Gary and Cindy Go To ...


Years ago, on our first transatlantic flight, the passengers all applauded when we landed.  It had not been a particularly difficult flight.  Everyone just spontaneously acknowledged that, gee whiz, we've all just experienced a most marvelous thing.  Something far beyond the dreams of ancient kings and queens.  Something grand and astonishing.

On the flight home there was a group of Italian high school students who were going to Boston and New York for a few weeks.  They were all from Calabria, Italy's "Toe".

In the great migration at the beginning of the 20th Century hundreds of thousands of Calabrians put a few oranges and lemons in their satchels and got on the boat to the New World.  Today, Calabria is far off the tourist path - a land of great natural beauty and great poverty, plagued by the 'ndrangheta, the Mafia minus the romanticism of Hollywood.

We struck up a conversation with one of the kids, a friendly guy who was making his first trip to the New World.  He was looking forward to seeing the grattacielo - skyscrapers.  He admitted he had some trepidation about this.  There are no skyscrapers in Calabria.  We tried to ally his concerns.  I don't think it worked.

The approach into Boston provides a wonderful view of the skyline which is studded with skyscrapers.  Our young friend was amazed.  His eyes popped out!  Wait till you get to New York, kid.

When the plane landed, all the school kids applauded.  So did we.

A non-applauding grownup across the aisle asked me if I was with the group.

"No," I said. "I'm just a big fan."

Ciao, Italia.

Gary and Cindy

All photos and text copyright 2012 Gary M. Growe

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Latest comments

08.08 | 00:42

Beautiful pictures guys...looks like you had a marvelous trip...heavenly gardens and fountains! Love Jess & Don... :)

07.08 | 21:20

Is Savannah really that nice all year round? You've got a knack for making a silk purse.... Anyway, I'm convinced; Savannah's on my bucket list. -p

15.05 | 14:44

Thank you for your service.

15.05 | 06:21

Quite interesting for me to know that.