Highlights of things I really treasure in my memory bank, these are things I can brag about but usually don’t, but I need to keep this running list so I know life doesn’t always suck, but is often wonderful. This too will be a running list, and in no particular order.
- Having seen both Tito Puente and his daughter perform at The World Trade Center one balmy evening in NYC (1990s)
- Several encounters and conversations with Gene Wilder (1990s)
- Filming and knowing Danny Stiles (1970s-2010)
- Seeing a NYC Play with both Marissa Tomei and Quentin Tarrantino (1990s)
- Knowing my name is at the base of the SETI Space Telescope in South America which I helped establish via Carl Sagan’s Planetary Society.
- Being able to photograph a charity event with my idols Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain and Joe Bastianich, just to name a few.
- Having drinks at the top the Empire State Building, The Rainbow Room in Manhattan, and Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
- Chatting backstage with Andy Rooney, B-52s and Uncle Floyd Vivino.
- Meeting Vint Cerf (real father of the internet, engineer and architect which we now take for granted today)
- Meeting Danny Aiello several times.
- Meeting Paul Sorvino and his daughter Mira before she was famous
- Having met Jane Fonda, Mike Wallace, Beverly Sills, Alicia Silverstone, and them talk and treat me just like equals.
- Having met some other celebrities and famous people who just lacked manners and I am glad I never had to work with them again
- Having worked with Francis Ford Coppola, Christopher Reeves, Ed Gallardo, Silvana Gallardo and Billy Drago.
- Having 3 Articles written on Italian-American Culture in a National Magazine.
- Growing up in the 1970s when there was only one phone in the house and it was only used for family calls and emergencies.
- Travelled to 4 of the 7 continents, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and if you want to stretch it, Sicily is closer to Africa than it is to Rome.
- Having worked in Manhattan every day for 10 years – yes, that is an experience and a whole book by itself.
- Been to the very top of Mt. Etna in Sicily when it was not erupting.
- Having travelled through Sicily during a civil war without too many incidents
- Seeing some music legends in concert like Bon Jovi warming up for ZZ Top at Madison Square Garden, The Eagles, Robert Plant, John Cougar Mellencamp, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and yes, the originals.
And 30 years later I meet one of my idols again…