I believe the important parts of who I am are not my date of birth but opening of my inner soul. What I write is what I believe to be true. Others may know details that would correct my tellings. So, anything that is incorrect on this site is totally my error.
I’m proud to say that I’m born of Italian immigrants. My mother was born in Gaeta by Naples. My father was born in Castellino Del Biferno in the Campobasso province. My mother came to the US as a teenager, my father as a young boy.
I often thought that it’s amazing that I’m here at all. Beyond the typical miracle of birth, both my father and I had a rough landing.
Imagine a birth in early 20th century Italy where the home is a very small town in the mountains. When my father decided to arrive about three months early (he was early for holiday dinners too!), the midwives attending my grandmother Clarissa (yes, my namesake) believed he was stillborn. They laid him in a basket and covered him with rags. Someone noticed the rags moving and he was saved. He was a stubborn fighter then and never outgrew that doing some boxing and passing on his Capricorn streak to me.
Apparently, like my father, I had to make a noticeable arrival. Always being different, I was not breech but sideways. Not the smoothest landing.
So between my dad’s arrival and mine, it’s a miracle I’m here at all.
I’ve been fortunate to have had good health, an interesting career, and a never ending thirst for knowledge and adventure.
When I was young I often tormented my brother and sister with whatever I could create as part of the family dinner. When asked “what do you want to do when you grow up?” my answer was always, definitely, quickly, without a moment’s thought… be a chef! Like a lot of us, that didn’t happen. Instead I launched into a career in technology where I was fortunate to have several great mentors who not only gave me guidance but opportunity.
I’ve satisfied that chef desire by cooking simple or complex meals for myself and for friends, collecting a wall of cookbooks, crafting beautiful breads that I might enjoy alone with a cup of tea. For a short time I ran a word-of-mouth catering company. Definitely fun, definitely memorable. Would I want to be a chef now? Nope! I’m quite content to have my nights, holidays and weekends free to do whatever pleases me.
My adventurous streak seemed to blossom a bit late but there is no squelching it at this point. Although, I do still factor in some of that New England practicality. As the saying goes I see no reason to skydive out of a perfectly running plane–at least at the moment I don’t!
My mother taught me I can be anything I want to be. And that’s how I’ve lived my life.