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  • Where in the World is Peppy Mitidiero?
    Part 2 of 3: Dad's MIA

    by Flora Mitidiero Raehl

    Once the reservations were made, I secured an escort for every leg of the trip. I was able to go directly to the departure gate with my father by explaining his "...diminished hearing capacity" to the people at Alitalia, that way I knew dad would be sure to get on the plane. I had an escort that was meeting him when his plane landed in Milan to get him to his connection to Rome. I had a wheelchair escort waiting for him at the arrival gate in Rome to help him get through customs and get his luggage. I had contacted two of his cousins from Alessandria del Carretto (dad's home town) who made the twelve hour car ride north to Rome to pick him up and get him back to his home town. I was confident I had covered all the bases to get one stubborn, hard of hearing senior citizen back "home," and yet – he disappears.

    I get a phone call at 6:00 am of the morning dad was supposed to arrive saying he never got off the plane in Rome. WHAT???? I frantically start making calls to Alitalia trying to explain my dilemma and all I could keep saying was "Non posso trovare il mio padre" (I can't find my father). Well, they couldn't find him either. Someone used his ticket for the connection in Milan but because of privacy laws they couldn't tell me if it was him or not. I must have made at least six international calls to different airports and people. I even tried having him paged in the Milan and Rome airports, to no avail, probably because dad would never have heard anything. So it's a good thing for me that at the time I had a job in a public safety arena and a boss who suggested we do a missing person's report since no one had seen or heard from my father for many hours. Keep in mind my father was a missing American traveling in a foreign country, so I'll just leave it to your imagination what agency we had to file this report with – but we fax off this missing person's report and now can only sit and wait.

    Part 1: Dad's Trip Home Part 3: Dad Buses it Home


    Article Published 5/5/11

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