What to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the weather is beautiful and the family wants to gather? Why we hit the annual Italian Festival in Jupiter’s Abacoa for some sausage and peppers, pasta, meat balls, pizza and some light as air, sugary (and yes greasy) zappoli!
Every November here in South Florida, we have an outdoor Italian festival where one can stroll the streets to purchase Italian themed souvenirs, play carnival games, go on rides, hear music, dance and of course… eat your way into your next dress size.
So James and I, two of my sisters (that pair that reside here in SoFlo) Maureen and Janice, their husbands, Ralph and Dave respectively and our dad decided to meet at the festival to enjoy the day together.
It was a great afternoon filled with laughter, people watching and my favorite pastime, food! We stopped by all the souvenir booths to see what was new this year in Italian novelties. One of my favorite finds was a tee shirt that read “I’m NOT shouting… I’m Italian! That’s how we talk.” I would have bought it too had it not been imported from Taiwan. Not that I have anything against the import/export business, but it didn’t seem right to me that an American shirt touting an Italian theme, should come from Taiwan of all places. To me if that shirt couldn’t have been imported from Rome, it should have at least come from Brooklyn… I’m just sayin’
Speaking of Brooklyn, my sister Maureen and I had a hardly laugh today as we recalled an Italian festival from our childhood in Brooklyn when we were trapped on the top of an old wooden Ferris-Wheel that broke down during a horrific electrical storm. The folks, who ran the street fair, thought that everyone had been safely removed from the ride. Between the storm, the wind, the fair and all of the street noises; no one seemed to hear our cries for help. I don’t know what would have happened to us if someone hadn’t happened to looked up and shout, “There’s a couple of kids up there!”
Before we know it, the fire department was on its way sending a rescue worker up a large hook and ladder to bring us down, as Maureen and I said our Hail Marys! I remember that we both bargained heavily with God, promising to become perfect children if he got us down alive. Of course, our very first act of Christianity once saved, was to pledge to each other to never tell our mother what happened. After all, she had made us absolutely promise her that we would NOT go on the Ferris-Wheel if she allowed us to go to the festival.
I know, I know… the good news was… we DID learn our lesson. Well maybe it wasn’t exactly then, it may have been a few months later when mom walked us across the “big street” to go off to school and had us promise her that we would not cross back. We vowed to go straight up the corner to the crossing guard, who would see that we safely crossed the side street to our school. Long story short, Maureen sees her little girlfriend across the street. The girl could not walk to school with us because she too was not allowed to cross Metropolitan Avenue. “Promise you won’t tell mommy!” Maureen demanded of me as she made the executive decision to cross in the middle of the forbidden block to join her friend.
Needless to say, a moment later… the sound of screaching breaks, the booming shrill of an air-horn and we were both hit by an oncoming truck because we had once again gone back on a promise to our mother. THAT was the moment we learned our lesson! What can I say? We apparently weren’t the brightest stars in the constellation. But even we knew that three strikes meant you were out! We were not going to tempt the hands of fate ever again.
Anyway, to get back to our present day celebration, I am happy to report that we were all able to get through the afternoon with no casualties aside from a tummy ache. Hmmm… maybe we should have listened to dad when he said not to eat too many cakes and candies? Okay, you can stop that laughing now… I’ve already told you that we weren’t the brightest stars!
Until next time,