Copyright 2011 by Donald Philip Massetti
All rights reserved. No part of this book or blog may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a novel based on the true-life events of Gertrude Abate.
Aside from immediate family, names have been changed to protect the privacy and the rights of all other individuals.
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With the windows open and the radio playing Glen Millers “ Moonlight Cocktail”, Lily and Trudy worked side by side in the sunny living room dusting the furniture. Lily did not care much for the swing music that the kids seemed to be so ga-ga over, but for some reason she was able to appreciate Glen Miller. Besides, if it kept her daughter happy as she assisted in the Saturday morning household chores she couldn’t care what was on the radio.
As they worked, Trudy was singing along to the catchy tune when the phone began to ring. She knew better then to pick up the receiver without her mother’s blessing first, so she just continued her dusting as Lily answered the call.
Suddenly frowning, the older woman asked suspiciously, “Who is this?” Then she bitterly held out the phone and said to Trudy, “It’s for you Gertie… a boy! With an Italian name too.” she frowned even deeper.
Trudy hated the way her mother always emphasized the “I” in Italian. She would always pronounce it eye-talian. It made Trudy cringe to think that Mario might have overheard her mother’s rudeness.
“Hello!” the young girl sang almost too happily into the receiver, in part to over compensate for her mother’s behavior but she also was genuinely happy to hear from Mario. She had been thinking about the young man all day and was hoping that he would call. She was delighted that he did so soon after their meeting last evening. After a few pleasantries, Mario invited Trudy out to the movies to see Yankee Doodle Dandy. Trudy accepted with delight stating that she had heard a lot of good things about the film, which featured James Cagney and Joan Leslie. It seemed an ideal choice for a first date movie, as it was a lighthearted story, not too romantic and it virtually overflowed with good old American Patriotism. Besides, who didn’t love the music of George M. Cohan? A plan was made for Mario to come by the apartment to pick her up at six o’clock that evening so they could go out for pizza and the movie.
“So,” said Lily showing her distain for the idea that her daughter had accepted a date with and Italian boy. “I take it you like this eye-talian character?”
“He’s not a character,” Trudy answered bravely. “He’s a very nice guy who has just returned from the service where he almost died for his country. You know of his family too, The Massetti’s. He’s Del’s older brother who was missing in action. He miraculously was found and rescued and I went to his welcome home party last night. We talked for quite some time and if you give him half a chance, I believe you would actually like him,” she firmly replied. Then uncharacteristically with a note of sarcasm added, “and besides, it’s a date for a movie, not an engagement announcement!” Then in a dramatic show of indignation, the young woman snapped her head to flip her hair behind her shoulder and silently returned to her dusting.
Perhaps it was shock that the young girl stood her ground or perhaps it was the note of truth that rang through Trudy’s words, but Lily decided to just let it go.
At six o’clock sharply as Trudy was still in her bedroom choosing earrings that coordinated with her sweater, the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it” she called out only to have her mother race forward to the door.
In a fruitless effort to charm and win over Trudy’s mother, Mario smiled his broadest smile as he announced who he was and asked if the girl was ready. The matronly woman before him looked him up and down with an icy stare. He was quite handsome; she had to admit to herself, with his sandy blonde wavy hair and large golden eyes. He had big dimples when he smiled and his teeth sparkled like a strand from a perfect pearl necklace. Still, Lily let him know in no uncertain terms that she was unimpressed and had him stand outside the door to wait. The poor young man was a little deflated. However he was here for Trudy, not the old woman. Then, as Trudy came to the door, he instantly relived that moment when he had seen her for the first time, just a day ago. He smiled to himself as he recalled running after her as he left the barbershop. Dare he tell her about that? What would she think if she knew that he had actually fell head over heels in love with her the moment he cast his eyes upon her from across the street in a barber’s chair? He was certain that she was already a bit skeptical about him after last night, even if she did agree to this date. No, he decided that at least for now, he would keep that bit of news to himself.
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Hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into my novel. Let me know what you think so far!
Until next time,