Me and Armando
In July of 2005, I spent a week in Lovere, Italy. We flew into Milan and although I had been told to sleep on the plane, I had very little success. When we arrived, I was very sleepy and we immediately had a meeting to attend. I felt bad but was able to function well enough. After that meeting we had to travel about an hour and a half to get to the city where we were staying. This area of Italy has very many hills and the roads were loaded with curves. Our driver was a man named Armando. Armando was an aggressive driver and spoke practically no English. When someone cut him off at a toll booth, I swear I thought he was going to jump out of the car and beat the other driver up. As we weaved through the mountain roads, I was tossed left and right in the van. The aggressive driving and my lack of sleep started to make me feel terrible. I never get car sick but I started to get sick from this ride. It took me a couple of days to recover from this ride.
Check out all of the empty glasses.
Later in the week, I shared my story about the ride from Milan with a co-worker who met us there later in the week. He told us that Armando was hired by the company we were visiting in the early 80’s. He said that at this time, the mafia was very active in Italy and had kidnapped the prime minister, killing him. At the same time they threatened to kidnap and murder many wealthy people in Italy including the owner of the company we were visiting. The moved his family to an island off the coast of Spain but still kept his business in Italy. He occasionally had to come back to Italy and he hired Armando as a bodyguard to protect him when he was in the country. Prior to working for this company, Armando worked as a police officer. His specialty? High speed car chases.
I’m not sure if the story about the mafia is true but I do know that riding with Armando was always an adventure. As the week went on, we got to know Armando better. The last night we were there, we at a lakeside restaurant in the village where we stayed. Armando sat at the same end of the table where I was. Although it was hard to communicate with Armando, we managed to find out that he was the exact same age as the lady that was travelling with us. The lady decided that she wanted her picture taken with Armando. I took the picture. Then I decided that I would also like my picture taken with Armando. As we were posing for the picture, Armando picked up a half empty bottle of red wine to model with it. I found a half empty bottle of white wine and posed. My favorite picture from my trip to Italy is of me, Armando and two bottles of wine.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller