By Daria Radler I am walking on a typical “white road” surrounded by light forests and occasional clearings that offer phenomenal views over the rolling hills of the Chianti landscape. It is the middle of April and, in the heart of Tuscany, spring is […]
My Papa: Introducing My Grandfather
My grandfather, whom I adoringly call my Papa, is possibly the most interesting character in my family. This may be hard to believe if you’ve ever met his wife, aka my Nana. At first glance he may seem as equally polite and kind-hearted, yet perhaps a bit more timid and shy than his “better half”; but upon speaking with him, you would find yourself amazed at the adventures he has been on and the stories he has to tell. It’s always a treat for me to sit down to a plate of my Nana’s spaghetti and listen to one of my Papa’s stories, of which I know inside and out and by now can recite just-as-well or possibly even better than my Papa himself. Being an aspiring filmmaker, I definitely have my heart set on one day writing and directing a movie based on the stories that my Papa has told me. I see that as being a way to honor this man that I admire, and of sharing the stories I love with the world.
I may seem to be at a young age, but I’ve been referred to as being “old-hearted”. By now I understand that the beauty of living is to enjoy your life and make those are you, those who you love, enjoy their life even more with you in it. Once you are gone, your stories remain; and it is this outlook that leads me to believe you should often create your own stories and pass them on. That is what I plan on doing with my Papa’s stories, and I’ve already started. In future articles I will write of his tough older brother who didn’t tolerate people calling him a “dago”, and who often protected the family… but was also the first person to sit down at the dinner table and the last to leave. I will also tell of another Italian man whom my Papa served in World War II with, and who was always up to different shenanigans. Last but not least, stories of my Papa himself. A fun-loving and almost too-curious man, he has been through a lot. Not one dull moment in his life… at least not the way he tells it.