I grew up in Los Angeles. I had a very athletic father who (as I wrote in a previous post) had been in the Olympics in 1948.Like this year, the games had been in London. He did track and field, and won a silver medal in the javelin throw for the American team.
We used to go out with my father, doing all sorts of athletic things for fun. Often we would go work out with him at the gym, or do hiking under the Hollywood sign in the hills of Hollywood. We would run, swim, do all sorts of sports. California is a great place for sports because of the outstanding weather. People stay in shape, have fun at doing it, and love being outdoors.
I have lived in Italy most of my life. My father died many years ago. Several years ago, I read in an Italian newspaper that Italian designer Ottavio Missoni was also in the Olympics. I hadn't known that, and read that he too was in the 1948 games. My father died in 1973, and so the thought that Missoni had actually been there, at the Games, made me curious. I wrote to an agency that I found on Google, a letter that I hoped would get to Missoni.
After reading that article and writing my letter one day I was in a doctor's office here in Perugia. I was with my daughter. All of a sudden my cellphone rang.
"Pronto?" "Chi è (Who is it?)" I asked.
"Sono Missssssooonnnni"! I recognized the friendly, exuberant voice that I had heard on television. I was totally shocked!!!
"Missoni, how nice of you to call!!" I said in Italian. "You were in the Olympics and so was my father, both of you in the same year".
"Yes" he said, "I was there".
"Is it possible, that you met my father? He was a silver medalist for the USA. He was a big man, he had another friend, a shot-putter. Did you meet them?"
"No, actually I don't remember meeting him. Actually, we were ALL big!" he remarked with a laugh.
"Yes, I imagine that was so!" I replied.
And we chatted a few more minutes, and I thanked him for the call and we said goodby.
Life is just great sometimes, and often filled with lovely surprises like this one.
Thanks once again, Ottavio Missoni, for this surprise that I won't forget.