24.4.07

I HAVE BEEN AN ANGEL

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In 1966 I took for the first time an airplane to join my First Love (afterwardes named FL) in Sicily. He stayed with his parents in Messina and I wanted to join him there for my holidays.

Now in 1966 Sicily was very far from Tourisme and the country was very poor. People still imigrated to the States and Mario Puzzo was probably just busy writing his book "The Godfather" (it was published in 1969) The Mafia was everywhere although I didn't know it. Only years later there were many things which I suddenly understood.

A lot of people were illitrated too. One day FL decided to go into the mountains in a little village to wash the car. There were not many fountains around and the drive up to this village was just beautiful. I had a sight all over the town, over the see until Italy.

We arrived in this little village and got out of the car. As dead as the village had looked when we arrived, suddenly people came out of the houses and approached. I didn't know what to do so I sat on a bank besides the fountain. Now I have to say I looked really very "extra terrestre" to them with my blond hair and my tall figure. People here were all short and very dark and some of them had an arabic look. While FL started with his carwash, women of all ages appeared with their children and the dogs were joining too. I wore a light blue organza dress with white spots, which was very fashionable at this moment, with volants on the skirt and around the short sleeves. It looked a little like a silky sahri.

Suddenly an old woman shouted : " Un angelo" I didn't realize what she said but suddenly I was surrounded by all the women. I asked FL what happened and he laughed and said : "They take you for an angel " I thought he was joking and just wanted to put my finger on my front when the women started to touch my dress and my arms.

Now I got nervous I didn't like this at all. Men came too and joined the women. There was a big group around us all chatting together. Suddenly a young woman came to me and wanted to give me her baby, I just wanted to refuse when FL told me to better take it.

With 23 I was not really a specialist in baby holding but I tried to do my best and not drop it and sat there helpless with the baby in my arms. The woman said something. I asked what she had said. To my surprise he started to laugh like crazy hiding his head in the car and between his laughing he told me that I should bless the baby ! Bless the baby ! I thought I had misunderstood but apparently not, because the woman smiled at me and pointed at the baby.

Fortunately it was sleeping. I told FL that I couldn't do it that this was completely crazy, but he stopped laughing directed his eyes to the men and said : "you better do" And indeed the men looked quite hostile. So I gathered all my church knowledges, made a cross on the baby's front and stroke over his haed and sincerely hoped that I did it well. There was no other choice, we were far from civilisation and it could be quite dangerous. After 3 or 4 babies I felt much better and started even to find the situation funny. Now I had to hide my amusement. When I was finished with the babies, the toddlers came and then the small children and I continued my blessings.

Apparently I did my job well, because when the old women started and wanted to be blessed too I refused and asked FL to tell them that I was only responsible for children. I don't know what for a story he told them, but they stepped back.

Now a big hullaballoo started they pulled me up and pushed me direction houses and I really got scared with all these laughing and screeming people around me. But the only thing they wanted was to invite us in their houses. Finally we made an agreement, we went to the village place and they all came and brought the best food they had. I wasn't hungry and also ashamed to accept food knowing that they themselves had hardly something to eat, but FL told me that I could not refuse if I didn't want to provoke a riot.

So we sat down under olvive trees at a very big table and I had the best food I ever had and the best wine too !

Nobody payed attention that I didn't speak, they probably thought that angels don't, but I couldn't understand a word because sicilian and italian is completely different.

When years later I read the "Godfather" I had to think about my adventure as an angel ! Indeed it could have been dangerous. Many people disappeared at that time.

If you want to see here my last paintings I published them today.

11 comments:

mar said...

Ohhh, I tell you, you have the best stories!!! I can just picture you among those mafia relatives, lol.
So Opa was called Giorgio Gattino! what a lovely name for a grandfather, doesn't your son think that??

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Gattina. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I'm sure it was quite scary back then when you weren't sure what will happen but I'm sure you find it amuzing now after several years. I also think it was flattering to be called an angel. It's a great story worth telling.

Thanks for your comment on my blog regarding "Friends Gone Astray." Thanks for sharing your personal experience. I'm sorry to hear about your loss friendship. It's sad when friendship falls out that way. It's good that you gave it a second chance but I understand that sometimes, it's hard to fill a void that was put there by disappointments and painful incidents.

It's a FLIP-FLOP World said...

Gattina, what a story! I would have been scared too especially being that young too. An angel!! Wow!! What a great job you were given. I loved reading your story!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!! Yes, Simon is still not liking me at all. Now he is not biting me because I am not paying any attention to him. before you say that is not nice at all...My husband makes up for that...My hubby will not let me find a new home for him. Simon has bit me 6 times now!! Also now just for the heck of it he is peeing...I have no throw rugs left and even he is peeing on the floor...sometimes next to the litter box. I thought may he had a UTI but I dont think so now. Because he does not do it all of the time. He is just very tempermental. Does not like me at all. I just love cats...Hmm..Sandy

Melli said...

ROFL! Gattina... you sure get into some messes don't you!? Is this true?

Rachelle Black said...

Gattina,
What a delightful story! I would love to see it in a painting.
The blonde angel sitting on an Italian fountain surrounded by Sicilians!
Beautiful....
Reminds me of my adventure with a mob of Japanese tourists once when I was young, blonde and beautiful :))
Slainte~
Rachelle %@#&* (returning your spam) *wink-wink*

vlado&toni said...

Nice story, I could just imagine you out there being an angel to those kids. Yes you are indeed more than a celebrity in that town. My hubby had also a funny experience in the Philippines, we were in a market in one remote town where tourists don't normally go. I left him in one stall and when I came back, he was surrounded with kids, really fascinated and were excitedly touching the hairs on his legs. I overheard a kid said, Wow- is that gold?

TeaMouse said...

I absolutely love the painting of the two cats!!!!! It is simply perfect! Also the one of the vase of tulips and the cat....magnificent!

Claudie said...

Hello Gattina
I knew Gattina with the indians and today I know Gattina and the Sicilians! Always exciting and so interesting story! Vraiment Gattina tu gardes toujours ton sang froid dans des situations très fortes émotionellement!
Je vais aller voir tes peintures maintenant!
Bonne soirée

Sanni said...

Hello angel!

Once again you did a great job - I laughed so much I nearly bursted.

Lachen... das ist genau das, was ich jetzt brauchte. Luis hatte heute seine U6-Baby-Untersuchung, in Kombin ation mit Masern-Mumps-Röteln und Meningitis Impfung. Er steckt Impfungen sehr schlecht weg... immer sehr hohes Fieber. Zum Glück konnte er eben einschlafen! Armes Bübchen...

TopChamp said...

ha ha.... an angel indeed! Little did they know x Only joking of course - I think of you as perfectly saintly...

Captain Lifecruiser said...

Ha ha ha! This is priceless Gattina - or maybe you should call yourself Angel from now on.

I need a blessing from you.... *giggles*