An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, March 2, 2009

Everyone needs a Zio Luciano

I have an Italian Zio (uncle) who is exactly how you would imagine an Italian Zio to be: Luciano is larger than life, funny, generous, and can sing and play the guitar. He loves to eat, loves to cook, and . . . did I mention that he's funny?

Once, when we were about 17 people sitting around a table, he started teasing my mother, Massimilla, the eldest of three sisters. He then announced:

The whole of Christianity would have been different if instead of asking the people "Jesus or Barabbas?" they had asked "Jesus or Massimilla?" . . . I tell you, everyone would have said Jesus and then Christianity would have taken an entirely different course.

I cannot tell you how much we laughed.

Last year when my best friend and I were in Rome we met up with my parents who were passing through on the way to Sicily. One night the four of us took two seminarians studying in Rome out to dinner, and I happened to mention Luciano's joke. The seminarians laughed so hard and so long, which made us laugh, and really, no one could stop.

Luciano also has incredible musical talent. He played the guitar in church, in bands, and even cut his own record. Because of him, I received a guitar in the 6th grade and I still have it and play it to this day.

Yes, everyone should have a Zio Luciano . . . but I'm glad this Zio is mine.

Buon Compleanno, Luciano!

8 comments:

Tiziana said...

Che bel regalo di compleanno hai fatto a Luciano!
Quanti bei momenti e quante belle risate ci siamo fatti.
Grazie Maria per questi bei ricordi.
TI VOGLIAMO BENE.

GrandmaK said...

You know, I had an Uncle Willie who was like that. Life is good!!!! Thank you! Cathy

David said...

Buon compleanno, Luciano! Spero di vederti presto!

Anonymous said...

Buon compleano Luciano. Hope to see you in Augusta in August. Bring very light fishing clothes!! Maria failed to mention, that in addition to all the other stuff, Luciano is a good fisherman. I remember one night, years passed, fishing with Luciano and Silvio in the Adige river for eels. I bought a new pair of rubber boots for that excursion which I still have. We didn't catch any eels but drank a little vino. Ciao, Nonno Dwight

Ua said...

Ciao, Luciano! Buon Compleanno! This is Bia's sister, and I can vouch for the many hilarious family moments staged by Zio Luciano. I remember one time I was visiting Verona with my husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. After a long day of touring the city, we decided to cool off our hot feet in the Adige River. We made our way down ancient Roman steps and did just that! Later, at dinner, after announcing what de had done, Luciano said "Well! That's why all the fish in the river are dead!"

Anonymous said...

I must be the only (lucky?) person in the world who has a brother in law like Luciano. He obviously has such a high opinion of me that he dares putting my name way up there with Jesus! Mamma mia! What courage!
I remember very well that day and how much we all laughed. When we are around Luciano we never know what to nexpect. AIUTO!!!! (HELP).
Happy, happy birthday and we will see you in August.
Nonna Massimilla

Tiziana said...

Certo che verrò a trovarvi in Agosto, come potrei non rivedere una famiglia così meravigliosa?
Grazie molto per gli auguri!!!
Dwight, preparati, prenderemo anche i pesci persi sull'Adige e...
anche se non berremo vino, faremo ugualmente faville.
Non vediamo l'ora di rivedervi.
Ciao ciao a tutti.
L'ormai famoso zio Luciano.

Lisa said...

How wonderful is this?! Happy belated birthdays to your well- loved uncle!