He remembers Bergamo, Italy. It’s in the mountainous North of Italy, just South of the Swiss border and about midway between Maranello, where the incomparable Ferrari automobiles are manufactured and Milan, home of the La Scalla opera house, where the American soprano Leontyne Price is memorialized.
Two very different paths in life: Grandfather’s from the factories of Detroit Michigan to the Mountains of West Virginia and to Bergamo and back; Miss Price from Laurel, Mississippi to the Juliard School of Music to the great opera houses of America and Europe and back.
Bergamo has to be one of the most “alive” places on earth. Young men and women, two-by-two aboard little buzzing motor scooters, zipping around the traffic circles, down the narrow streets and through the tunnels everywhere, miraculously mingling without mangling themselves, and the coexisting motorcars — everything from tiny little bug-like things to imposing Mercedes. Best food imaginable at little restaurants here and there. And the architecture, music and art!
Bright colored flowers in pots along the streets and and in the gardens of the tile-roofed houses hugging the mountainsides, vineyards climbing where the houses weren’t.
Grandfather was in Bergamo to hear his granddaughter sing the soprano role in Pergolisi’s oratorio “Stabat Mater.”
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family