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  • Old World Italian Style Romance
    Part 1 of 2: When Rocky Met Sari
    Italian Memories

    by Cookie Curci

    She first noticed him across a crowded room--a room filled with relatives and friends celebrating a family birthday party. He was a tall, lanky young man with thick wavy black hair. His Roman profile reminded her of screen star John Barrymore. Impressed, she thought, "He's the cat's pajamas."

    For the young man, the attraction wasn't so immediate. He was too busy clowning around with his six brothers in the corner of the room. Eventually, though, he did notice her, standing alone by the doorway. She had a slender figure and was dressed in a skirt that revealed her dainty ankles and part of her calves. Her hair was bowed and cascaded around her pretty face. Impressed, he thought, "She's the cat's meow."

    But both propriety and shyness prevented them from easily approaching one another. No, it would have to be arranged through the proper channels. The family grapevine would have to be notified that the young pair was "interested." On the pretense of borrowing a jar of medicated salve, the young man's mother, Maria Curci-Dinapoli, paid a visit to the girl's mother, Isolina Rizzolo. The following day, in return for the salve, the young man was sent to the young girl's house with a crate full of fresh vegetables from his family's Almaden ranch.

    The young man spent a few minutes visiting with the girl's parents, bid her a quick hello on his arrival and a short good-bye when he left. Thus, Mom and Dad's Old World romance had begun.

    Within days, Mom was told by her best friend, Connie Rizzio, who was also Dad's cousin, that Dad wanted Mom to join him for a well-chaperoned ride to Alum Rock Park. Dad pulled up to Mom's house in a fancy Ford coupe. Impressed, Mom squeezed into a rumble seat crowded with a gang of friends, and off they went for a day at the popular park.

    Part 2: Well Meaning Family Interference

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