning. Babbononno was relieved and celebrated by opening up the bottle of wine Nanna had packed in the picnic basket. He needed a drink. Well, the day was shot for fishing and Angelo wanted to check his engine, gas tanks and compass before he did anything else. The boat zig- zagged its way through the maze of Boston's fishing boats that had not sated that morning and pulled into the dock where it was usually moored. The harbor master came out to greet the boat and ask Angelo why they were back before finishing a day's fishing. Angelo began trying to explain the hap- penings of the morning to the man and, when he reached the point where a boat came to their rescue, the harbor master just stood there with the look of shock on his face. Angelo noticing the ex- pression on the man's face asked him what was wrong. The harbor master began a slow explanation of why he was shocked. He spoke slowly and distinctly, stating that the Ave Maria was a well-known fishing boat from Gloucester but it had been sunk by a German subma- rine near George's Banks just after America had en- tered World War I about three years earlier. This is how Babbononno ended the story and my cousins Paula, Ellie and I just sat there in silence fearing Friday the 13th. I don't believe in luck, but like Babbononno, I don't like to tempt fate. GOD BLESS AMERICA Socially Scene (Continued from Page 8) is known for blending the fin- est seafood with ingredients from a global pantry and, hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Allison and Matt Robicelli of wholesale bakery Robicelli's have reinvented the cupcake craze for a more sophisti- cated palate, making each a small piece of the greatest cake ever made. Another sweet demonstration will fea- ture Amy Guittard, author of the Guittard Chocolate Cook- book, and "Mr. Chocolate" himself, Jacques Torres, will be finishing out the weekend's cooking schedule. Also in attendance will be lo- cal favorites Matthew Petersen, Executive Chef of Newport Harbor Corp; Jamestown Fish Owner and Executive Chef Matthew MacCartney; and Frank Terranova, Johnston & Wales instructor and host of the NBC10 daily television segment "Cooking with Class." The Friday night Wine & Rosecliff gala will feature a special selection of fine wines and food from seaside Gilded Age splendor. Also re- turning to the event is the Collectible Wine Dinner at The Elms on Saturday night. This esteemed dinner will give guests the chance to taste and learn about a vari- ety of high-end collectible wines paired with delectable dishes. All of the wines will be hand-selected by the Festival's Director of Wines, Michael Greenlee, a 25-year veteran of the industry. Back by popular demand, you will have an extra oppor- tunity to enjoy late night bites and cocktails by some of the Festival sponsors with the return of Newport After Dark, taking place on Satur- day night, September 26th, at Forty I North on the Newport waterfront. Must see seminars will take place on Friday at the Hotel Viking Newport, allow- ing visitors the opportunity to learn about wines from dif- ferent regions of the world. You are encouraged to ask some of the industry's most respected experts about tast- ing, pairing and buying wine. All proceeds from the New- port Mansions Wine & Food Festival benefit The Preser- vation Society of Newport County, a non-profit organi- zation accredited by the American Alliance of Muse- ums and dedicated to pre- serving and interpreting the area's historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic proper- ties, seven of them National Historic Landmarks, span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development. What better way to wel- come fall back into our schedule than to enjoy worldly wines and the best local cuisine the East Coast has to offer. It is an amaz- ing three day event that is not to be missed and encour- aged to attend each tasting as there is always so much to offer. The 2015 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Fes- tival will take place Septem- ber 25th through September 27th. For more information on scheduled events, tick- The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival ~. returns this September for their annual tastings. (Photo by NewPortMansions.org) ets or directions, visit w w w.NewportMansionsWine AndFood.org or call 401-847- I000. StyleWeek Announces Dates ... A new venue and the option to purchase front row tickets for their eleventh season. StyleWeek Northeast re- turns from September 14th- 18th at the Ballroom in the Providence G to present Spring/Summer 2016 col- lections. Currently, the five-day event will feature styles from returning designers Jess Abernethy, Antwan Byrd, Carissa Frazier, Jonathan Joseph Peters, Amy Stet- kiewicz, Samuel Vartan," An- gelica Timas and Sarah Prost, who took a season off. Season eleven will welcome Rhode Island School of De- sign graduate Chaz Aracil, participants of StyleWeek's student fashion designer competition Seed, Valentina Oppezzo and Jeffrey Dick- erson, as well as Bianca Jones-Pearson, Susan Ze- maitis and Angela Zampell. The Accessory Showcase and cocktail hour will return for the entire week in a lo- cation that is separate from the runway roomat 82 Weybosset Street, the store- fronts of Paolino Properties, which is adjacent to the Providence G. The Accessory Showcase will still be open to the public and presently Flaunt Boutique, Lotus Life Designs, Dylanium Knits, TINA Stephens and Wrentham Premium Outlets are participating. Hope & Main and several food part- ners will also provide food samplings. In addition, StyleWeek is - giving guests the ability to pick and purchase their seats through the Eventbrite system. President and CEO of StyleWeek Rosanna Ortiz says, "The new venue has opened up many opportuni- .: ties for everyone that wants to attend StyleWeek North- east. The general public can now for the first time pur- chase front row seats due to the extended runway we will " have at the Ballroom at the Providence G. I've never been more excited for the new changesI" For more information on the event go to www. styleweeknortheast.corn. -"