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.